Pancake cereal haunted me for almost two weeks earlier than I caved into it. I had spent almost three years pitching viral meals movies, blurting out Frankenstein-y concoctions like “Philly Cheesesteak Nachos!” solely to return to my desk to determine what the hell I simply invented. I believed that section of my life was over. However, to cite tweens all over the place, “It’s not ‘only a section, Mother.’” I couldn’t assist however smile as dozens of bowls of thumbprint-sized pancakes crammed my TikTok feed. I’d be late to the social gathering, certain, however I wasn’t going to overlook out. And that appears to be a sense we’re all having proper now.
Whereas most viral meals developments are fairly flash-in-the-frying-pan, pancake cereal has had some endurance. Even now, it stays a trending hashtag on the video-sharing platform, with tagged posts netting a collective 941 million views and climbing. Searches for “mini pancake cereal” are up 180 p.c, in keeping with Google Traits, and it’s not simply that one dish—different viral meals, like Dalgona espresso, White Claw Slushies and froggy bread—proceed to see a surge in recognition.
As we stay in quarantine, the pleasant escapes we frequently sought out after seeing others share them on-line—say, reserving a visit to Croatia after seeing your highschool finest good friend’s images on Instagram—have modified. Partly as a result of they should, since we’re all self-isolating at residence, and partly as a result of we abruptly have the time to check out these over-the-top treats. Plus, those actually taking off are inclined to require very minimal substances—an enormous perk when what you’ll discover on grocery retailer cabinets on any given week is anybody’s guess.
But it surely’s much more than that: “For my part, I believe it’s as a result of we’re feeling the innate have to infuse a bit pleasure into our on a regular basis lives, particularly throughout these unsure occasions,” says vitamin knowledgeable Katie Boyd, including that the dishes going viral all are inclined to faucet right into a nostalgia for less complicated occasions (very similar to the sudden return of tie-dye and reversion Instagram accounts, like @thankyouatoosa, which chronicles teen journal options of the late ‘90s and early aughts). “[It’s] like once we have been children and will simply be carefree and indulge. I believe it’s a enjoyable and entertaining approach to eat!”
That’s simply it: Whipped espresso is a candy, frothy take in your typical morning cup of joe. Pancake cereal is the twee twist on a Sunday morning staple. It’s the sugar-coated glow-up of the mundane.
It provides you #content material on your social media feeds, certain, but it surely additionally provides you one thing to look ahead to—an act Talkspace Director of Medical Content material and psychological well being counselor Amy Cirbus says will be useful in letting you launch that underlying sense of hysteria many people are coping with proper now. “Do one thing for your self and create a routine that feels good for you,” she suggested when we spoke a number of weeks in the past about breaking freed from the Sunday Scaries (or “On a regular basis Scaries,” as some individuals are feeling proper now).
That was motive sufficient for me to start out dreaming up my very own riffs on pancake cereal: Belgian waffle cereal? Mini chocolate chip pancake cereal? Blueberry puree-infused pancake cereal?! I began with the previous, and shortly realized why waffle cereal wasn’t blowing up my feed already—you wind up with shards of waffle bits that develop into a ache to wash out of the waffle maker. Fail, but it surely made for amusing. I wasn’t in a rush to be wherever; I simply shook my head and began over, this time with chocolate chip pancake cereal. I quickly realized to maintain the burner on further low, so I might pour quarter-sized circles of batter out of a Ziploc bag and high them with mini chocolate chips earlier than the pancakes would end baking. I shrieked as I attempted flipping pancakes, almost sending them flying all over the place.
It was far more pleasing than a typical Tuesday morning at 7:30 a.m.—each the pre-COVID mornings, the place I’d frantically rush from daycare to the prepare to get to work and my newer quarantine mornings the place I’d pour out some (common) cereal and run via the entire issues I ought to be doing: work out, devise a strong lesson plan for my daughter’s homeschooling day, do my hair so my coworkers aren’t subjected to one more Zoom name with Cousin It. This, nevertheless, was enjoyable for the sake of enjoyable.
After 30 minutes, I made one cup’s value of pancake cereal. It was each bit as pleasant—and tedious—as you may think. It’s not one thing I’d do day-after-day, and solely time will inform if I ever make it once more, however after I shared it with my household and posted it on-line, it sparked a dozen conversations with individuals from all areas of my life. Irrespective of how far aside, we linked, even when just for a number of DMs. And in these remoted occasions, these little moments of connection make all of the distinction.