Every season of quarantine can be marked by a food trend. Last year around this time, we were all experimenting with sourdough and banana bread. On the heels of our carbo loads came dalgona coffee. I’d be remiss not to mention the viral quesadilla hack.
And now, we’ve arrived at the latest: the baked feta pasta.
The beauty is in its simplicity — all you need are grape or cherry tomatoes, pasta noodles of your choice (though according to social feeds everywhere, penne seems to be a favorite), some olive oil, whatever seasonings you prefer and (of course) a big, salty block of feta.
But you probably knew all of that already. What you might not know is how wildly interested the world is in this food trend — so we asked the Google Trends team to tell us.
The interest in feta alone sharply increased in late January and peaked in early February, and it’s sitting high still. According to Google Trends, search interest in feta and pasta are at all-time highs in the U.S. “Baked feta pasta,” “viral feta pasta” and “tomato and feta pasta” are breakout searches as well over the past month. New Hampshire, Oregon, Washington D.C., Minnesota and Pennsylvania are the most interested in “baked feta pasta,” according to Google Trends.
Searches for the cheese and the pasta recipe are both trending and even hit a record high in February 2021, but when you compare the two…it’s no contest. Feta is the clear search interest winner. In fact, it’s the top trending cheese over the last 90 days in the U.S. The cheese stands alone.
Also in the U.S., for the first time ever, feta surpassed Parmigiano-Reggiano last month.
Feta’s newfound fame extends beyond the viral pasta, though. According to Google Trends, these are the most popular feta recipes:
Shakshuka with feta
Spinach feta quiche
Vegan feta pasta
Sadly, your local grocery store might be all sold out of blocks of the trendy cheese: The question “can you make baked feta pasta with crumbled feta?” spiked more than 500% in the last week of February.
If you can’t find feta in block or crumbled form, you could try another recipe altogether: Google Trends data says a little something called “baked ziti” is also a breakout search term over the past 90 days…