Happy 31st Birthday, Turducken: 8 Foods Born in 1980

Categories: Leftovers

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Thirty-one is officially too old to try to learn how to use Photoshop.
Tomorrow, on 11-11-11, I will turn 31 years old. Last year, for my 30th birthday, my uncle sent me a Facebook message that contained only the following Pink Floyd quote and a "Happy Birthday" at the end:

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

You should spend time with us at the holidays. It's magical.

In a bid to forget the inevitability of one day being shorter of breath and definitely one day closer to death, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at foods that are still going strong after 31 years -- foods you may not even realize were invented in 1980, so iconic they seem today.

Such as the turducken.

8. Turducken: Paul Prudhomme is credited with the creation of the Turducken, or at least that's what the trademark says. Hebert's Specialty Meats also lays claim to the invention, but Prudhomme's trademark states that the Cajun chef first started preparing the stuffed beast in November 1980, five years before Hebert's began selling them. Either way, although the Turducken was "born" in 1980, the truth is that nested birds served roasted or baked have been around for hundreds of years. We just didn't start calling them Turduckens until recently.

7. Ben & Jerry's: Prior to 1980, you couldn't purchase Ben & Jerry's ice cream from your local grocery store. The duo were still only selling ice cream out of their Vermont ice cream parlor, which opened in 1978. 1980 marked the first time the sweet stuff was packed in pints for sale.

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6. Chicken McNuggets: Created in 1979 by McDonald's chef Rene Arend, but introduced to menus in 1980. (The horrifying McRib was introduced one year later.) The bite-size chicken nuggets were a runaway success by 1983.

5. Sriracha: The company that makes the wildly popular Sriracha sauce -- Huy Fong Foods -- was founded in Rosemead, California in 1980. Sriracha is not Thai, it's not Vietnamese, it's not Chinese, it's not any one thing: It's an Asian-influenced American creation by David Trần, an ethnic Chinese Vietnamese, who was a chili pepper farmer back in the old country. It's a shining example of immigrant ingenuity as well as the one condiment my pantry is never without.

4. Jell-O Pudding Pops: Believe it or not, Bill Cosby was the spokesperson for Jell-O six years before the iconic pudding pops came along. Cosby started shilling the pudding in 1974, but pudding pops themselves weren't created until 1980.

3. Applebee's: Believe it or not, the original Applebee's -- which was opened in Decatur, Georgia in January 1980 -- was called T.J. Applebee's Rx for Edibles & Elixirs. Yes, somehow Applebee's was even cheesier when it was first born. These days, however, the little restaurant from Georgia is now the largest "casual dining" restaurant chain. And since being purchased by IHOP in 2007, it's also grown into the largest full-service restaurant company in the world. It's terrifying, but take comfort in this: There isn't a single Applebee's within Beltway 8.

2. ShowBiz Pizza: ...where a kid can be a kid. (You know it's impossible to say one and not the other.) This is what Chuck E. Cheese used to be when it was still awesome and every kid you knew wanted to have their birthday here or at the roller rink. There were no other options. ShowBiz was founded in Kansas in 1980, marking the only other pop culture icon to come out of the state since The Wizard of Oz.

1. Landry's: Last but not least, Houston needs to apologize to the rest of the nation for birthing the hydra-esque Landry's chain in 1980. Landry's Seafood House Restaurant (technically in Katy) was opened by the Landry brothers and a year later, the original team also opened Willie G's Seafood and Steak House, which is still a fine, fine restaurant. But then Tilman Fertitta came along in 1986 and bought the brothers out, and we all know the rest of the story from there.



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25 comments
Guest
Guest

I turned 31 this year too. Happy birthday to you!

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard

A few things:

1. How in the hell do you even research something like this?

2. Every Houstonian born in the 70's is aware that Chuck E. Cheese was here first, and was then bought by Showbiz before it was bought back.  I never went as a child, so I couldn't say which was cooler back then.  For us it was roller rinks or Arcades.

3. I can't say it was exactly 1980, but right around then was when fajitas started becoming known as a Tex Mex item.

And lastly, I will leave you with KFC's answer to the mcnugget.  It failed pretty badly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Joanna O'Leary
Joanna O'Leary

"ShowBiz was founded in Kansas in 1980, marking the only other pop culture icon to come out of the state since The Wizard of Oz."

Whoa, whoa, WHOA!!! Since when is Bob Dole not a "pop culture icon." I mean, it's him and Lady Gaga.

Kidding.

Tony
Tony

This inside outside/outside the loop/beltway thing is beyond stupid. 

You are NOT writing for the Public News. 

Get a dang grip girl!

Dustin Kalman
Dustin Kalman

And we're all better off when it is forgotten.

Poop
Poop

Wait. There's one right at 610 and 290.

(Not that I've been...okay, I have, and it was terrible.)

Themarlinman
Themarlinman

Katherine, you are one badass food writer, maybe the best I have ever read.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

How does one research anything? You just...do it. Do research.

I grew up on ShowBiz Pizza. Chuck E. Cheese will always be dead to me, here first or not. I'm being difficult like that today.  ;)

Biker
Biker

For the love of God, people, it's a geographical denominator....that is all.  Get over it.  All the gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair over a mention of where something is located in a manner that all Houstonians can immediately identify said location.  Are you this upset about the price of gas and groceries or the fact that your medical insurance will be unaffordable in the coming years.  How about them Astros??

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

Stupid or not, our ring roads are one of the ways Houston defines itself and they make for  extremely effective geographic reference points. I dislike the assumption that most people make about Inner Loopers being snobs and Outer Loopers being clueless suburbanites. But that does not negate the fact that Loop 610 and Beltway 8 (and one day, possibly, Grand Parkway) are used as geographic boundaries in everyday, common conversation.

Tony
Tony

And another off the East Belt near Channelview.  Never been but see it from the Belt all the time.What a stupid point to make anyway. 

The CITY OF HOUSOTON in fact DOES exist outside Beltway 8.

Dustin Kalman
Dustin Kalman

Yep, there is that Applebee's at 610 & 290. I never go there or any other Applebees. I didn't like the food but last time I went was in 2001.

Mike
Mike

Chuck E Cheese was the boring replacement for the uber kewl Showbiz.  One had thousands (millions?) of killer video games and Skee Ball, the other had stupid things that gave you tokens so you can trade for plastic combs.  I think they put used motor oil on the pizzas at Chuck E Cheese as well.  Used oil and staph infected cheese.  Yup.

Really now, which is BEST between those two?  Keep in mind, if you disagree with me (and, by random coincidence, Ms. Shilcutt) then you are wrong.  

Craigley
Craigley

Most real Houstonians refer to the actual parts of the city where a destination lies.  Examples being The Galleria, Clear Lake, The Woodlands, Humble, Sugar Land, Kingwood, Woodway, Downtown, etc.  

You can't exactly give directions by saying "my favorite new restaurant is outside 610, but inside the Beltway".   

I see it as less of a geographical denominator, and more of a justification to feel good about living in tiny squatters quarters inside the loop. Not to mention in this article the reference was not even accurate.

Laurie
Laurie

Katherine- In a week where your main story is about new west side awesome breakfast joints you still manage to diss those of us who reside outside the circle of coolness. For shame!

Mike
Mike

Interesting enough, that link doesn't really tell me anything.  I know that Showbiz pizza was the first and only one in the Midwest areas where I was living.  Chuck E cheese came LONG afterward.  One was super cool and adored by all children (Showbiz), while the other was weird, boring and hated by everyone (C.E.C.).

H_e_x
H_e_x

Who the fuck cares? Seriously?

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

You're just a regular ray of sunshine today, aren't you Craigley?

Craigley
Craigley

1/3 the inner loop is ghetto and trash that the other 2/3 would never set foot in.

Don't pretend the "inner loop" is some kind of comfy frat.  

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

I'm sorry you took my geographic reference as a diss, as it wasn't intended as such. See my response to Tony below.

Folks have become very sensitive about the terms "Inner Loop" and such, and that's just plain unfortunate.

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