The last two years or more have radically changed almost every aspect of our diet. From the major bean shortages of 2020 to the meteoric rise of feta pasta on TikTok, here’s a look at the biggest trends, news, and curiosities hitting home cooking since the pandemic began.
Panic in the supermarket! Miles of lines form outside Costco as flour, canned soup and frozen vegetables disappear from the shelves.
The grocery delivery app explosion is starting in earnest. By the end of 2020, Instacart sales are said to have grown by a staggering 229 percent.
Recipes using pantry staples like canned beans and dried pasta are enjoying a sudden resurgence in popularity. Related: People who typically eat out at every meal are inundated with advice on exactly how to stock their pantries.
To no one’s surprise, home cooking is trending. Campbell’s soup sales are up 59 percent this month and goldfish crackers are also up 23 percent.
The waiting list to join the exclusive Rancho Gordo Bean Club is estimated at 10 months.
Sourdough is considered the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Photogenic Dalgona coffee — instant coffee whipped with sugar and water, poured over milk — is ready for its closeup on TikTok.
Food banks are swamped by millions seeking help; The National Guard is called into some states to ensure order in the distribution centers.
People discover that they can’t eat all the bananas they’ve been hoarding and start baking banana bread en masse.
Supply chain issues are forcing most Americans to recognize that there is a supply chain.
Perhaps scarred by food shortages, millions are trying to grow their own food in backyard gardens.
-See also: spring onions in the flower box.
-Related: The first focaccia gardens are created.
Marquee restaurant chains such as California Pizza Kitchen, Shake Shack and Abuelo’s are releasing cookware suitable for home cooking
Pancake cereal — tiny pancakes served in a bowl — is hitting the TikTok airwaves.
It’s the turn of the pantry-friendly one-bowl depression cake, or as it’s euphemistically renamed, “Wacky Cake.”
Communal fridges stocked with free groceries to fight food insecurity are popping up across the country.
Self-proclaimed pandemic prom queen/pantry staple Alison Roman is being canceled after making critical comments about Chrissy Teigen and Marie Kondo in an interview.
Meal delivery kits like Blue Apron are seeing subscription numbers soar. HelloFresh is facing such high demand that it’s forced to close subscriptions for a month while hiring 3,000 additional employees.
Another TikTok trend is taking off: fluffy, meringue-like cloud bread.
Home fermenting is becoming so popular that we’re running out of Mason jars.
The spring bulbs in all the flower boxes are beginning to die.
Chefs like Naomi Pomeroy and Joanne Chang are developing plans for digital cooking classes with at-home ingredient kits to offset lost restaurant revenue.
Hot air fryers, already growing in popularity, are seeing a sales surge of over two million; Author Susan Orlean tweeted to her millions of followers that she too jumped on the bandwagon.
New York Magazine launches an investigation into the great Bucatini lack of 2020.
TikTokers invent new and bizarre ways to wrap burritos, the #tortillawraphack is born.
Grocery store workers and Instacart speak out against workplace abuse and angry customer behavior. A series of workers’ strikes are planned.
Feta + tomatoes + pasta = viral hit.
The youth are getting drunk on espresso martinis because it’s the ’90s again.
Dalgona candy, an offshoot of the aforementioned Dalgona coffee, is exploding, helped in part by the Netflix show Squid Game.
Kellogg’s workers are going on strike that will affect all of the brand’s cereal plants (it ends in December).
TikTokker Emily Mariko reheats leftover salmon and rice, 45 million people cheer her on. Lizzo makes a copycat meal.
The great American baked goods craze continues, with a 42 percent increase in baking-related cookbook sales.
Grocery shelves continue to stand empty amid supply chain snafus, the Omicron wave, and brutal winter storms.
Supply chain troubles continue to wreak havoc on the lucrative avocado toast industry as the US temporarily halts imports of avocados from Mexico.
Inflation issues: According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) report on food prices for 2022, “all food prices are now expected to rise between 6.5 and 7.5 percent.” The causes given are Russia’s war in Ukraine and the Federal Reserve’s rate hike.
More than two years after it began, the pandemic is still causing supply chain issues that are wreaking havoc in grocery stores. The biggest shortage is in baby food; across the country, 40 percent of the formula is out of stock.
USDA Announces Details of “Food System Transformation Framework”; one that builds on lessons learned from the pandemic and the food supply chain disruptions caused by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The plan’s stated goals include building a more resilient supply chain, creating a more equitable food system, expanding access to nutritious food, and “emphasizing equity” for rural and underserved communities.
Jamie Feldmar is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, and cookbook author.
Bri is an Oakland-based writer and illustrator.