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N Cal Atty
N Cal Atty, Attorney
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Experience:  Attorney in California since 1983
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Who or what determines what decade a recipe, dish or food preparation

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Who or what determines what decade a recipe, dish or food preparation belongs to? Is there a guidebook or reference source where recipes, dishes and food preparations are categorized by their decade of popular usage? On various cooking shows on television, some recipes and food preparations have been designated to belong to one or more decades of the past, as in "That recipe is so '70s, it needs to be updated." For example, the dish Chicken Cordon Bleu has been widely criticized by some culinary experts as an outdated recipe from decades past such that they rule it undesirable or passe. Who really -- if anyone -- determines what recipes, dishes or food preparations are en vogue and which are out of style? Is there an authority on these designations? Or are the culinary "experts" who espouse that a dish belongs to a decade of the past really just being snobbish in an effort to elevate their supposed "expertise" in this area? Note that when these "experts" all agree that a dish is outdated, that suggests there is (or should be) an official reference or authority for this sort of designation, giving rise to this question asking if one actually exists.
You wrote:
Is there an authority on these designations?

There is no one official authority although I personally trust The Food of the Western World: An Encyclopedia of Food from North America and Europe by Theodora Fitzgibbon.

Or are the culinary "experts" who espouse that a dish belongs to a decade of the past really just being snobbish in an effort to elevate their supposed "expertise" in this area?

Yes.

A classic recipe needs no changes and does not become "outdated", but creative chefs are free to make whatever changes they desire.

I hope this information is helpful.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

But when an entire group of culinary experts agree that a dish belongs to a particular decade of the past, it lends credibility to their assertion that dishes / food combinations / and recipes can be dated. This causes new concern regarding food served to guests in that the recipes must now not be just flavorful, but currently stylish as well. So how to know if your recipe or dish is passe or en vogue?


 


Looking at 'The Food of the Western World,' it appears to be an interesting read but not focused on the fashion or time progression of food through the decades. Not sure this would be a reference I'd consult to determine if my recipe or dish was old fashioned or contemporary.


 


Any other references you can recommend?

The book I mentioned is an encyclopedia which has recipes going back to the Middle Ages.

Recipes like fashions go in and out of style. This magazine claims to know what foods are trendy this year. But they are just stating their opinion. And their opinions are not mine, as they rate Dungeness crab over Maine lobster.

Other lists are available on line, such as at
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/food-trends

Food preferences are a matter of taste and culture. Some people enjoy eating duck webs and others don't. I love snails but am not a fan of frog legs.

The locavore and organic movements are probably the most significant recent food trends, but it is not practical to be a locavore if you like tropical fruit and do not live in the tropics. And remember, ALL food used to be organic.

To me, what is rightly considered modern is what is called fusion cuisine.

I hope this information is helpful.
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