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100 Years of Amazing Food Trends

Big birthdays tend to make all of us long for the good old days. To mark Food Network Magazine's first 10 years, we looked back at the past 100 — and some unforgettable crazes.

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Photo: Kay Peterson

1920s: Outrageous Sandwiches

Wonder Bread hit shelves in 1921, ushering in a new era for the humble sandwich. Suddenly, Americans were putting everything imaginable between bread, and hostesses began serving whole loaves filled with deviled ham or tuna salad and frosted with cream cheese to look like cake. These spectacles were the best things until...sliced bread, which arrived in 1928.

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1930s: Jiggly Salads

During the height of the Great Depression, colorful Jell-O molds — fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood suspended in flavored gelatin — brought a bright spot to American tables. At about 10 cents per packet, gelatin was an affordable way to stretch ingredients, which helps explain why about a third of cookbook recipes at the time featured it.

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Photo: duckycards

1940s: Can-to-Table Cuisine

As the government started rationing meat, cheese and other staples during World War II, home cooks had to make the most of what they had on hand, even if the resulting dish seemed unthinkable — like Mystery Cake, made with condensed tomato soup.

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1950s: Food in a Flash

The advent of the space age called for whiz-bang foods and instant versions of everything: Dehydrated potatoes, Cheez Whiz and Tang were invented or popularized during this time. The new products came in handy as Americans rushed to install bomb shelters and stock up on shelf-stable food in case of nuclear attack.

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