Fish paste! Tinned peach slices!! Ox tongue!!! They had it all in 1976. And if you didn’t live near a “Big Choice” Liptons, there was always a fabulous array of groceries available at the Little Shop on the corner.
Not that you’ll find any of this in the nouvelle vague of Seventies-themed restaurants. Prawn Cocktail, Steak Diane and Black Forest Gateaux might be a fair representation of what passed for exoticism in that benighted decade, but it was hardly representative of the diet of the average pasty-faced Brit.
Even the Eighties – now amazingly viewed as a time of glamour and sophistication – were little better.
Flashbak recalls meeting an Italian on a train to London from Essex, where he was billeted with an English family. They had given him a packed lunch in a small Tupperware box, which he opened to show me the contents: a cheese-spread sandwich in long-life sliced bread, a Blue Riband biscuit, and an apple. “Tell me,” he asked, in a genuinely puzzled tone. “Is this normal?”
Reader, it was.
Would you like to support Flashbak?
Please consider making a donation to our site. We don't want to rely on ads to bring you the best of visual culture. You can also support us by signing up to our Mailing List. And you can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For great art and culture delivered to your door, visit our shop.