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From the viral baked pasta recipe that made feta cheese a hot commodity to the cheesy beef tacos served with a side of consommé, here are the top ten dining trends of 2021

With many of us cooped up at home, smartphones in hand, trends have gone viral at an acceleration like never before. and food trends are no exception. In 2020, the Internet was flooded with recipes for dalgona coffee, ube cheese treats, and sushi bake, among many others. Here, we round up the top ten dining trends that ruled 2021—how many have you tried?

See also: Baked Sushi, Dalgona Coffee, Ube Cheese Pandesal: 6 Foods You’ve Probably Made, Seen, Or Eaten In Quarantine

1. Air Frying

Since its inception in 2010, the air fryer has come and gone in popularity—but in 2021, the kitchen appliance saw a significant upward trend. Apart from offering a healthier alternative to deep-fried dishes, the device also provides rapid cooking and minimal mess. Either due to increased attention to our health or more time spent at home to rediscover forgotten purchases, air fryer recipes were frequently searched and rapidly exchanged this year.

See also: Beef Wellington in an Air Fryer? 14 Recipes That Will Surprise You

2. Homemade Pizza

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Photo: Saundarya Srinivasan / Unsplash
Above Photo: Saundarya Srinivasan / Unsplash

There’s nothing quite like fresh pizza, enjoyed just seconds after it comes out of the piping-hot oven—a simple indulgence many of us missed, unable to dine-in at our favourite pizzerias for quite some time. This fervent want for the Italian delight caused many to take matters into their own hands and explore the art of homemade pizza. With the use of relatively small but powerful ovens like those from Ooni, Alfa Forni, and Valoriani, making homemade pizzas can be extremely rewarding and doubles as a great bonding activity for the family.

See also: How to Make Your Own Pizza at Home: Tips From Our Tatler Friends

3. TikTok Feta Pasta

Arguably the most viral dish on the list, this baked feta pasta recipe became so popular that the beloved Greek cheese was sold out in grocery stores around the world. MacKenzie Smith, also known as her social media handle @grilledcheesesocial, posted the instructional video on TikTok on the 29th of January 2021. However, the recipe was actually inspired by a similar dish that grew viral in Finland two years prior. Developed by Jenni Häyrinen, this Finnish originator first trended on Instagram with the hashtag #uunifetapasta. With minimal ingredients and even less technique required, the recipe is unbelievably easy to follow yet results in a delicious, comforting bowl of pasta, perfect for weeknight meals.

Watch the viral 2021 TikTok video here.

See also: Elevate Your Everyday Family Meals: Tips and Recipes From Robby and Aliza Apostol-Goco

4. Nasi Goreng

A flavourful and adaptable one-pot-dish, nasi goreng was among the most searched dishes of the year. Often enjoyed as breakfast fare in Indonesia and Malaysia, the dish marries the bold flavours of terasi (shrimp paste) and kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), producing a rich, sweet-umami profile. Serve it with a fried egg, some fresh vegetables, and your protein of choice, and you’re all set for a filling and tasty start to the day.

See also: What To Eat: Popular Rice Dishes Around The World

5. Oats

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Photo: Visual Stories Micheile / Unsplash
Above Photo: Visual Stories Micheile / Unsplash

Speaking of filling breakfast food, oats are a reliable pantry staple that beam with multiple health benefits. However, they can also be quite bland. Thankfully, a creative few took to the Internet to share their recipes for delicious oats dishes, including baked oats, overnight oats, protein oats and more, doing away with the tasteless goop we may have been familiar with. 

See also: 11 Filipino Breakfast Foods To Help You Start Your Day Off Right

6. Birria Tacos

Traditionally a goat stew eaten with a side of fresh tortilla, birria is a treasured Mexican recipe that has taken on new, Tex-Mex life in a taco format. These birria tacos are made with beef instead of goat, with the meat packed into the taco and served with a side of the birria broth. Additionally, the tacos also ooze with melted cheese, inspiring sensuous cheese pulls on Instagram and TikTok that drove its social media virality this 2021.

See also: Where To Order Tacos In Metro Manila

7. Honeycomb Candy Dalgona

On the 17th of September, the South Korean thriller drama Squid Game was released worldwide. Soon after, the riveting series smashed numerous records and currently holds the title of Netflix’s most-watched show to date. Not to be confused with the dalgona coffee craze of 2020, dalgona candy (featured in the third episode) became a sought-after sweet as devotees hunted replicas of the treat and even tried to make it themselves at home. Essentially a thin, round honeycomb with a shape embossed in its centre, the trendy challenge involves attempting to carve out the said shape (either a circle, triangle, star, or the deadly umbrella) without breaking the delicate figure.

See also: How to Make Your Own Dalgona Candy From Squid Game

8. Fresh Homemade Pasta

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Photo: Alex Ivrs / Unsplash
Above Photo: Alex Ivrs / Unsplash

In 2020, sourdough and focaccia swept through kitchens across the globe as amateur bakers tried their hand at baking bread from scratch. This mania was soon followed by an obsession with fresh, homemade pasta, from classic variants to artful creations laminated with herbs and even edible flowers.

See also: Where to Order Fresh Pasta: Squid Ink Tagliatelle, Truffle Ricotta Ravioli, and More

9. Hard Seltzer

Although hard seltzers first saw popularity in 2019, the refreshing alcoholic beverage has consistently peaked in popularity every summer since. Low in calories, carbs, and ABV, the carbonated drink is often naturally flavoured with fruit and made boozy with fermented cane sugar. Recently, the leading brand White Claw has been met with a slew of competitors from Bud Light to Smirnoff and even Good Tides in Australia.

10. Plant-Based Diets

Perhaps the most significant trend on the list, and one that will likely strengthen in years to come, is the growth of plant-based diets. In addition to the established plant-based meats that have gone mainstream, 2021 saw the rise of Asian brand in the industry including Karana from Singapore, which makes its alternative meat with jackfruit, and unMeat by Century Pacific Food Food, Inc. in the Philippines, made from non-GMO soy protein, onions, wheat, and other plant-based products. 


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