Lockdown Food: 3 Viral Trends Sweeping Social Media

World wide lockdown has produced a number of food related viral trends due to mass boredom. Parents took to baking with their children in 2020 to entertain their little darlings and a plethora of people suddenly learnt that whilst banana bread is delicious you can definitely have too much of it! Although I might not be part of that brigade (I love banana bread and I bake a lot with my niece anyway) but I saw the struggle was real for a lot of people. Those who had not baked since school were realising that they should have paid more attention to their food technology classes. I am happy to report that between school and my Dad I am fairly proficient in the kitchen. There was a time where my relationship with food soured and my desire to cook waned significantly but I am experimenting in the kitchen again and looking forward to enjoying some home made gnocchi very soon. Social media has played a huge role in the popularity of these food crazes – it has been interesting to watch because it seems baking brings out the best and worst in people and the competitive streaks of some have most definitely intimidated others. Pictures flood our feeds with 8 year old geniuses icing their drip cakes like a pro and tales of inferiority complexes due to icing capabilities has truly crippled some people which I cant help thinking is unfair, I work on the principle that as long as it tastes good it doesn’t matter what it looks like (I cite cookie cups as a perfect example).

Banana Bread

We might be over it now but banana bread turned into the bizarre phenomenon of 2020 – although this is not a new concept by any means it seemed to be the lockdown baking recipe. As it is relatively healthy and there are plenty of no egg recipes it became the icon of “healthy baking” there are of course ways in which you can make it truly luxurious if you want to and swing by Rebel Recipes for her Sticky Banana, Tahini and Walnut bars – oh yes you heard that correctly. I recommend topping your slice with peanut butter and nuts or other nut butters with fruit for breakfast – your breakfast will be taken to the next level.

Veganuary/Plant based Food

cooked food on black ceramic bowls

The plant based revolution and veganuary actually started several years ago but the pandemic has meant that captive audiences are more inclined to give it a go – those who couldn’t get eggs suddenly started casting around for replacers which of course are 10 a penny in the plant based world. Aqua Faba aka chickpea water (yes the stuff you drain out ofthe can) can be used much in the same way as egg white and if you remember your chemistry from school you will know what happens to baking soda and acid (makes one of the best carrot cakes in my opinion). There are many reasons to go plant based and it is one I suspect I will eventually do but really what we need to be aware of is the sheer amount of meat we are consuming – red meat is now a group 2a carcinogen according to the WHO so think about that when you are eating it multiple times a week. There are certain things I am not ready to give up at the moment and interestingly its not meat – if I can learn to recreate eggs in plant based form then that will probably be the final straw.

Beer Bread

brown bread on white table

Bread from a can of beer and some flour? The all in one mix and shove in the oven recipe was a hit in 2020 – with only 3 ingredients I suspect many of those stray bottles of stout at the back of the cupboard were used up in no time. Some even made it in a slow cooker! Re-marketing ads stalk you like some kind of psycho – adverts for recipes, the headlines draw people in with their “and when she used one simple ingredient..” to trick people into thinking its actually some kind of recipe rather than an advertorial for some stupid gadget that no one wanted.

The role that social media has played in the popularising of different food movements is fascinating to watch – before the days of the internet it was TV and before that the newspapers and Good Housekeeping magazine were the source of many a food or diet fad. I think its important to have variety in your diet so if you are one of those people who eats the same thing or the time then investigate alternatives to your favourites – the plant based burgers from companies such as Beyond Meat are convincing enough that people cant tell the difference in a blind taste test – they also mean you are reducing your reliance on red meat which can only be a good thing. High protein diets are only suitable for those who lead a highly active lifestyle with regular exercise – not for those who prefer the sofa to a workout.

Have you learnt any new cooking skills in lockdown? Let me know in the comments below or join the conversation at facebook.com/wethefewnews or twitter.com/wethefewfood.

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