At one point in time, we got our cooking tips from tried-and-true experts. Maybe you learned how to toss together a foolproof Cobb Salad from The Joy of Cooking, or you mastered a classic cassoulet thanks to a one Miss Julia Child. Martha Stewart’s picture-perfect table setting (and knowing grin) graced the cover of the revolutionary “Entertaining,” and inside those indispensable pages she taught us how to serve fondue and dainty hors d’oeuvres. More recently, Mark Bittman gave kitchen neophytes a lesson in scrambling eggs.
But these days you don’t need a publishing deal or any cuisine cred at all to reach hungry home chefs.
In fact, one highly-viewed video dubbed “kitchen hack” or a “MY MUST-TRY FAST EVERYDAY RECIPE” gives social posters a new kind of culinary world status: influencer. Or, at least, some become instantly influential. Case in point: TikTok’s ever-popular baked feta pasta. Have you gone to your local market or Trader Joe’s lately looking for a block of luscious Greek feta only to find the shelves ravaged and empty or nearly cleaned out? That’s because the power of the social media recipe is real. So real that Tiktok’s beloved simple cherry tomato feta pasta bake dish — which requires only a handful of basic ingredients and is easier than most weeknight preparations — has transcended the app and made fragrant waves outside of the Gen Z-centric platform’s algorithm. Hey, even the Washington Post deemed the dish worthy of a report. To be honest, we’ve never dared browsing Tiktok’s rabbit hole (we don’t even really know what it is exactly), even during the depths of curious quarantine ennui, but we gave the in-demand dish a try last week. Spoiler alert: It’s delicious. And you can get the recipe here. Here. And here. Oh, and everywhere.
2021 may have gotten off to a feta-tactic start, but widely-shared recipes and hacks have been floating around the Internet and beyond all year thanks to Instagram and Tiktok’s lightning fast circulation. If you want to hop on some foodie trends you may have missed while you weren’t scrolling, may we suggest these other viral concoctions?
Take Dalgona Coffee, for instance. This whipped beverage was an early pandemic favorite. Maybe because it’s such a great banana bread compliment. Originally hailing from Korea, the drink is a sweet and fluffy treat that requires instant coffee, sugar, hot water, milk, and some serious muscle if you don’t have a mixer. It’s an aesthetically pleasing caffeine jolt that can be achieved with minimal brewing skills. Find a recipe here if you’re interested in a latte alternative.
Another TiktTok revelation that wowed the web was one user’s tortilla tip. Instead of rolling or bunching or stuffing ingredients into a wrap, they offered an uncluttered solution involving slicing the tortilla into individual quadrants so it gets folded into an orderly, easy-to-hold package. Check it out here.
And for those trying to curate their Instagram feeds or impress their grandchildren, there’s always the eye-catching cloud bread, a meringue-like creation involving cornstarch, sugar, egg whites, and food coloring (if you’re feeling wild).
We love our dusty, trusty cookbooks and our longstanding family favorites, but we have to hand it to social media for introducing us to some new yummy crazes. But that doesn’t mean we’ll dip our spoons into everything. Pancake cereal happens to be another youth-approved favorite, and yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Let’s not go overboard here. What would Martha say?