Photo: Samantha Linsell/StockFood
Chicken is no longer top turkey, at least when it comes to Yahoo Internet searches. “Banana bread” was the most-queried food term in 2014, knocking chicken—2013’s top-searched term—into the number two slot.
What’s to thank for this historic upset? Has a widespread potassium deficiency suddenly struck the nation? Did everyone simultaneously buy one too many bananas, sparking a baking revolution? We may never know. In the realm of curious phenomena, a boosted interest in banana bread is one we’ll support without explanation.
The phrase “Rice Krispie Treats” is also among this year’s most frequent searches, though it didn’t even crack the top ten last year. Perhaps the popularity of online shops like Misterkrisp, which makes custom Rice Krispies sculptures, is in part to thank?
For James Beard Award-winning pastry maven Brooks Headley, the explanation is much simpler. “Rice Krispies are crunchy and nostalgic and versatile,” he told us over email. “It’s like Chex Mix. The packaged stuff is OK. But when you make it at home? Holy crap! Way better! Totally different animal.”
As for banana bread, Headley believes its popularity can be attributed to the basic fact that it’s “one of many excellent uses of almost rotten bananas” and “society finds it acceptable for breakfast or dessert.” Truth!
But 2014 wasn’t merely a banner year for baked goods. In 2013, not a single vegetable cracked the top ten search terms, but both “zucchini” and “guacamole” made the cut this time around. Granted, the healthfulness of both depends upon how they’re eaten—deep-fried zucchini fries and chips ‘n guac aren’t exactly health foods—but more searches for fruits and veggies can’t be a bad thing.
Amanda Cohen, the chef and owner of the veggie-centric restaurant Dirt Candy in New York City, certainly thinks so. (Dirt Candy is currently closed while Cohen’s team prepares to move to a larger location.)
"I think it’s finally the year of the vegetable," Cohen told us. "We’ve hit that tipping point: They’re trendy. People show off now! They say, ‘Oh, have you tried this recipe with vegetables,’ and not ‘Have you tried this recipe with bacon?’"
Zucchini, in particular, might be the gateway vegetable for militant carnivores. “It’s hard to hate zucchini, right?” Cohen posited. “It’s not too bitter, it’s not too sweet, it’s not too green, and it’s probably not something your mother forced you to eat as a kid. It’s almost exotic, but it’s not, and you can find it everywhere.”
Here’s the full list of 2014’s top ten search terms:
Does this year’s list surprise you? Tell us below—and share what foods you were searching for this year!