It’s hard to think about how the 2010s will be narrowed down into stereotypes when the decade is barely in our rearview mirror. But think about the 1980s: It had to have been more than neon-colored leotards, Ecto Cooler, Madonna and PacMan, right? Yet that’s all we remember when we throw an ‘80s-themed party. When it comes to the trends, particularly the food trends, that will come to define the 2010s, one stands out from the pack: Instagram-worthy dishes.
Food presentation reached its peak, not just for chefs, but for the everyday person and wannabe influencer, in the 2010s. Go to the best restaurants around, and before people dive into their meal, they whip out their smartphones and take a quick pic for the ‘Gram. It’s not even particularly unusual to see someone taking their plate to a nearby window or whipping out a portable light at any given eatery to get the best possible lighting for their snapshot.
When you look at the most popular dishes of the decade and the foods that exploded onto the culinary scene, they all seem to have this photographable quality to them. Avocado toast, smoothie bowls, poke bowls, milkshakes topped with cake slices and candies and wild mashup dishes like ramen burgers, cronuts or sushi burritos all have a pretty or bizarre aesthetic to them that just begs to be shared with the world.
If you went to a wedding and it had a naked cake you didn’t photograph, did you even go at all?
In 20 years or so, when our children and grandchildren are throwing a 2010s-themed party for their college friends, and they ask you what foods they should set out, make sure they have White Claw, kombucha, pickle-flavored popcorn, edible cookie dough and, of course, whatever a camera phone looks like in the future at the ready. After all, those are just some of the biggest and craziest food trends of the 2010s.