Most Popular Recipe During Quarantine

This map shows the most searched recipe in Google, during the quarantine. The data is grouped by State. Hover over the map to see the food and type.
Chicken Cultural Drink Beef Dessert Side Fish Pork Breakfast

Quarantine Foods

This is a summary of the most searched recipes during the quarantine. They are grouped by main ingredient. Enjoy!


It is no surprise that most seafood searches are in the East Coast. These states were traditional fisheries grounds with access to fresh seafood. As seen in the map Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland chose Salmon. Atlantic salmon in the United States were once native to almost every coastal river northeast of the Hudson River in New York. Unfortunately overfishing reduced their population size until the fisheries closed in 1948. All Atlantic salmon in the public market is cultured and commercially grown. NOAA.

Despite the fact that Salmon is not fished in the area, it is still one of the favorites. According to Foodnessgracious, salmon is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, a tasty way to get your protein for the day and easy to cook. It is quite versatile to cook. It can be pan seared, grilled, topped with spices, fried, glazed, broiled, and baked in an infinite number of recipes.


The Midwest and South West seem to have an affection for Beef. Cattle is grown in these states so beef is not hard to find. But steak and sirloin are not the main choice for social isolation. Hamburger is the favorite form in most states. According to Epicurious, burgers are preferred because they are cheap, easy to eat, since the meat is ground up. They are familiar, we all know what to expect, but at the same time it does not have to be boring. It can be prepared in different ways with different ingredients.

Breakfast Food

This is my personal favorite. I could have breakfast in the morning, for brunch, for lunch, for tea, and for dinner. I thought of sunny side up, crepes, or even toast! But to my surprise the main option was Cinnamon Rolls. I love cinnamon rolls but I had to look up why Americans love them. An American living in Austria states that they are soft, fluffy, moist, chewy, big, gooey, have swirls, sweet, and easy to make. Which in my opinion is the reason they are preferred over other sweet and breakfast foods.

Side Dishes

These are a wide variety of dishes. The preferred dish though, is bread. Bread is quite special, Americans who work to support their families are "breadwinners". The modern American supermarket may offer fifty or more types of sliced bread. The number of recipes is immense, so there is no doubt that weather white or whole, bread can be eaten alone, with butter or jam. Homemade bread is gives a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment few other foods can provide. There is nothing better for isolation like a warm, just baked loaf of bread.


I find quite amusing that California, New York and other East Coast States searched for desserts. It might have to do with how people deal with isolation in large cities. On the other hand, I had never heard of Charoset. It is a ritual passover food mainly prepared by Jewish families during Passover. The fact that was highly searched in New York state, demonstrates that Jewish traditions and costumes are widespread in the state. "The sticky, granular mixture of fruit and nuts is meant to recall the mortar that the Jews used to build the Egyptian pharaohs' buildings (not the pyramids). Cinnamon and other spices represent straw used in brick making."

Pound Cake is another prominent dessert searched in the East Coast. Pound Cake originated in Northern Europe in the early 18th century. "Initially, the pound cake weighed four pounds; that rules out the possibility of it being named after its weight. The ingredients in the cake, however, were measured up to one pound. This is how it was traditionally made - a pound each of these four ingredients - butter, flour, sugar and eggs. The name pound cake has stuck around ever since." It might not be surprising that these two desserts are the result of cultural and ethnic traditions of immigrants that arrived to the Atlantic Coast. In times of isolation a perfect excuse to gather with family.


As with Side Dishes, I labeled "Cultural", a group of dishes that were not directly related. In this case, recipes that are associated with a particular immigrant group and culture. The first is tortillas. New Mexico is definitely influenced by Hispanic heritage and Mexican immigration. No doubt, this influenced people's minds when searching for a comfort food recipes.

Louisiana's Crawfish Etouffe has to be one of most unique. It's been a staple dish for at least 70 years, but its origins are probably Cajun. Etouffe is a French term that in this case refers to a method of cooking where seafood is smothered in vegetables with a tomato-based sauce, resulting in a stew-like seafood dish.

I hope the isolation days are over. But if you find yourself confined, these recipes will give you ideas to entertain yourself in the kitchen and enjoy some delicious foods!


Inspiration for Quarantine Recipes

For the last 4 weeks I have found myself trying to come up with 2 or 3 new recipes every day. One for lunch, one for dinner, and maybe even one Breakfast. Apparently I am not the only one. More and more Americans have found their lives changed due to the quarantine and social distancing. That is why I found this article Chicken Recipes, Bread Recipes Among Most Popular Coronavirus Cooking Searches Across America so interesting. It shows the most searched recipes by State during the last 90 days. I definitely felt related and identified myself with the results. I find myself cooking foods that I was more likely to buy, looking for ways to save money, or trying new ways to save scraps. Even more fascinating is that I have searched for many of the recipes mentioned.

I found quite interesting the amount of Burger searches and the types of food Googled by each state. You might not agree with the classification, but mixing Types of food or Main Ingredients made it easier to group. The "Cultural" type is best described as "Other", as it includes foods I could not include anywhere else, and most have an international flair. I was not sure where to include Bread, as it is a major part of Breakfast, but used so much as a side dish, I included it as a Side. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the map as much as I enjoyed reading the article.

Resources for Popular Recipes

The data source is from the article Chicken Recipes, Bread Recipes Among Most Popular Coronavirus Cooking Searches Across America. The Shapefiles were obtained from Natural Earth. The color palette is from Girly Business Cards. The code was obtained and altered from Let's make a bubble map.

Made by Luz K. Molina with D3.js.

Map of Most popular recipes during Quarantine

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