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1969

  • Headline on an article on snacks: “Hubby comes waddling home from the office to a wife doing her best to keep him in good health and shape.”
  • A photo feature on bathrobes: “A robe in which it would be appropriate to wave goodbye to one’s husband or greet the milk man.”
  • Suggestions are offered for sending Christmas foods to troops stationed in Vietnam.
  • A column by Julia Child begins; first called “The French Chef,” it is changed soon to “Voilà.”
  • A wine column runs weekly.
  • The first of many annual food stories details what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers.
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1970

  • The Star’s Metro Poll notes that nine out of 10 city shoppers save trading stamps.
  • A monthly reader recipe contest is launched and runs well into the 1980s.
  • Headline: “Tea parties needn’t feature tired menus; try something like apricot ham squares.”
  • Editor Beverly Kees spends a month eating her way across France and devotes an entire Taste issue to her food experiences.
  • A new column, “Value,” highlights weekly prices on various supermarket commodities and offers shopping tips. It runs for nearly 20 years.
  • A yuletide White House: What the Nixons will eat for Christmas dinner, with recipes.
  • The safety of microwave ovens is tested by scientists.
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1971

  • A column that requests recipes from restaurants, on behalf of readers, begins with ones for French dressing from the Flame Room and Beer Cheese Soup from the Leamington Hotel’s Norse Room.
  • Reader Exchange begins, where readers write in asking other readers for help with lost recipes. The first recipes are for corn tortillas and baklava.
  • An ambitious special section examines the culinary traditions within Minnesota and explores foods from 16 ethnic groups.
  • The now familiar recipe for green bean casserole first appears.
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1972

  • Taste visits the food traditions of nine Minnesota towns and counties (booya in St. Cloud, fish cakes in Cook County), a series it would follow for several years.
  • Expiration dates for the perishable and nonperishable food are added.
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1973

  • Vegetarian cooking is featured with the seven-member Lincoln Goldman commune in St. Paul, and the Communion Restaurant in Minneapolis.
  • The “Haute Cuisine” issue includes recipes for canard a l’orange, escargots bourguignon, lobster thermidor, vichyssoise, crêpes Suzette, beef Wellington and Grand Marnier soufflé.
  • Both Dayton’s (via Supervalu) and Red Owl introduce a shop-by-phone service, a precursor to later grocery delivery services.
  • Skylab astronauts dine on lobster, ice cream, veal, pork and scalloped potatoes. Meals cost $25, considerably less than the $50 spent during the Apollo missions.
  • A 16-page section includes 11 full pages of supermarket ads.
  • The energy crisis yields a story on cooking two meals at once. A reader exchange offers recipes for no-bake cookies.
  • First Taste profile of a person of color: Zelia Lockett, a nutrition program assistant with the Agricultural Extension Service of the University of Minnesota.
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1974

  • The state leads the nation in low-fat milk use.
  • A much-talked-about recipe for carp wieners is published.
  • More energy conservation: “Electric skillets use about one-third as much electricity as an eight-inch electric range element and considerably less than an electric oven.”
  • Suburban growth reduces the number of raspberry farms that once made Hopkins the raspberry capital of the world.
  • Restaurant reviews appear in Taste. The first ones are of the Amalgamated Eating and Drinking Co. Underground in St. Louis Park, the Haberdashery in St. Paul and Charlie’s Cafe Exceptionale in Minneapolis.
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1975

  • Twin Cities Gourmet, a new column that profiles an area cook (and a precursor to the Tastemaker column that began in 1990 and continues until 2006) debuts, with a look into the kitchen of actor Wendy Lehr.
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1976

  • Details are provided on how to feed a family of four on $40 per week.
  • Profile of Pham Ngoc Huong, one of the thousands of Vietnamese refugees who had recently settled in Minnesota.
  • Minnesota inches toward the metric system.
  • The nation’s bicentennial is celebrated with special sections exploring the culinary traditions of the 13 original colonies.
  • Bag-your-own grocery shopping comes to the Twin Cities with Red Owl’s Country Store chain, which had been preceded by CUB (Consumers United for Buying).
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1977

  • Price Check, a column that compares the costs of 25-plus grocery items, debuts.
  • Dr. Robert Atkins promotes his low-carb, high-protein diet book, “Dr. Atkins’ Superenergy Diet,” at Dayton’s.
  • A first-annual “Dining Out” issue surveys 35 local restaurateurs, who name these as best restaurants: Charlie’s Cafe Exceptionale, Chouette, Murray’s, the International Rosewood Room and the Lowell Inn.
  • First apparent use of the title Ms. appears in a profile of Pam Sherman, who would later go on to co-found the New French Cafe.
  • The city’s trendiest restaurant, according to staff writer (and later editor) Ann Burckhardt, has these attributes: “To qualify, the restaurant must have all of the following: stained glass windows, plants in the windows suspended by macramé, unmatched chairs and lots of bean sprouts. Sgt. Preston’s fits the bill but somehow keeps it from being corny.”
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1978

  • “You Asked for It,” a call for story ideas that became an annual effort for almost a decade, results in 125 reader suggestions, including interest in microwave meals.
  • A guide to building your own salad bar mirrors the national dining-out craze.
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1979

  • Restaurant reviews disappear from Taste, not to be seen again in the section for 20 years.
  • The National Restaurant Association estimates that 37 percent of the nation’s food budget is spent away from home, and by the late 1980s it is expected to reach 50 percent.
  • Taste devotes entire sections to New York City, San Francisco New Orleans and the regions of China.
  • A survey shows that median dinner prep-time in urban areas is 35 minutes. Seven out of 10 use convenience foods, mostly canned products. Nearly 20 percent said they don’t plan ahead, and half said they grab whatever is on the pantry shelf and heat it up. Two-thirds said they never cook for future meals.
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1980

  • A forecast predicts that by 2002 personal computers will create meal plans, compose shopping lists and provide nutritional content. Meat will be a luxury, eaten perhaps two to three times per week. Most protein will come from soybeans and legumes.
  • Croissants hit the market.
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1981

  • Nutritional information is now included with Taste recipes.
  • Workers building the Metrodome inspire a story on brown-bag lunches.
  • Betty Crocker goes global, with Mexican and Chinese cookbooks, the latter written by local entrepreneur Leeann Chin.
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1982

  • Taste gets a new look with the merger of the Minneapolis Star and the Minneapolis Tribune and continues its Wednesday publication day. The Tribune’s Food section, which had run on Thursday, begins appearing on Sunday.
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1983

  • The state Minnesota Grown campaign begins, an effort to promote state farmers and their products.
  • Taste heads to Hibbing, Minn., to report on food relief to those hit by long-term unemployment.
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1984

  • A profile of chef Paul Prudhomme reflects the popularity of Cajun cooking.
  • Irradiation is approved for spices, and the FDA is expected to allow it in more food categories within the next year.
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1985

  • A roster of local farmers markets lists 20. By 2009, there are more than 50; by 2014 there are 86 in the metropolitan area and nearly 100 in 2019.
  • With one in five households owning VCRs, Taste examines a newfangled video how-to-cook series.
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1986

  • The first story about Martha Stewart runs.
  • New columns focus on microwave cooking, special diets and quick cooking.
  • Muffins are hot.
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1987

  • Goat cheese replaces Brie in popularity.
  • Food to Go, a new column that reflects the increasing availability of takeout food, debuts.
  • Local food professionals are introduced through two new columns: Meet the Chef and Teacher’s Best. Sunday Food (the food section of the former Minneapolis Tribune) is renamed Sunday Taste.
  • After 18 years, Taste’s poster cover tradition comes to an end.
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1988

  • Precut vegetables find their way into market.
  • Salmonella in eggs is first discussed.;
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1989

  • A three-part series by Lee Svitak Dean analyzes school lunch.
  • Taste celebrates 20 years with an all-history issue.
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1990

  • The first of a series of seasonal menus begins.
  • A healthful cooking column debuts.
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1991

  • Pierre Franey’s syndicated 60-Minute Cooking column debuts; it runs for three years.
  • Local author Antonio Cecconi writes “Betty Crocker’s Italian Cooking.”
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1992

  • Tomatillos, jicama, couscous, cilantro, coconut milk and black beans, considered exotic a decade earlier, become so mainstream they are found in Pillsbury Bake-Off entries.
  • Barista, macchiato, Americano and espresso are defined as the coffee culture sweeps the country.
  • St. Paul author Lynne Rossetto Kasper publishes her much-heralded book, “The Splendid Table.”
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1993

  • The sale of bottled water explodes, increasing 500 percent between 1980 and 1990. By 1992, Americans were buying 2.3 billion gallons of bottled water.
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1994

  • A list of the winners of food competitions at the Minnesota State Fair starts a tradition that continues today.
  • Lee Svitak Dean is named food editor.
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1995

  • Lynne Rossetto Kasper launches “The Splendid Table” at American Public Radio in St. Paul.
  • Community Supported Agriculture takes off nationwide.
  • A redesigned Taste includes a new, easy-to-clip recipe format.
  • Desperation Dinners, a syndicated column, debuts.
  • An annual wine issue begins.
  • Taste goes online and readers can search through thousands of recipes, available on the Star Tribune’s new website, startribune.com/taste.
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1996

  • Home meal replacement — i.e. in-house prepared foods — catches on at supermarkets.
  • The popularity of brew pubs grows from 26 nationwide in 1988 to 1,000 in 1996.
  • The fictitious Betty Crocker gets a new look.
  • A Roper Poll finds only slightly more than half of all American families eat together five or more days per week.
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1997

  • Cook’s Lesson, a practical cooking guide, debuts.
  • First profile of Emeril Lagasse appears, an early Food Network star.
  • Taste visits the White House and interviews chef Walter Scheib.
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1998

  • Of the century’s 100 best foods, the top five are the hamburger, pie, French fries, cold cereal and the peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich.
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1999

  • Taste gets a major makeover and aims to reach more noncooks. The section moves to Thursday. Restaurant reviews (beyond takeout) are back in the section.
  • A report on Somali dining reflects the recent influx of 20,000 immigrants to the Twin Cities.
  • Rick Nelson joins the staff and starts his annual Minnesota State Fair reports with reviews of the eight new foods that year. By 2019, the number of new foods reviewed increase to 53.
  • With the turn-of-the-century (Y2K) approaching, sales of French Champagne go through the roof, and consumers store food and water in case of computer glitches predicted for the millennium date change.
  • To mark the century’s end, Taste looks back at typical foods from each of the past 10 decades, including grasshopper pie (1960s), quiche Lorraine (1970s) and tiramisu (1990s).
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2000

  • Cooking schools proliferate in the Twin Cities.
  • An Online Cook column begins, steering readers to food-related websites.
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2001

  • Taste visits Texas and looks for the flavors of the Lone Star State as George W. Bush moves into the White House.
  • The influx of Hispanics is apparent with five new Mexican bakeries in south Minneapolis alone.
  • Taste looks at foods produced across the state.
  • Local cooking instructor Raghavan Iyer writes “Betty Crocker’s Indian Home Cooking.”
  • Taste travels to Cuba with restaurant critic Jeremy Iggers, who is nominated for a James Beard award for his story.
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2002

  • The state of hunger: With one in 22 Minnesotans receiving assistance from a food shelf, Taste examines a dozen local agencies involved in the fight against hunger.
  • Nigella Lawson’s syndicated column debuts.
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2003

  • Taste is named best food section for large-circulation newspapers by the James Beard Foundation.
  • A series examines local, sustainable agricultural methods involving meat production: “Clean” pork, free-range chickens and pasture-raised cattle.
  • The four-part “Cucina Italiana” series, by staff writer Bill Ward, maps out a seasonal journey of Italy’s regions. The series wins the James Beard award.
  • “A Healthier You” series, by Lee Svitak Dean, tackles obesity and its health effects, and is a James Beard award finalist.
  • Taste gives the Twin Cities restaurant scene two stars, and offers suggestions for improvement.
  • The annual holiday cookie contest debuts.
  • Taste bestows its first Restaurateur of the Year Award, to Josh Thoma and Tim McKee of Solera in Minneapolis.
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2004

  • Taste is named best food section among large-circulation newspapers by the Association of Food Journalists.
  • Latest cooking trend for busy parents: businesses where cooks can prepare a week’s worth of meals in less than two hours.
  • Rick Nelson starts a weekly podcast.
  • Taste celebrates its 35th anniversary with an all-history issue.
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2005

  • Duluth cookbook author Beatrice Ojakangas is inducted into the James Beard Foundation Cookbook Hall of Fame.
  • Rick Nelson wins the James Beard award for his profile of pastry chef Michelle Gayer.
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2006

  • Gluten-free cooking and products get a cover story.
  • The first of the annual Taste 50 issues highlight Minnesota people, products and places.
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2007

  • “The Silver Palate” cookbook celebrates its 25th anniversary with a new edition.
  • A cover story shows 50 ways to save on food costs.
  • Eating local for a season (the 100-mile diet and beyond) gathers interest.
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2008

  • Food trucks appear on local streets.
  • The Thrifty Cook column debuts as the economy sours.
  • One-hundred calorie snacks are all the rage.
  • Taste joins Facebook.
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2009

  • First cover story on Hmong cooking appears.
  • Make-your-own is big in the dairy department with DIY yogurt, kefir, crème fraîche, butter.
  • The Taste blog — Table Talk — debuts and can still be found at startribune.taste/tabletalk.
  • Taste celebrates its 40th birthday with an all-history issue.
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2010

  • The monthly series Baking Central with staff writer Kim Ode debuts, and for the first year includes videos, one of which wins a local Emmy.
  • Taste joins Twitter.
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2011

  • The Healthy Family column begins with freelancer Meredith Deeds.
  • Freelancer Amy Thielen, who lands a show — “Heartland Table” — on the Food Network two years later, wins a James Beard award for three stories she wrote for Taste.
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2012

  • Kale takes over the nation.
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2013

  • Burger Friday debuts (and continues until mid-2019) from Rick Nelson.
  • The annual Taste 50 calls it “The Year of the Farmer.”
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2014

  • Taste adds a Sunday page of food stories, recipes and dining tips to the Variety section.
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2015

  • The house of Ry-Krisp closes as the Minneapolis factory shuts its doors.
  • A New York City restaurant group announces it is dropping tipping; reverberations spread across the country.
  • Formerly anonymous restaurant critic Rick Nelson drops his cover.
  • Epic number of Nordic cookbooks hit the market.
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2016

  • Kombucha craze spreads to health conscious DIYers.
  • Facebook recipe videos are everywhere.
  • Shortage of line cooks has restaurants struggling nationwide.
  • John Krause of Rose Street Patisserie is inducted into Relais Desserts, an exclusive French league of 100 top pastry chefs in the world.
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2017

  • As Macy’s in downtown Minneapolis closes, so do its 113-year-old food-and-drink traditions in the Store Formerly Known as Dayton’s,
  • The American team wins gold at the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon, France, for the first time in its 30-year-history. Gavin Kaysen, executive chef/owner of two local restaurants, serves as coach and vice president of the Ment’or Foundation, which supports and trains the U.S. competitors.
  • Lynne Rossetto Kasper signs off on public radio’s “The Splendid Table.”
  • The Taste 50 looks at the impact of immigrants on the local hospitality world, with profiles of 26 from around the world.
  • Minneapolis blogger Sarah Kieffer’s recipe for Giant Crinkled Chocolate Chip Cookies goes viral after a shining moment on Instagram.
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2018

  • The Kirchner Collection of cookbooks at the University of Minnesota gets a boost from the donation of more than 2,000 volumes from author Beatrice Ojakangas of Duluth, when she downsizes.
  • The “Great Minnesota Cookie Book,” debuts, with the first 15 years of winners from Taste’s Holiday Cookie Contest.
  • Instant Pot sales — and recipes — go wild.
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2019

  • Cookbook author Maida Heatter writes her last volume at age 102.
  • Vietnamese food hits mainstream with Andrea Nguyen’s new cookbook, “Vietnamese Food Any Day.”
  • In a report called “A restaurant revolution,” Rick Nelson looks at the dramatic changes in the Twin Cities dining world.