As much as we love to socialize on Facebook and read “you know who’s” ridiculous tweets, the most devastating thing about China’s VPN crackdown has to be the possibility of no longer being able to use Google.
Not only because it’s the only search engine that actually finds the results you’re looking for (no offence Bing), but also because there are so many interesting insights to be taken from its search data.
Moreover, Google’s autocomplete search suggestions can be quite revealing to say the least…
Anyway, rather than be absorbed in our own misery, we’re going to make the most of Google while we still can. After last week’s post on Europe’s most searched-for dishes, this week we’re going to be taking a look at the top trending foods in the USA, according to Google’s 2016 Food Trends report.
Functional foods & ingredients
Nowadays, everyone seems to pay special attention to the health benefits of the ingredients they consume. Home-made wholesome grain bowls are more popular than ever and blue jeans are being increasingly replaced by yoga pants!
In line with this evolution, Americans are turning to food to fill needs beyond hunger or cravings and want to know how to optimize their diet in order to look and feel their best. Here are the top 5 functional foods that Americans search for, in reverse order:
A fermented milk drink that’s made with kefir grains, kefir contains beneficial yeast and the friendly ‘probiotic’ bacteria that’s found in yogurt.
4) Manuka Honey
Produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native manuka bush, manuka honey is commonly sold as an alternative medicine and boasts many antibacterial-fighting properties.
Nutritious and plentiful in hot climates, jackfruit is believed to contain nutrients that can regulate or avert different diseases such as high blood pressure and cancer. Some vegans even say it tastes like pulled pork!
2) Apple Cider Vinegar
Seeing as it has potent biological effects, can kill bacteria, lower blood sugar levels and help you lose weight, it’s hardly surprising that apple cider vinegar is so popular in America and the rest of the world.
As well as being a significant ingredient in most commercial curry powders, turmeric is used as a spice in South East Asian and Middle Eastern cooking and has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat various diseases.
One of the best ways to experience a different culture, without burning a hole in your pocket and getting on a long-haul flight, is through food. Here are the top 5 foreign foods that Americans search for, in reverse order:
Literally Spanish for “small taco”, a taquito is a Mexican food dish that typically consists of a small rolled-up tortilla, usually containing a meaty filling, that’s crisp-fried.
Probably South Korea’s most well-known dish on the international stage, Bibimbap is the champion of comfort foods. Served as a bowl of white rice topped with namul and gochujang, soy sauce, or doenjang, bibimbap literally means “mixed rice”.
3) Mexican Candy
Generally doused in hot sauce, salt and tamarind, Mexican sweets can be a bit baffling to outsiders. Pulparindos are particularly popular!
Chinese-style white noodles served in a meat or fish-based broth, often flavoured with soy sauce or miso, ramen is one of Japan’s most popular creations! Along with Mario and Pokemon of course…
A Vietnamese noodle soup that consists of broth, rice noodles, herbs and meat, phở has become hugely popular among Americans. According to Google’s data, people living in Denver and Seattle are particularly obsessed with it.
As mentioned earlier, Americans are increasingly wanting food to be healthier and that’s led them to look for snacks that fit into a healthy lifestyle. Whether it’s for portion control or convenience, they’re looking to indulge in bite sizes. Here are the top 5 bite-sized snacks that Americans search for, in reverse order:
5) Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
Hot and spicy cauliflower bites that are battered, baked and smothered with hot sauce, anyone?
4) Edible Cookie Dough
We’re not really convinced that this is much of a healthy snack, but hey, YOLO and all that.
3) Mochi Ice Cream
A confection made from Japanese mochi with an ice cream filling, mochi ice cream was invented by a Japanese-American businesswoman and is popular in Asia, Hawaii and the West Coast of the United States.
2) Cheese Curds
Solid pieces of curdled milk that can be eaten alone as a snack or used in various regional dishes, cheese curds have a slightly rubbery texture and squeak when you eat them. They can be fresh or fried!
1) Mug Cakes
No need to overcomplicate things, a mug cake is exactly what you think it is. That’s right, a cake in a mug. Mug cakes are usually cooked in the microwave and can be ready in less than 10 minutes. Most Americans searching for “mug cakes” were actually looking for recipes.
So there you have it fellow foodies, any surprises or other foods you would have expected to see?