• Race to a Cure Authors

Food on the Rise during COVID-19

Can you believe the pandemic has been going for almost a year? Cooking is always a therapeutic and fun experience. Due to the lockdown, 2020 has been the year when we turn towards the kitchen for all our cravings. It is worth knowing that more and more people have become chefs over the past year.

Why has cooking become so popular in COVID-19?

Home cooking has become the new normal. Many people have discovered fresh ingredients and new brands to spice up their home-cooked meals. Many people even look for ways to cook healthier, try new foods and learn new techniques. Since we cannot dine-in, some people even try to recreate other cuisines and restaurant dishes. If you are into social media about food, you will notice some cooking trends in your feed. Let’s take a look at all the viral TikTok or Instagram food trends in the past year.

1. Dalgona Coffee

This Korean trend is essentially a whipped coffee. The name “Dalgona” originated from a Korean street snack, and a TV personality named the coffee after that. As most people are staying at home, it is a fun and challenging experience. It is also called 400 times coffee as you have to hand whip at least 400 times.

Image is courtesy of MyKorenKitchen.

Here are the ingredients:

  • Instant coffee

  • Sugar

  • Hot water

  • Milk

  • Ice cubes

Mix everything together and you will have an Instagram-worthy whipped coffee floating on the milk!

2. Banana Bread

Even since the beginning of the lockdown, banana bread has gone crazy around the world. It only requires staple ingredients (flour, butter, sugar, egg, baking soda, ripe bananas) and you will have an extremely tasty loaf for breakfast. You can add in your own likings such as nuts, chocolate, fruits, and more. Over time, a lot of people have created vegan, dairy-free, or gluten-free recipes, so there is a recipe out there for everyone! Here is a recommended recipe.

Image is courtesy of Simply Recipes.

3. Sourdough Bread

This is another bread recipe that has gone viral in 2020—but, a much more complicated bread. It requires a lot of patience and steps. You will first need to feed a sourdough starter for a few days. Once the starter is ready, you will add the remaining ingredients and let it rise from three to 12 hours, depending on the temperature and the weather. To have the most optimal result, you need a dutch oven to trap the heat and moisture to achieve a beautiful crust and cross-section. Go ahead and challenge yourself with this recipe!

Image is courtesy of The Clever Carrot.

4. Pancake Cereal

Pancake Cereal is another trendy TikTok recipe. This food is essentially small dots of pancake batters topped with your favourite toppings such as maple syrup, butter, milk, and fruits. The easiest way to shape them is using a ketchup bottle or cutting a bottom corner on a ziplock bag. They are a bit time consuming to make, but it’s cute and worth the try. Here's our suggested recipe.

Image is courtesy of Cafe Elites.

5. Donut Cereal

After the mini pancake cereal hack, people have gone creative and made mini donuts. It seems people like spending time making their bowl of cereal cute. There is also a vast collection of miniature foods such as waffle cereal, cookie cereal, and muffin cereal.

Images are courtesy of SoFloFoodie.

6. Soufflé Pancake

This Japanese-style pancake is one of the most challenging desserts to make. We may have seen these pancakes worth around $12 to $20 CAD around the city. They are fluffy and delicate, making them highly Instagrammable. You may need a few tries to perfect it when trying to bake them for the first time. Top with your favourite pancake toppings such as whipped cream, fruits, and syrups. Here's our suggested recipe.

Image is courtesy of Just One Cookbook.

7. Cloud Bread

After the soufflé pancake, it seems that people enjoy whipping egg whites. This TikTok trend may have appeared on your feed several times. They are giant, airy, fluffy bread with only egg white and corn starch. It is essentially a baked meringue with any food colouring you have. Here's our suggested recipe.

Image is courtesy of i am a food blog.

8. Basque Burnt Cheesecake

This cheesecake is originated from Spain, which breaks all the rules of the traditional New York Cheesecake. You don’t need a crust or a water bath to bake. You only need to mix cream cheese, heavy cream, sugar, eggs, and flour. Then, caramelize the top as you bake, which is just like a creme brulée cheesecake. Here's our suggested recipe.

Image is courtesy of Just One Cookbook.

9. Frog Bread

Everyone loves making adorable bread. It is essentially a loaf of bread in the shape of a frog, so you can use any bread recipe and simply shape it! You can add the eyes with raisins and carve the smile with a knife. Afterward, people even make turtle bread or other animal bread to test their creativity. Is it too cute to eat?

Image is courtesy of Vantu News.

10. Hot Chocolate Bomb

After months of food trends, 2020 ends with a form of hot chocolate bombs. It is designed to melt in warm milk, which bursts with marshmallows or candies. You’re not sure when the explosion will happen, so it is exciting and therapeutic to watch. Here are the instructions:

  • Melt the chocolate and spoon them into a half-sphere silicone mould and freeze them until they set.

  • Remove them from the freezer and fill the halves with marshmallows, cocoa mix, or any flavour you like.

  • Dip the empty halve on a pan or steam water and seal the edge with the filled side.

  • Pop them in the freezer for a few minutes.

  • Decorate them with any sprinkles you like.

Image is courtesy of Tastes of Homemade.

Here's our suggested recipe.

11. Baked Feta Pasta

This is a mind-blowing pasta hack because it is extremely straightforward and delicious. Fill a baking dish with a block of feta with bursting tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Serve with cooked pasta, garlic, and basil. You do not need to change the oven temperature. Here's our suggested recipe.

Images are courtesy of Grilled Cheese Social.

12. Tortilla Hack

This tortilla hack is a global trend with thousands of variations. You fold the tortilla wraps with four layers of fillings.

  • Cut in the center of the tortilla to the edge of the tortilla. Add the fillings either into three or four parts

  • Start by folding on the left side of your cute and continue folding them in a clockwise direction.

  • Heat it with a sandwich press or hot skillet to brown it lightly.

The filling can be sweet or savoury. Gradually, this hack even evolves with an Asian twist to sushi and rice paper wraps. Here's our suggested recipe.

Image is courtesy of Alpha Foodie.

13. Gordon Ramsay’s TikTok reaction

Gordon Ramsay is the most famous critiques. He has gone from criticizing chefs on TV shows to home cooks on TikTok. People create crazy cooking food, which can cause him a nightmare. The hashtag #ransamyreacts has become so popular over the year. However, what’s better than being roasted by him? Many people have been watching Gordon Ramsay for years, and they are thrilled when Ramsay reacts to their creation.

Image is courtesy of Gordon Ramsay on TikTok.

Final Thoughts

Over the pandemic, home cooking is on the rise whether people are experts in the kitchen or not. Food is comforting, food is energy, and food is enjoyable. It is no doubt that COVID-19 has changed our new eating habits. While the pandemic has forced us to stay at home, people feel more confident in the kitchen and moving on to more complex cooking. It seems that the habit of cooking at home will continue after the pandemic. Go and challenge yourself and have fun in the kitchen!

Featured image is courtesy of Unsplash.

Article Author: Michelle Lam

Article Editors: Olivia Ye, Sherilyn Wen