Food trends: What we were eating in 2013

We look back on popular ingredients, cuisines and dishes to see what was the cream of 2013.


What you were searching for in 2013....


According to Google, the most searched for food term globally was “how to make pancakes”. Fret not flippers. If you want to hone your batter skills, we have video guides on making traditional and American pancakes, plus the ultimate guide to making pancakes.


If big breakfasts are not your thing our stats show the most popular search term on by a landslide was chicken - much more versatile. Soup was the next most popular serving, followed by salmon, pasta and cheesecake.  

Our most popular recipes

Thai pork and peanutSo what foods were we exprimenting with? This year's top ten new recipes shows a triumphant year for savoury dishes. Have you tried them all yet?

1. Thai pork & peanut curry
2. Crispy chilli beef
3. Chicken mole with coriander rice
4. Chicken, squash & pesto lasagne
5. Pot-roast beef with French onion gravy
6. Mango chicken, bean & rice bake
7. 5-a-day couscous
8. Penne with chorizo & broccoli
9. Tomato tarts with roasted garlic & goat's cheese
10. Squidgy pear, hazelnut & chocolate spread cake

Most popular cuisines

Italian fishOur users loved browsing for Italian food this year, but cuisines from the farther flung corners of the globe were also popular. 

Top 10 cuisines on

1. Italian
2. Mexican
3. Chinese
4. British
5. Spanish
6. Moroccan
7. French
8. Indian
9. Thai
10. Greek

Elsewhere, Peruvian food popped up on the restaurant and street food scene. If you’re new to it, try zingy ceviche out for starters. Korean food also started making waves in the UK, from pickled kimchi to deeply savoury meat and rice dishes. 

Most popular ingredients

Herby quinoaIt's hard to beat chicken and the popular poultry was definitely a site mainstay, but the inclusion of quinoa in our top ten search terms suggests people are still stuck for inspiration when it comes to this storecupboard grain. Our glossary article is a good place to start. 

Top 10 ingredients on

1. Chicken
2. Quinoa
3. Lamb
4. Salmon
5. Mackerel
6. Aubergine
7. Pasta
8. Prawns
9. Rhubarb
10. Trout

What was happening on the food scene?

Street food

GozlemeOpen-air food markets selling reasonable global cuisine is a hot trend that refuses to fade. All year round, traders are pitching up to offer hand-held, casual meals, showing this isn’t just a summer fad. If you don’t dare brave the cold during winter, try one of our street food-inspired recipes at home –Turkish-inspired gozleme, Indian roti wraps and a new take on Spanish churros are some of our favourites. 


The snaking queues outside new American burger chains show the popularity of patty is stronger than ever. If you prefer to do it yourself, we have lots of burger recipes, from classic beef, to leaner chicken and turkey burgers. 

The Cronut

When the Dominique Ansel bakery launched a hybrid of the doughnut and croissant in May, it was a worldwide food sensation within a matter of days. Edd Kimber adapts it in our January 2014 issue – his doughsant is labour-intensive, but worth it if you fancy getting stuck in to some serious dough action. If you’re a traditionalist, we have a standard doughnut recipe too, plus a video guide to deep-frying and sugaring your sweet treat.   

What we learnt in 2013...

In the process of writing hundreds of new recipes, our cookery team discovered lots of new tips, techniques and clever shortcuts. Here are five we think you’ll find useful. 

1.    The perfect burger

Tex Mex burgerThe fibres in meat contract as it cooks, which is why a steak often gets smaller and fatter during cooking. If you put a thumb print in the middle of your burger before cooking, it will cook to a perfect flat patty. 

2.    Some like it hot

Don’t waste your chillies. If you only need one, pop the rest in the freezer. They can be used from frozen whenever you want to inject some spice into a recipe. 

3. No-cook noodles

If using egg noodles in a recipe, there is no need to boil them first. Just cover with boiling water and leave to soak for about 10 minutes before draining. This way, the noodles stay a little firmer, like the ones you get in Chinese restaurants. 

4.    Ready to eat?

AvocadoTo tell when an avocado is ripe without bruising it, pull out the stubby stalk at the top. If it comes away easily it’s ready. If it’s hard to pull, leave it to ripen for a few days in the fruit bowl. 

5.    Pie-eyed

On a BBC Good Food magazine shoot, James Martin shared his tip for giving pies a shiny glaze. “Apply a thin coating of egg yolk before baking, and another layer straight after – the steam from the pie will cook it, so be quick!”

What tickled your pickle in 2013? Share your favourite recipes, ingredients and cuisines with us below… 

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