Tracking the list of most Googled recipes over the past few years is both revealing and mystifying. The most Googled recipe for 2021 was gnocchi, perhaps not a surprise given our ongoing love for Italian food. But the most mystifying is how curried sausages became the third most Googled recipe of the year. I remember my mother’s curried sausages only too well. They came swimming in a thick greenish sauce, along with onion, sultanas and, sometimes, banana. One can only hope that today’s curried sausages are considerably more gourmet.
Looking at the five years to 2021, one recipe stands out: beef stroganoff. Invented in 1891 and a dinner party classic in the 1960s, the dish enjoyed an uncanny revival in the 2010s. Topping the list in 2017, it slipped to number two the following year, and came third in 2019 and 2020. But in 2021, it missed the top 10 altogether. Instead, dips had a moment, with guacamole (No. 2) and tzatziki (No. 10) both making an appearance. Rounding out the 10 most Googled recipes of 2021 were Anzac biscuits (the only stayer from the 2020 list), brussels sprouts recipes, minestrone, lamb shanks and Rocky Road. And Negroni – a cocktail that certainly hit its stride during lockdown.
Speaking of lockdown, perhaps it’s no surprise that the top search for the previous year was hand sanitiser, closely followed by sourdough bread. What was it about social isolation that had us all feverishly baking? And satisfying our sweet tooth tendencies. Donuts, crumpets, Anzac cookies [sic], banana bread and macarons also made the 2020 list, along with Dalgona coffee (apparently a Tik Tok phenomenon that requires you to whisk instant coffee and sugar together for a very long time to produce a creamy, foamy drink).
Looking back to pre-pandemic days, in 2019 Australians were Googling “plant-based recipes”, scones, and “MKR recipes 2019”. My Kitchen Rules, the Seven Network’s response to Masterchef, had been a top rating program until the 2019 season, when ratings began to slide. Frittata, fried rice and risotto also featured, the high-carb eats perhaps a reaction against the previous year’s top-rating search: Keto recipes.