We can probably all agree that the world is a funny place at the moment. As much as we miss our family and friends, we’re also missing our favourite restaurants and take-aways too. Coronavirus has left us all in a situation like no other, where staying in and cooking is the new night out. Instead of getting creative with outfits and makeup, we’re now raiding the kitchen cupboards and knocking out meals with whatever ingredients we can get our hands-on.
Supermarkets might be a different experience compared to pre-lockdown life, but this hasn’t stopped the inner-chefs in all of us. Evidence of this lies within Instagram under the hashtags #coronacooking #quarantinecuisine #covidcooking and #quarantinecooking and Google search trends. People who once would have only photographed posh dishes from top-notch restaurants are now proudly displaying their haphazard homemade meals.
Uswitch, who donate to a charity of your choice when you use their switching service via Give as you Live Online, looked online at what people are concocting in quarantine and discovered the top ten most cooked foods.
Probably one of the most diversely used meats, Chicken takes the top spot for posts on Instagram. It seems for the meat-eaters out there, you simply can’t go wrong with a classic chicken-based dish. However, maybe what’s more surprising is the popularity of baking. Coming in second place, cake creations are dominating our Instagram feeds, ranging from simple cupcakes to sparkly unicorn cakes. The issue with baking is that it can take time to pull together a masterpiece that’s social media worthy, but luckily for us, we all have loads of that on our hands at the moment. Clearly we’re enjoying our sweet treats, with both cakes and cookies coming in the top ten, proving that we’re not just cooking for necessity, but also for the sheer fun of it!
Social media fanatics might have noticed an influx of bread making attempts popping up all over the internet. It seems that many of us have gone back to basics, with bread loaf recipe searches on Google increasing six-fold. But who wants plain bread when you can have banana bread?
Google has shown an extra 474,100 searches in March for variations of banana bread recipes. With all this bread making it’s quite understandable that flour is a rare sight in supermarkets these days. Grocery sales of flour were up by 92% in the four weeks to March 22nd.
Another staple ingredient for amateur bakers are eggs, and just like flour, these have become harder to get your hands on. Substitute ingredients have become a necessity now the shelves are empty. But this desperation to kill time by baking has caused a noticeable spike of 7,140 extra Google searches around egg substitutes and how to bake without eggs.
For those that have either successfully acquired eggs from the supermarket, or have egg-laying hens at home, we’ve looked at the most popular ways in which they’ve been cooked. Worryingly, the unhealthiest option of fried is the egg type of choice, but a saving grace is that almost as many people are opting for boiled instead. The messiness of scrambled eggs appears not to be as worthy of an Instagram post. Perhaps there’s no way to make scrambled appear photogenic. Staying at home more might mean we’re saving money, but it’s important to understand that all this extra time in the kitchen is going to be seen in our energy bills. Uswitch estimates that homes will be spending an extra £52m a week on bills due to staying home. So it’s worth seeing how your supplier can support you in these unprecedented times and whether you can lower your bills. Plus, when you switch to a cheaper provider via Uswitch using Give as you Live Online, you’ll raise up to £8 for the charity of your choice, for free.
Once this all blows over, we’ll all be back in our favourite restaurants, but as better cooks and with a higher appreciation of the effort required to make decent meals day-in, day-out.
All data was worked out by analysing the top 500 hashtags in #coronacooking #quarantinecuisine #covidcooking and #quarantinecooking and analysing UK search trends from Jan – April 2020. You can read the full results here.