The joy of cooking

Chances are good that a large percentage of EYB Members have made one of two viral dishes from cookbook author Alison Roman. Both her Spiced chickpea stew with coconut and turmeric (featured in The New York Times and shown below) and her Chocolate chunk salted shortbread from her smash cookbook Dining In went viral on Instagram. Tens of thousands of people posted their own versions of said dishes with the hashtags #TheStew and #TheCookies. 

spiced chickpea stew
photo: Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott for The New York Times

While there is no way to predict exactly which recipes will trend like those two did, the fact that it happens quite often is completely understandable, as Nikita Richardson explains in a Grub Street articles. “That the recipes are relatively easy and generally delicious is part of the appeal,” says Richardson, adding that “but the most important aspect of hashtag cooking is that it allows home cooks to feel like they’re part of a community – one where joining is as easy as cooking something quick.”

Food has brought people together for millenia as a vital component of every celebration as well as in day-to-day family life. It’s no wonder that in an age where people feel disconnected amidst a constant barrage of information that they turn to food as a way to belong to a larger group. Countless online cooking groups (like the EYB Cookbook Club and The Cookbook Junkies) celebrate this sense of connectedness by bringing together people who are passionate about food and cooking.  

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