The 2010s were one heck of a ride in the food and drink world. While some of us have a hard time remembering what we had for breakfast—never mind what we ate a decade ago!—we dug deep to take a trip down a culinary memory lane. Love 'em or hate 'em (or love to hate 'em), here are 10 things we were all obsessed with over the last 10 years.
The Instant Pot
Small appliances have had a big impact on the way we cook. If you've hopped aboard the Instant Pot train, you know firsthand how convenient the one-pot wonder can be. Since it first launched in 2010, the electric pressure cooker has become an essential part of many homes and our kitchens will never be the same. If you use yours a few times a week, you're not alone—interest in IP recipes were on the rise over the last decade.
Getting the 'Gram
Okay, we'll admit it: we're guilty of 'gramming before we eat. But it turns out, we're not alone: as of press time, 364,942,954 posts were tagged #food on the photo-sharing platform. Since Instagram launched in 2010, a huge number of us have turned into amateur food photographers trying to get that perfect shot. Some restaurants take Instagram into account when designing their eateries, while others roll their eyes at the practice. Us? Maybe we haven't had a hot meal in a decade, but at least we've got a great collection of #foodporn.
Açaí bowls. Grain bowls. Poke bowls. Over the past decade, we've adopted the bowl as our lunchtime vessel of choice. Sure, a smoothie in a cup is more portable and açaí isn't quite the cure-all some wellness bloggers would have us believe, but if the bowl's pervasiveness on menus everywhere is any indication, it seems like we've left the humble plate behind for good.
It started with truffle fries, but the bougie fungus has popped up in everything from cooking oil to pizza and even Oprah-approved hot sauce. We're not mad about it when it's done right—truffle has an umami, funky, earthy flavor that immediately makes anything taste fancier than it is. We may not be able to open a menu without running into a dish topped with truffle, but at least we seem to have gotten over our sun-dried tomato phase.
The Keto Diet
Remember when the 90s had us all guzzling olive oil in the name of the Mediterranean diet? Now, it seems like every other person is following the high-fat, low-carb keto diet (resulting in cauliflower everything). The practice technically started in around 1911 as a treatment for epilepsy, but today, most people pursue ketosis as a weight-loss strategy. Does it work? Well, yes. But like all diets, it only works as long as you keep it up.
If you thought the humble doughnut couldn't possibly get any better, you've clearly never tried a Cronut. The flaky croissant-meets-doughnut first conceived by pastry chef Dominique Ansel kicked off a trend of hybrid desserts that still hasn't hit its limit. We've got the mufgel (half muffin, half bagel), cruffin (half croissant, half muffin), and the Pumpecapple Piecake from Texas' Three Brothers Bakery. The massive Thanksgiving dessert involves three layers of cake and pie, plus cream cheese icing and caramel drizzle, all topped off with a nap. It also opened the doors to other over-the-top desserts, including the viral pile-everything-on-top milkshakes first popularized by New York burger joint Black Tap, and all the rainbow-hued unicorn treats.
It's not the reason Millennials can't afford mortgages (that would be student loans), but avocado toast became our national obsession right around the same time Instagram helped us all share our food with the world. Nobody can seem to agree who invented it—Australians have loved it for decades—but the creamy, crunchy, red pepper flake-sprinkled breakfast is no doubt here to stay.
In an increasingly body-positive world, we've started embracing our physical quirks. And that's great for our self esteem, but not so much for the diet industry. Over the 2010s, we all became more focused on "wellness," with the exploding popularity of meat alternatives, kombucha, non-dairy milks, and salads as a lifestyle. Whether all of these things make us healthier is up for debate, but we can't argue with focusing more on health than body size. Besides, have you tried oat milk? It's truly changed our coffee game.
It's not just a decorating trend. Millennial pink has found its way onto our plates, too—from Starbucks' pretty-in-pink unicorn latte to beet hummus, açaí bowls, pink Kit-Kats, and of course, rose all day. And who can argue with eating food that looks as good as it tastes? The world is depressing enough these days. Let us have our flirty-looking food.
Over the past decade, we've slowly started to care more about the planet and work to reduce our waste. That means reusable shopping bags, non-plastic straws, Stasher bags, beeswax as sustainable food wrapping, and compostable everything. We're reducing, reusing, and recycling more of our food packaging than ever before, and that's a great thing.