The end of 2023 was marked by the release of Google’s top ten recipes for the year – Australia’s most-searched dishes over the preceding 12 months. As usual, it was a pretty random selection with searches often driven by social media trends, current events or television mentions. The only dish the list had in common with that of 2022 was lamb stew – up four places from No. 10 to No. 6 in 2023.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the coronation of King Charles sparked interest in a couple of dishes with royal pedigrees. Topping the list was the Coronation Quiche, selected by Charles and Camilla as the official dish for their special day. Credited with boosting egg sales throughout Britain, the choice was condemned by many for being far too plebian despite the inclusion of a couple of unusual ingredients like broad beans and tarragon. The last time quiche had featured in the Top 10 was back in 2017, when Quiche Lorraine scraped in at No. 10. The other royal dish in Google’s top ten was Coronation Chicken – the official dish for Queen Elizabeth’s coronation back in 1953. It featured at No. 3 on the list.
For those of us not plugged in to social media, the Grimace Shake at No.2, was a puzzle. Turns out Grimace is a purple blobby character that has, on and off since the 1980s, been part of McDonald’s advertising. Originally the character was supposed to represent a taste bud. Grimace was revived in June 2023 to promote a birthday celebration. He took over the burger giant’s social media channels and a gooey purple shake (soft serve, blueberries, strawberry jam and milk) called the Grimace Shake was the signature dish of the promotion.
Anzac Biscuits, fourth on the list, have made previous appearances in 2020 and 2021, although they missed out in 2022. No. 5, Chicken Honolulu (with pineapple as a main ingredient) may owe some of its sudden rise to fame to a segment on AdamLiaw and Poh Ling’s television series Great Australian Bites, when Peter Everett (former host of Ready, Steady, Cook) prepared the dish. Sorry, you lost me at “pineapple”.
Next came the aforementioned Lamb Stew, followed by the Pornstar Martini. This bears not the slightest resemblance to an actual martini as it’s a sticky mix of vanilla vodka, passionfruit liqueur, lime juice, sugar syrup, prosecco and fresh passionfruit. (I’m leaving the bar now.) No. 8, Marry Me Chicken, is another Tic Toc phenomenon involving chicken breast, sundried tomatoes and cream while No. 9 is a classic Chicken and Leek Pie.
Completing Google’s top ten is the recipe for Modak – sweet Indian dumplings. This is, perhaps, a reflection of the increasing number of Australians with Indian heritage. As of the end of June 2021, people born in India represented 9.5 per cent of Australia’s overseas-born population and 2.8 per cent of Australia’s total population. Maybe that’s also why recipes for dahl topped the Google list in 2022.
Compare the Top Ten lists from 2017 to 2023 here.