This week’s Guardian article about the rise of dates in the U.K. got us thinking about food as a reflection of our era. The ubiquity of Jell-O salads in midcentury America is a great example: these dishes wedded convenience and show-stopping beauty at a time when households nationwide demanded both. The low-fat diet boom of the 1980s and 1990s saw the rise of store-bought cookies and salad dressings emblazoned with reassuring nutrition labels. And now, we’re at the end of the 2010s, a decade that has equipped us with all the tools to live more public and performative lives than ever before. Surely this evolution has had some influence on the foods we eat and the meals we cook.
If you had to name the most defining food of the 2010s, what would it be?
It might be a prepackaged snack that spoke to our on-the-go lifestyle (Clif Bars?), or a trendy beverage we convinced ourselves was healthy (Vitaminwater?), or an indulgent Frankenfood we had to be the first to taste (cronuts?), or a fruit that’s found new life in the spotlight thanks to its photogenic nature (pomegranates?). What edible item, in your mind, best tells the story of our society from 2010 to now?