Google Food 2008: Cupcakes, Meatballs, Lemon Posset, Pork Belly

[gallery=15] The BBC reported it, so it must be fact: "Foodies were interested in recipes for cupcakes, meatballs, lemon posset and pork belly." In 2008, that is, these are the food search terms we used more than any other when querying google. Think of these as the food world's equivalent of Time Magazine's Person of the Year, only tastier.

I did a little googling myself and offer here a recipe or two for each of the four Most Queried Foods of 2008.

Cupcakes. How about these Sunken Chocolate Orange Cupcakes? I plan to take these to our annual Christmas Carol Singing Party this year. They seem simpler to make and more "accessible" than the gooey flourless chocolate bourbon cake I have made in past years.

Meatballs. Written recipes for nouvelle meatball styles did not have much tummy appeal, and recipes for regular old meatballs have to be suspect because each family has its own favorite style. This mildly innovative (pinenuts, currants) Spaghetti with Sicilian Meatballs seems a reasonable compromise between tradition and novelty, especially given the coveted four forks it received from 158 commenters at



Maybe the prominence of meatballs on the query list signifies both a longing for comfort and a commitment to frugality. In that regard, I recommend, again, Gourmet's Unstuffed Sweet-and-Sour Cabbage, subject of a recent Savoring Kentucky post.

Lemon Posset. This food sounds like something out of Lemony Snicket, but after learning about it today for the first time, I am completely interested in trying it. Here's what Elaine Lemm says in introducing her recipe for Lemon Possett on "A posset is a drink made from hot milk and honey and often spiced and laced with ale or wine. It was popular in the Middle Ages as a remedy for colds and minor ailments and to aid a good nights sleep. Possets appeared in Shakespeare's Macbeth when Lady Macbeth used poisoned possets to knock out the guards outside Duncan's quarters. Later it became a thickened cream, flavored usually with honey and lemon and served as a dessert."

The recipe contains three ingredients: heavy cream, lemon juice and a tiny bit of honey. Compare that with what must be the American version since it contains about ten times as much sugar. Like these two, the Los Angeles Times's luscious sounding Meyer Lemon Posset involves bringing heavy cream, lemon juice, and sugar to a boil, and then chilling it to a mousse-like consistency. Yummmm!

Pork Belly. I offer two recipes chosen primarily because the names of their blogs made me laugh. Cook Almost Anything At Least Once offers Slow Roasted Spiced Pork Belly, with decent pictures depicting the somewhat complex preparation. Complexity is an understatement for the boiled-twice-then-fried pork belly at Wino Sapien. None of the pork belly recipes I found made me want to cook this part of the pig. At least for now, bacon sounds like a fine way to enjoy Kentucky pork bellies. No recipes required.

Photo Credits: Portishead, Westmacott Photography, Freelancebloke, Juanmonino -- Thank you!