The 'Best' Dish Jonathan Bennett Tried For Food Network's Battle Of The Decades - Exclusive

The 1980s are calling — and they want their nostalgic snacks back. Remember Hamburger Helper, Dunkaroos, and the Easy-Bake Oven that was on your holiday wish list year after year? Get ready to see them again, as Food Network's "Battle of the Decades" has been bringing back all of the foods and appliances from the past that you forgot. Competitors from different generations compete to whip up dishes using the classic foods and tools, and not always in the way you'd expect.

Picture this: You have limited time to make a dish with Wheaties, ranch dressing, and Fruit Roll-Ups. What are you making? One contestant opted for a fish dish, and according to series host Jonathan Bennett, it was the best thing he ate on the show this season. "We had a chef take the Wheaties and grind them up into a breading and coat the sole fish and cook it, and then they melted down Fruit Roll-Ups to make a sauce by adding a whole bunch of other ingredients to it and drizzled it over the fish," he told us in an exclusive interview. He described the meal as "summery" and "light" — perfect for evoking memories of childhood summers.

Fruit Roll-Ups can elevate fish

Of course, Fruit Roll-Ups are just that: rolled-up fruit-flavored snacks that debuted in the 1980s, known to turn your tongue a fun color (who wasn't obsessed with that as a kid?). Meanwhile, Wheaties cereal — aka the "Breakfast of Champions" — has been around since the early 1920s, so the contestants had several decades to cover during the challenge that produced Jonathan Bennett's favorite dish on the show. "When you taste it, you can taste the Wheaties and you can taste the Fruit Roll-Ups — so you get that nostalgic trigger — but at the same time, it's elevated to a completely different level," he told Mashed of the dish. 

He added that it was the "best fish I've ever had in my whole life. Who would've thought you could put Fruit Roll-Ups on a fish and it's delicious?" The episode featuring this dish hasn't aired yet, so you'll have to follow along with the series to watch exactly how it all plays out. In the meantime, heed Bennett's warning before trying to recreate this Fruit Roll-Up-inspired fish for yourself: "Don't try this at home, kids."

New episodes of "Battle of the Decades" premiere Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network. You can keep up with Jonathan Bennett's latest projects on his Instagram page.