Pandemic cuisine: Odd pairings, old favorites on the menu

NEW YORK — Whether it’s kimchi, beets or broccoli, the pandemic has had a strange impact on food cravings that goes beyond the joy of comfort eating.

Nearly a year into isolation, many people are embracing foods long forgotten or rejected for taste, texture or smell. Some have forced themselves to re-evaluate health-focused foods to help boost their immune systems. And with home cooking at a high, there’s a new adventurousness in the kitchen.

For Maeri Ferguson, 31, in Brooklyn, it’s all about pears.

After recovering from COVID-19, she spent months without normal taste and smell. So many foods she loved just didn’t satisfy. Now, Ferguson can again sense sweetness, saltiness and spiciness, but most foods lack nuance in flavor.

Not pears.

“My whole life I always passed on pears. Not because I didn’t like them. They just intimidated me,” Ferguson said. “I didn’t understand the differences between varietals, how

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Meet the ‘Consumer of 2021’ and Prepare for the World After the Pandemic


6 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


The pandemic changes the way consumers behave in all aspects of their lives. As they took refuge in their homes, they adopted new digital services at a dizzying rate. In addition to the growing health and hygiene concerns, the economic recession and the related decline in consumption , the change in people’s lives is staggering.

1. At home

Image: Despoistphotos.com

During the confinement, the house became a multi-universe. It is where various activities such as working, eating, playing and connecting with family and friends take place. Although general consumption decreases, the part allocated for the categories at home increases. Throughout the months of social isolation, the net intention of consumers to participate in a variety of activities at

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Bill of Fare: Quality food and loyal customers keep Antimo’s Italian Kitchen cookin’ throughout pandemic

Customer loyalty and a reputation for quality food have sustained Antimo’s Italian Kitchen in Hopewell Borough throughout the pandemic.

With indoor dining in New Jersey restricted to 25 percent of each restaurant’s capacity, the focus is on contactless curbside pickup, says owner Antimo Iovine.

“Ninety-five percent of our business is curbside pickup,” he said, since reopening after the initial state-ordered closure at the start of the pandemic.

Customers order their food and pay online, park in a spot designated for pickup, pop their trunk (making sure there is room for the food) and call the restaurant to let them know they have arrived. Staff members bring out their food and put it in the trunk.

On the restaurant website Iovine assures his customers that he and his staff are taking extra precautions for cleanliness and sanitation while offering the same quality food they are known for.

Iovine said he has

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What’s in your pandemic pantry? These staples turn home cooking into cuisine

Molly Broder re­members it like it was yesterday.

When she and her husband, Tom, opened Broder’s Cucina Italiana in 1982, “no one in Minnesota had even heard of balsamic vinegar,” she said. “Olive oil was almost impossible to find. Grocery stores only carried a tiny pyramid-shaped bottle called Pompeii, enough for one rarely cooked recipe.”

What a difference a generation makes. Actually, in kitchen terms, countless generations have transpired in just a few decades as items once considered esoteric have expanded kitchen shelves exponentially.

The result: Today’s pantries are truly, madly, deeply richer and fuller than 30, 20, even 10 years ago. The quantity and quality of packaged food has skyrocketed, and so has its availability. Once found only at ethnic markets and co-ops, now most grocery stores carry expansive selections.

The cupboards of enthusiastic home cooks have dozens of new and/or improved products — oils and vinegars, pastas and

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