During these quarantine months, home cooks have launched food trends that are different from those set by professional chefs and popular TV network personalities. Driven by a myriad of pandemic-related factors, Instagram has flooded with posts of the same made-at-home dish.
Whipped Dalgona coffee was the first obsession when we were all just beginning to stay at home in mid-to-late March. Visually ideal for IG and totally new to many Americans’ culinary lexicons, the drink is made from pantry staples like instant coffee and sugar. It was most likely influenced by grocery stores’ empty shelves and the economic hardship caused by seismic job loss. It lengthens the time it takes to make your usual cup of drip—a nod to our collective search to fill the unremarkable days—and the pay-off is a frothy treat with an adult dose of mood-enhancing caffeine.
Next came ooey-gooey banana bread, another recipe involving common grocery store staples. As winter turned to early spring many turned to baking for stress management and to lower their skyrocketing screen time. Just like Dalgona coffee, the basic recipe is simple to execute and the product is another feel-good sweet treat. Especially when it’s enhanced with chocolate chips.
And, of course, the sourdough craze almost exhausted the bread flour market. This home-baking response, however, seems natural since bread was one of the first items to deplete during the start of the pandemic. Serial Instagram stories show starters’ progression, impressive scoring mosaics, and just about everything else you can think of when it comes to sourdough.
So, what will we all be whipping up this summer as we continue to social distance? Here are a few predictions:
Pickles, Jams, and Way More Preserved Produce
Our collective stay-at-home-summer kitchen will likely be filled in some capacity with jars of pickled and fermented vegetables like cabbage, cucumbers, and carrots. With all the beautifully ripe berries and stone fruit that come with summer, it’s highly probable some will go full Little House on the Prairie with jam to stock up for winter.
We went from a sweet bread to a savory bread, but now it’s time for pasta. It’s another pantry staple just like bread, but it doesn’t require you to turn on the oven, which is a key factor for many at-home cooks in the summertime (especially if you have to conserve or go without AC). It usually requires specific kitchen equipment, but a majority of the most-popular shapes can be made completely by hand. The process can get the kids off their screens and into the kitchen with hands-on kneading and enjoying the fruits of their labor.
This is another time-consuming sweet treat like Dalgona, but one the whole family can enjoy. The extra equipment isn’t necessary and usually very expensive. So, try making your ice cream from easily sourced ingredients and a no-churn process—you’ll usually just need any old electric mixer, a plastic bag, and a freezer. It’s a summertime staple for kids and a nostalgic one for adults.