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DID WE REALLY EAT THAT?

Spam fritters, piped mashed potato, boil-in-the-bag curry… The culinary past is littered with best-forgotten dishes. In a flashback that’s more brain-freeze than madeleine moment, food writer Guy Dimond recalls some of the most ill-judged – and asks which modern trend we’re most likely to regret in decades to come

ALL IN GOOD TASTE? Influential TV chefs Marguerite Patten (below) and Fanny Cradock (far right) led the way in helping home cooks keep up with the culinary trends, questionable though they may sometimes have been

The contemporary food scene isn’t immune to culinary bad taste (you can add chai lattes and cronuts to the list opposite) but a quick flick through my old recipe cards or back issues of magazines reveals decades of much more embarrassing ingredient combinations, lurid food colourings, florid garnishes and other fashion disasters we lived through.

I mean, did we really eat that? My grandmother’s favourite treat for me was Spam fritters served with instant mashed potato, fresh from a packet. We were country folk, so real produce from the farms next door was just too mundane. Boil-inthe- bag rice with sultana-rich curry was a schoolday treat. Imagine my surprise when, as an adult, I lived in India yet didn’t encounter a sultana once. Yet the dodgy convenience food of the 1970s was considered modern and worldly at the time. Every decade had its trends that are now faux pas, and they’re not just confined to flares or shoulder pads.

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Treat yourself to the March issue of delicious. and get baking with warming crumbles, Richard Bertinet’s award-winning sourdough and the ultimate custard doughnuts and brownies. Or treat family and friends with happy-making recipes from Thomasina Miers, Rachel Allen and Tom Kerridge. Embark on a new food adventure with DIY ricotta, throw a vegetarian dinner party or learn how to make proper coq au vin. delicious. magazine is the best way to improve your cooking.
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