13 Popular Foods People Hated Eating 100 Years Ago
Culinary trends are just as fickle as fashion. Find out which gourmet foods you love used to only be fed to animals or prisoners.
This plant grown high in the Andes was cultivated for centuries by native people for its nutrition and taste. Yet hardly anyone outside of the small region even knew of its existence. It was “discovered” in the 1970s and sold as a health food, but it didn’t really catch on until the last decade. Now it’s so popular that the Peruvians who farm it can’t afford to eat it. There’s a good reason for its new status as a superfood though, Werth says. “It’s the only plant food that is a complete protein, containing all the necessary amino acids,” she explains. “As vegan and vegetarian diets have risen in popularity, they’ve increased the demand for quinoa.”
In the 1800s and prior, lard was used for everything from cooking to making soap, but as industrialization took over, the fat dropped in popularity in favor of other fats, like butter. Then, in the early part of the last century, shortenings like Crisco took over. Recently, however, scientists have discovered the transfats in most shortenings are hard on the heart. With people looking for a less-processed fat, lard is making a comeback, Mindell says. Before eating out, learn about the gross things restaurants do to save money.
This staple of health food bakeries and Reuben sandwiches used to be considered food fit only for people so poor they couldn’t afford wheat. But it rose in popularity thank to the blending of cultures, Werth says. “Rye bread is often used in Jewish cuisine, and they made it popular in America,” she says. It’s a good thing, too, as the whole grain bread is high fiber and can aid in weight loss, she adds. Find out the foods that were invented by accident.