Iconic Foods From The 1980s That You Totally Forgot About

By Jack Ripley | February 22, 2024

A Treat From an Alien Planet: Quisp Cereal

When some people picture the 1980s, they think about bright neon colors or wood paneling and other leftovers from the 1970s. For others, though, the decade was all about the food. Those of us who grew up in the 80s remember the snacks our moms set out after school and sent in our lunch boxes. From sweet and sugary drinks to dishes that used the then state-of-the-art microwaves, the food had everyone salivating and begging for more. Take a walk back in time with the foods that everyone loved in the 1980s.

 

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Only in the 80s could a company base an entire product line around a fictional alien. Quisp was a little pink creature from another planet who came to Earth and engaged in competitions with a burly man named Quake. Introduced in the 1960s, the cereal used commercials that featured voice actors from “Rocky and Bullwinkle” to appeal to kids. Quisp became even more popular in the 70s and 80s due to the commercials that ran on Saturday mornings.

Looking back, Qusip didn't use a lot of unique ingredients: corn flour, brown sugar, and white sugar. Somehow, the whimsical pieces shaped like spaceships enticed an entire generation of kids. When Quaker Oats pulled it from shelves, fans begged the company to bring it back, which led to the cereal popping up online under the tagline: the first internet cereal.

Not an Enchilada, Not Quite a Burrito: The Taco Bell Enchirito

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The Taco Bell of the 1980s looked very different compared to the chain today. Its menu included fewer options and dishes that made use of limited ingredients. One menu option fans still talk about is the Enchirito. Some restaurants in the chain added the dish in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, but it didn't go nationwide until the 80s. Though it sounds simple, it was delicious. Taco Bell mixed onions and ground beef with pinto beans and added it inside a tortilla before rolling it and coating the tortilla with olives, shredded cheese, and its signature red sauce.

Making the Enchirito even better was the metal tray it sat inside. The tray retained heat to keep the tortilla hot. Discontinued in 1993, the Enchirito popped up a few times on the menu, including for a month in 2023. While some fans miss the old metal tray and the olives on top, others eagerly await its next return.