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Cheese Balls and Other Retro Foods That are Primed for a Comeback

Cheese Balls and Other Retro Foods That are Primed for a Comeback

There’s a reason that these foods caught on the first time around, and a whole new audience is discovering them

In this era of nostalgia and comfort food, these dishes are just waiting to return to Americans’ hearts and minds.

Cheese Balls and Other Retro Foods That are Primed for a Comeback

In this era of nostalgia and comfort food, these dishes are just waiting to return to Americans’ hearts and minds.

Baked Alaska

Who doesn’t like a good old flaming dessert? Once a hallmark of fancy restaurants offering tableside service, this dish was relegated to cruise ships before seeming to vanish entirely. The classic version — a scoop of ice cream on a bed of cake, covered in brûléed meringue and occasionally flambéed tableside — is still on the menu at Delmonico’s in New York, but it’s recently popped up on menus across the country as chefs and diners rediscover it. When pastry chefs go looking for something classic, they return to baked Alaska.

Cheese Balls

Cheese plates at parties are all well and good, especially in this era where some of the world’s best cheeses can be found at your local supermarket. But cheese balls — those giant hunks of spreadable cheese, usually a combination of cream cheese and Cheddar — are also a fun and incredibly versatile addition to any cheese plate. More and more party hosts are turning on to cheese balls, and they’ve even joined the bacon and sriracha revolution.

Cherries Jubilee

Flambéed desserts in general are ready for a big comeback, and cherries jubilee, made with cherries flamed with kirschwasser and served with a scoop of ice cream, is one of the best. This dish is rarely on dessert menus of late (most restaurants enjoy serving desserts of their own invention), but we predict it will be back soon.

Chopped Steak

Chopped steak is an old-fashioned dish if there ever was one, similar to a hamburger patty but usually slightly more oblong and usually mixed with onions and other seasonings and topped with gravy. This is still a dish that you’re not likely to see on many (or any) menus outside of country kitchens, some steakhouse chains, and the occasional high-end steakhouse (It’s Peter Luger’s lunch special on Saturdays), but this is one dish that is possible to prepare very, very well, and once the luxury burger trend dies down, we’re looking at chopped steak as the next target.

Crêpe Suzette

This French dessert consists of a crêpe folded with a hot mixture of butter, sugar, orange juice and zest, and Grand Marnier, then flambéed. First popularized in Paris at the turn of the twentieth century (though perhaps invented in Monte Carlo), this classic and classy dish fits perfectly into a new, non-dessert mold: brunch. Once this item starts making its way onto brunch menus, there will be no stopping it.

Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are the perfect finger food, and the possibilities for them are endless. They’ve been creeping onto more and more menus in recent years, and the reason? They’re an ideal bar food, and one which allows a chef to get creative and have a little fun. You can serve smoked salmon atop them, you can add bacon, and you can even swap out the yolks for guacamole for a healthy snack.

Duck à l’Orange


Yes, this classic dish is ready for its moment in the spotlight. After years of languishing in obscurity, served in a cloying and gloopy sauce when served at all, it’s finally starting to appear on menus again, including at the insanely popular Dirty French in New York. Duck is a protein that every restaurant likes to have on their menu, but it’s usually paired with cherries. Once chefs realize that orange works just as well (and that there’s a classic dish just begging to be cooked), the tide will continue to turn.



Who doesn’t like a vat of hot, melted cheese? Fondue’s reputation took a major hit in the 1970s when it was ruined by a few too many party hosts, but it’s regained popularity in recent years at fondue-centric restaurants, like New York’s Artisanal. Fondue still hasn’t made its way onto too many menus of traditional restaurants as an appetizer, but its time (as well as that of the related raclette) has definitely come.

Prime Rib


There’s a big difference between a steak and a prime rib: a steak is an individual piece of meat that’s been cooked on both sides, and prime rib is a big slab of meat, cut from a rib roast at a perfect medium rare and doused with a flavorful jus. They’re a little tricky to add to menus because they can’t be cooked to order, but we predict that, as tableside service begins to rise in popularity, we’ll see more restaurants like San Francisco’s The House of Prime Rib, where whole ribs are rolled to each table and sliced to order.



This thick puréed soup, made from leeks, potatoes, onions, chicken stock, and sometimes cream, can be served hot or cold. One of the most popular soups of the ‘50s and ‘60s (it was apparently invented by French chef Louis Diat at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New York City, circa 1917), its popularity waned after a 1971 botulism outbreak from a can of Bon Vivant-brand vichyssoise. But that event is in the distant past, and while some French restaurants still serve it, it’s time for this delicious soup to make a comeback.

30 Classic Comfort Foods From Your Childhood Everyone Loves


After months and months of quarantine, things are finally starting to get back to normal—or a new normal, we should say. And while there are so many things you're likely super excited to do right now, there's at least one thing that's here to stay—cooking at home.

Sure, you're able to dine out at your favorite restaurants again, but you're not going to be eating out or ordering in for every single meal. You don't want to let all of the cooking skills you've mastered during the past year go to waste! And nothing is better than a fun, retro-inspired meal to really show them off.

If you're looking to cook some serious throwbacks, we've got you covered. You can't go wrong with any of these vintage-inspired recipes. They'll transport you back to your childhood and family dinners at home aka way before the word "quarantine" ever entered your vocabulary. If you're really in the mood for a trip down memory lane, check out these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback, too.

Retro Fabulous Cheese Ball

In case you’ve forgotten, there is a pretty big football game coming up. If you need a last minute snack to make, a Cheese Ball is a good one. It’s very fast and easy to make, has a short ingredient list, and all the ingredients are easy to find.

Ever since I remember, this cheese ball was a part of all my family gatherings. It was on my Grandma’s regular recipe repertoire (say that 3 times fast!) and was always gobbled up at every party it was present at. You don’t see cheese balls around much anymore – they seem to be one of those things that you’d see in those retro cookbooks with ladies in aprons and big hair. I’d like to see them make a comeback, so hopefully you all make one after seeing how easy and delicious it is.

The ingredients are pretty basic – cream cheese, cheddar cheese, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and walnuts. I sometimes add a couple shakes of Tabasco sauce if I want it to have a bit of a kick. I usually follow my Grandma’s traditional recipe, but the beautiful thing about a cheese ball is that you can tailor it to your taste. You could use any soft cheese (I think goat cheese would be amazing) and any harder cheese you like. You could also adjust the seasonings to your taste.

Serve the cheese ball with your favorite crackers. You can serve it as soon as you’re done shaping it, otherwise wrap it tightly in plastic and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it. It’s best served at room temperature.

Black Forest Cake


This German-born dessert is an exercise in seeing how many ways you can infuse one cake with cherry flavor. It's composed of layers of chocolate cake that have been thoroughly soaked with kirsch (a clear cherry spirit) and topped with maraschino cherries, while some versions even have sour cherries stuffed between the layers. Though it was first invented in 1915, its popularity soared stateside in the 1970s.

1. Walkers classics

Which is your favourite? (Getty)

Back in 2015, Walkers launched a new ‘Bring It Back’ campaign to bring back some old classics including Cheese and Chive, Beef and Onion and Lamb and Mint. Following a landslide of votes, they decided to bring back Beef and Onion.

But, sadly, there’s no sign of the other flavours making a comeback anytime time.


In the years before bread-based stuffing became the norm, similar casseroles of various grains and nuts could be found on every table. This throwback chestnut and bread stuffing combines two great textures, harkening back to a simpler time. By mixing up your menu with this forgotten standard, you will be sure to leave an impression on your family members.

'Surge' soda surges back, but here are 6 other retro treats we pine for

Hey, you 1990s kids: Don your slap bracelets and take those Ring Pops out of your mouths: Surge, the cult-favorite citrus soda still beloved by many, is making a comeback.

Surge came out in 1997 as Coca-Cola attempted to compete with Pepsi's Mountain Dew. It was tangy, sweet, uber-caffeinated, and brighter than a nuclear explosion.

"Was it green? Was it yellow?" my co-author Brian Bellmont and I wondered in our 2013 book "The Totally Sweet '90s". "Surge was a mix of the two, maybe the color you'd get if you soaked a highlighter in a glass full of lime Jell-O."

Surge vanished from stores in the early 2000s, but stayed alive in Norway, where it was branded as "Urge." But now, thanks to the lobbying efforts of devoted fans calling themselves "the SURGE Movement," Coca-Cola has decided to bring it back, available exclusively on (Though when we tried to order some on Monday morning, the site seemed to be sold out, saying it would email us when Surge was available.)

While we wait for Surge's resurgence, here are 6 retro treats we'd like to see return:

Marathon candy bars
Marathon bars were simple and elegant: Chocolate embracing a caramel braid, what could be better? Brits have tried to tell us Cadbury Curly-Wurly bars are the same, but we Yanks politely disagree. Come on, Mars, soothe our 1970s-1980s longings!

Jell-O Pudding Pops
The treat that was so missed we named a book after them ("Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?", 2011). Jell-O Pudding Pops ruled the 1980s, then disappeared, returned briefly when Jell-O licensed the name to Popsicle, then melted away again. But we're starting to see make-your-own Pudding Pop kits in our grocery stores, so there's hope.

Pepsi Light
Folks like a lemon slice in their colas at bars, but apparently not in pre-made sodas. Neither Pepsi nor Coke can seem to keep a lemon-accented cola on the shelves, even though Diet Coke with Lime seems to be a consistent seller. Lemon-flavored Pepsi Light was one of the drink world's earliest attempts, starting with half the calories of a regular cola, then cutting that down to one calorie. Wasn't enough to save it, apparently.

Original New York Seltzer
We loved the flavors of this clear soft drink (peach! vanilla creme!) but we adored the packaging just as much. Original New York Seltzer came in squat little glass bottles with foam labels that were so much fun to peel off.

Planters Cheez Balls
Yes, the "z" made it clear that Planters Cheez Balls had probably never even been in the same room with real cheese, but that didn't make them any less delicious. There are plenty of orange-dust-covered treats out there, but there's still nothing like these round, neon orange snacks and their super-cool blue cylinder packaging. No '80s party could get started without them.

Jell-O 1-2-3
Yes, another Jell-O product, and no, we're not on their payroll. It's just that Jell-O 1-2-3 was the best-tasting science experiment ever, a boxed mix that let you turn out a layered gelatin parfait with a foamy top layer, mousse-like middle, and regular Jell-O bottom, all in variations of the same flavor and color. Thankfully, you can make your own.

6. Jell-O 1-2-3

From 1969 to the mid-1990s, Jell-O 1-2-3 made moms and dads look like wizards. Jell-O 1-2-3 came in a box with a single bag of powder. The powder was blended with water and the frothy concoction was poured into glasses. Somehow -- most likely magic -- the Jell-O separated into three distinct layers, with a layer of gelatin at the bottom, a mousse-style liquid in the middle and a creamy layer on top. It was like eating science.

From 1969 to the mid-1990s, Jell-O 1-2-3 made moms and dads look like wizards. Jell-O 1-2-3 came in a box with a single bag of powder. The powder was blended with water and the frothy concoction was poured into glasses. Somehow -- most likely magic -- the Jell-O separated into three distinct layers, with a layer of gelatin at the bottom, a mousse-style liquid in the middle and a creamy layer on top. It was like eating science.

37 snacks that will take you back to the ྖs

Despite our parents' best attempts to make us eat vegetables, most kids in the '90s would've preferred to feast on junk food. And let's face it, '90s snacks were especially delectable.

For your daily serving of nostalgia, take a look back at our favorite foods and snacks from childhood. Surprisingly, some of these '90s foods have actually withstood the test of time, while others now live in '90s snack heaven.

From the chocolatey (and grammatically incorrect) Oreo O's of yesteryear to the still very delicious Gushers, these are the 37 '90s snacks that will bring you back to the tasty decade in a big way.

1 We'd Rather Forget: Sow's Belly With Udders

At some point in history, it was decided to have pork belly roasted on an open flame. At another point, it was decided to eat udders. Not just any udders, but rather a sow’s udders still attached to the belly, which would then be cooked as a whole.

Sow’s belly with udders was accompanied with fish and poultry, all in alternating layers with an older, thinner version of pancakes between them. It was served in spices, its own juices, and one very large platter. So, it might resemble lasagna in some ways, the main difference being the fact that there are udders poking out of it.