It’s September 2010, and Food52 just celebrated its first birthday. Meanwhile, Emeril Lagasse has a weekly talk show on something called “Ion Television.” The 14th season of Ina Garten’s Food Network show Barefoot Contessa is in full swing. So is the sixth season of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. Rachael Ray is still making meals in under 30 minutes. And people are really interested in cupcakes.
Also, Instagram doesn’t exist. Yahoo Mail is the third most visited website on the internet. William and Kate are not married. Lebron James has yet to play a game for the Miami Heat. The fourth most viewed YouTube video of the year stars an “Annoying Orange.” Every week, more people watch American Idol than anything else on television. That includes Jeopardy, which recently aired an episode featuring Watson—an artificial intelligence machine made by IBM—defeating the show’s all-time champion, Ken Jennings.
Technology is humming along, especially in the pocket of your coolest friend, who plays Fruit Ninja on his iPhone 4. You—and 608 million other people—are uploading pictures to Facebook. Rarely are these photos of food. Avocado toast hasn’t yet had its viral moment, but Food52 just had its first—thanks to a sriracha recipe.
That was 13 years ago, and food—how it’s covered, promoted, and celebrated—looks very different today. And though the growth of food media during that time can easily be quantified and analyzed, measuring how much our community’s collective palate has changed since 2010 is a trickier task. Sriracha’s absence from our list of 2023’s most saved recipes would suggest that our tastes have shifted, but to draw any meaningful conclusions, we need to look at a larger sample size. With that in mind, let’s take an analytical stroll down memory lane to see just how different our interests were back then. Here were the 10 most popular recipes on our site in 2010.
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Thirteen years later, this recipe still has a perfect, five-star rating. “Made this again. Still love it. And I love that my kids love it,” wrote community member cheese1227 in 2010. “Spectacular recipe!” said MrsWheelbarrow. “I made this for a friend and it received five-star reviews from us both!” echoed Jazzdad.
“Misoyaki means ‘miso-grill’ in Japanese, and traditionally, this marinade is used on fish like salmon, cod, or mahi mahi, all equally delightful,” wrote recipe developer Tim Wu. “I thought I’d try it out on roast chicken, and it’s actually quite nice.”
A member of the five-ingredients-or-less club, these sweet potato latkes are quick to make and easy to enjoy. Serve with what the recipe calls “The Cream Dipping Sauce” for best results.
Roasted potatoes are lacquered in a low-effort, garlic-heavy aioli to create a fryer-less version of patatas bravas. However, the best thing about this recipe might be its bare but effective description that simply reads, “This is delicious.”
Here’s what our editors said about this recipe in 2010: “If Betty Crocker had a sophisticated, seductive cousin, this would be her signature cake: It’s pure deep, dark, fudgy goodness…The best part is that you can throw this together in 15 minutes, and it will be out of the oven in another 45—making your total time to greatness about an hour.”
These cookies immediately sparked controversy amongst our community. While one community member praised them as “easy and delicious,” another labeled the cookies “bland and crumbly.” While we’ll choose to believe the cookies are great, the passionate and polarized reviews are entertaining enough to warrant your attention.
“Kale and Quinoa Pilaf, you saucy minx. You arrive all buttoned up, announcing yourself like a Very Healthy Recipe, and then you show your true colors: salty feta, lush pine nuts, and a quick tang of vinegar to keep everything in line,” wrote former Food52 editor Marian Bull.
“Cheese1227’s caramels really evoke the essence of fall, and her approach is elegant, not heavy-handed,” wrote Food52 co-founders Amanda Hesser and Merril Stubbs. “The earthiness of pumpkin, softened with cream, permeates each chewy bite, followed by a whisper of spice, and the delicate crunch of fleur de sel is a clever detail, offsetting the sweetness of the candy.”
One of our most popular recipes of all time, this easy, make-ahead asparagus from recipe developer kaykay has received over 300 positive comments from our community members since its publication in April 2010.
Earlier this year, Amanda detailed this recipe’s viral history, shedding light on how the recipe appeared just before “peak sriracha.” It’s also still a damn good recipe.