When it comes to delicious food, some flavour combinations never age. Whether you want to host a vintage-themed dinner party or simply wish to treat your family (or yourself!) to some amazing retro-inspired cuisine, you’re sure to love these favourites that’ll be a blast from the past! While you’re at it, why not complete your retro meal with a classic dessert with a twist?
1. Devilled Eggs
Used in many countries worldwide as early as the 18th century, devilled eggs steadily gained momentum in the 1930s but reached their peak in the 1950s—thanks to the revolutionary household refrigerator. Best paired with spicy mains or even just by themselves as an appetiser, devilled eggs are a great and somewhat easy dish to prepare. With just 4 ingredients and 3 steps, this recipe is ideal for your vintage dinner party!
2. Cheese Fondue
Settle yourself into the ‘30s with this great cheese fondue dish. This appetiser gained popularity in the 1930s thanks to its easy preparation and became the dish of choice for dinner parties. All you’ll need is a retro-style dish, 2 cheeses, some French bread for dipping and you’re ready to go. The best thing about fondue? It’s the perfect dish for sharing.
3. Coq au vin
There was once a time when all food was served up in a casserole dish, and this meal is no different! Enjoy the swingin’ ‘60s with this French dish, made famous by Julia Child’s 1961 cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Coq au vin is a mouthful to say, but that doesn’t mean it is difficult to cook. This recipe enhances the classic French chicken casserole but has a healthier twist—yet still maintains its deep, rich flavours!
4. Steak Diane
It doesn’t get much more classic than succulent steak Diane. Originating in New York in the mid 20th century, this dish soon made its way to Australian shores. This meal maintained its popularity and, by the 1940s, it could be found in many restaurants across the country. Like most great things, the novelty passed and it was considered a dated dish by 1980. Bring a hint of nostalgia to your party and re-introduce steak Diane to your guests with this classic 1940s favourite.
5. Harvey Wallbanger Cake
Turn your typical dessert into happy hour with the Harvey Wallbanger cake. Starting out as a famous cocktail invented in the 1950s by champion mixologist Donato Antone, this cake takes all the flavours of the drink and turns it into a delicious dessert. Featuring key ingredients such as vodka, Galliano liqueur and fresh orange juice, this dessert it best left for adults.
6. Banana Split
What says retro dessert more than a banana split and a huge strawberry milkshake? This old-school diner favourite was first crafted in 1904. The traditional banana split includes a banana cut in half and filled to the brim with heaped spoonfuls of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream. This dessert requires just 5 minutes of preparation and no time at all for cooking, which makes this the perfect surprise dessert for your guests. They certainly won’t be saying no to this one!