Social media food trends bring variety to meals at home

Throughout the history of mankind, food has often been treated as more than just sustenance. From expensive delicacies to culturally significant dishes, people often form emotional connections with the food they eat. Now that we’re at home with more time in the kitchen than ever before, meals have become an opportunity for creativity and a source of comfort. 

RJ Badua (12) said that although he had always enjoyed coffee, the lockdown gave him a reason to start learning how to make his own. He has been watching cooking videos on the internet for inspiration. 

“Since the pandemic has made it harder to [go to coffee shops], I’ve been exploring different variations of coffee myself,” Badua said. “Sometimes I fail, but it’s fun to keep trying now that I can do it at home.”

According to Jason Heflinger (12), the opportunity to cook three meals a day has been a nice change within the routine of working and attending school from home. 

“Being able to choose and create what I eat every day has given me more variety in daily life,” he said. 

Heflinger has also browsed social media more regularly since the lockdown. Seeing people share their ideas on the internet has always been great, he said, and now that cooking is  a bigger part of his day, recipes and ideas about food are a source of inspiration.

Besides Heflinger and Badua, many students have looked to social media for ways of changing up their everyday meals and snacks. Some of these tasty, creative, and easy food ideas quickly became popular and turned into trends that people all over the world participate in. These are the food trends that we’ve seen on TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram since the beginning of quarantine.  

March 2020
Dalgona coffee

Originating from South Korea, Dalgona coffee is a light and fluffy beverage that became popular on TikTok last year due to its delicious and aesthetically pleasing whipped consistency. Within three minutes, anyone from the occasional coffee drinker to the most particular coffee snobs can create a drink that will leave them feeling satisfied and eager for a second glass with this recipe. To prepare, one only needs to add two tablespoons of granulated sugar, two tablespoons of instant coffee, and two tablespoons of boiling water into a bowl and then mix with a hand-mixer until stiff peaks form. Once the whipped coffee is ready, simply add it all into a glass of ice and milk of your choosing and stir.

April 2020
Charcuterie boards

Although charcuterie boards have been a common dinner appetizer for years, assembling these meticulously decorated cheese platters recently became a popular trend among Gen Z, especially for those looking to integrate an aesthetically pleasing snack into their habitual picnicking brought on by the pandemic.

While charcuterie boards traditionally contain an assortment of cheeses, meats, and crackers, some have even taken their boards to the next level by adding honey-baked brie as a centerpiece for a sweet and savory blend. To achieve your very own baked-brie, simply place a brie round on a baking sheet covered with tin foil, drizzle with honey, and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes or until cheese starts to melt out of the round. 

Pancake cereal

What do you do when you’ve had the same two breakfast foods over and over for months on end? Combine them, of course, into a new option. 

Pancake cereal was first introduced in a viral TikTok video. It sounds ridiculous at first, a seemingly unnecessary change to already-tasty pancakes and cereal. But making things smaller than their regular size is actually a human practice that we see all the time. From miniature towns to toy cars to tiny tea sets, smaller-than-normal items have been found by many psychologists and anthropologists to give people a lot of satisfaction. Perhaps this is why pancake cereal is so appealing. You make pancakes and eat them as normal—except now they’re really small. 

Another added bonus of pancake cereal is that the crispy edges of regular pancakes are now preserved in each bite you take. For those of us who enjoy this particular part of a pancake, pancake cereal is a low-effort way to make your breakfast a bit more interesting. 

Japanese soufflé pancakes

True to the nature of one of the world’s most beloved breakfast foods, pancakes have received many variations over the years. One such variation is the Japanese soufflé  pancake, a soft and extra-fluffy version that looks more like a “cake” than the usual “pan.”

These pancakes have existed for a long time, but they really became popular in the U.S. when social media became a main source of inspiration for those of us seeking to change up our repetitive meals at home. These pancakes were frequently seen on social media even before the pandemic, but the internet trend made it clear to social media users that they don’t have to be exclusive to restaurants and cafes. Even though you may need a few tries to get the exact fluffiness that you want, Japanese soufflé pancakes retain the lovable characteristic that makes pancakes so enjoyable for so many of us: you can’t go wrong with it. 

Try this recipe to make Japanese soufflé pancakes for yourself.

May 2020
Gigi Hadid’s pasta

When Gigi Hadid posted an Instagram story of herself cooking spicy vodka pasta, she unintentionally inspired a cooking trend that took social media by storm. Within a few days, people all over the world were trying the “Gigi Hadid Pasta” for themselves and posting their own videos on TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram. 

Understandably, at the beginning of what is now almost a year of COVID-19 lockdown, many of us spent way too much time thinking about what to eat, what to do with our ingredients at home, and what we can make with our mediocre cooking skills. This creamy, unique twist on traditional pasta sauce was just the thing to spice up (literally) one of the easiest meals to prepare at home. For many of us, vodka pasta was a much-needed change amidst the disappointing lifestyle of staying at home. You don’t need to go to an overpriced restaurant downtown to feel fancy during dinnertime after all—sometimes it’s all in the sauce. 

The recipe for Gigi Hadid’s vodka pasta can be found here.

Gardenscape focaccia

While many have turned to bread baking as a quarantine pastime, some have even chosen to add an artistic twist to their loaves by topping them with vegetables and herbs in the shape of dainty flowers. This decorative technique is most commonly practiced on focaccia bread,  as focaccia’s flat shape creates a nice canvas for vegetable embellishments. When executed correctly, gardenscape focaccia looks like a beautiful,  savory heaven—so much so that you may be hesitant to eat it. 

For detailed instructions on how to create your own focaccia garden art, you can find the recipe here. 

August 2020
Cloud bread

If you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s like to bite into a cloud, then look no further than then the bread recipe that went viral on TikTok for it’s beautifully squishy and satisfying texture. Although somewhat bland in taste, baking cloud bread serves as a quick and easy project that will leave you mesmerized by its marshmallow-like consistency, and certainly the fluffiest loaf of bread you’ve ever seen. Better yet, the recipe only requires three ingredients—egg whites, sugar, and cornstarch. 

For detailed instructions on how to make cloud bread, you can find the recipe here. 

December 2020
Minimalist cakes

Sometimes, less is more, and the still-ongoing trend of “minimalist cakes” on TikTok and Pinterest certainly reflects this sentiment. 

This food trend isn’t a special recipe or a new meal, but rather a unique method of decorating cakes to be as simple and uncomplicated as possible. Cake-decorating can be difficult even for the most skilled of bakers, so this trend celebrates a low-stress style that less experienced bakers can still participate in. 

Minimalist cakes are not all done the same way, but most tend to have one solid color of frosting with small, handwritten words in the center and fairly little decoration aside from that. Many bakers have also decorated their minimalist cakes by swiping frosting across the top in a way that resembles smears of acrylic paint. Pastel colors are commonly used in minimalist cakes to express the relaxing, easy-to-absorb feeling of this cake decorating style. 

As long as you don’t try too hard, minimalist cakes are a cute and surprisingly easy way to be creative with your cakes. 

See some inspiration for minimalist cakes on TikTok.