B-A-N-A-N-A-S: The Top 10 Banana Moments in Pop Culture History

Bananas have made prominent appearances in music, movies, and TV shows and might just be the most popular fruit ever—even beyond the grocery basket. Here’s our list of the top 10 most impactful banana-related pop culture moments.

Collage of 10 Pop Culture Moments
Serious Eats / Getty Images

Do you remember where you were the first time you heard "Hollaback Girl?" I, for one, was a wee lil fourth grader jamming out in my bright purple bedroom to a song I definitely should not have been singing at that age. Nevertheless, it was then and there that I realized just how vital the yellow fruit was not just to food, but to pop culture as well. (OK, fine, I realized it just now for the purpose of this assignment, but I'm sure I thought about it back then too. Maybe.)

From movies to music and our favorite TV shows, bananas have shown up in our lives in so many ways. So as part of our recent enthusiastic banana undertaking, we are taking a look back in time at the top banana moments—both good and not so good—in recent-ish pop culture. You know, the ones that are so burned into our subconsciousness that we think of them every time we pick up a banana at the store. The ones you already know made this list! The ones we’ll no doubt tell our grandchildren about whilst rocking back and forth gently. "In my day, they put pajamas on bananas and raced them down the stairs," and such. You get it! Without further ado: the definitive banana moments of our time.

10. Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana Stand from Arrested Development

If you know Arrested Development, you know about the banana stand. “There’s always money in the banana stand,” George Bluth Sr. would continually say to his kids. Turns out, it wasn’t just a saying; there actually was always money in the banana stand—about $250,000 of it that lined the walls, until it was burned down by his son, Michael Bluth.

Close up of Bluth's banana stand
Getty Images / Araya Doheny / Stringer

9. Andy Warhol's Banana

Andy Warhol
Getty Images / Pictorial Parade / Staff

What started as an interactive art piece for The Velvet Underground’s 1967 album The Velvet Underground and Nico eventually became one of Warhol’s most notable works of art (and one ultimately synonymous with the Pop Art movement). The piece was even crowned best album cover of all time by Billboard in 2023. Fast forward to today, and you can easily find the art plastered on everything from T-shirts to mock prints—and even our banana spotlight’s cover art—further cementing the banana as an icon. An orange could never!!

8. “The Comedian” Art Installation by Maurizio Cattelan

Miami’s annual Art Basel event is notorious for attracting all kinds of art. In 2019, the event shocked all when an art installation simply displaying an actual banana duct-taped to a wall sold for a whopping $120,000—along with two other editions that sold for upwards of $150,000 each. The installation was titled “The Comedian” and was the work of Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. It examined how material objects become important depending on their context while also poking fun at art and capitalism. Performance artist David Datuna ended up peeling the banana off the wall and eating it as a prank. Though onlookers were shocked, at the end of the day, it was just a regular banana, and the exhibit was replaced with another piece of the fruit, further proving its absurdity.

Getty Images / China News Service

7. Slipping on Banana Peels

A comedy trope as old as time—so much so that MythBusters even tested the theory to see how likely it is to slip on one! Plot twist, it’s not, unless you’ve got a whole lot of bananas littered on the ground, but that hasn’t stopped anyone from making it into a thing. The bit is believed to have originated in the 20th century as a Vaudeville act. Vaudeville comedian “Sliding” Billy Watson saw someone struggling to maintain their balance after slipping on a peel, and incorporated it into one of his shows. The act later appeared in the silent film “The Flirt,” and the rest is history. But history is different from reality–lmk if you’ve actually ever witnessed someone slip on a banana peel. In my 29 years, I have not.

Stock image of someone stepping on a banana peel
Getty Images / hatman12

6. The Savannah Bananas

If there’s one team I’m always rooting for, it’s baseball's Savannah Bananas. Not necessarily to win, but to provide entertainment. I’ve yet to see them play in person, but it’s high on my bucket list. This team is committed to the bit in every way possible. First off, they play in kilts. Most notably, however, they perform choreographed numbers at every game, from Mariah Carey to One Direction and even songs from Aladdin. This is probably one of my favorite videos from them to date—the suspense!!—but they always find a way to keep things interesting.

Mascot for Savanna Bananas
Serious Eats /Kent Nishimura

5. Bananas in Pyjamas

This Australian children’s television series from the 90s was a classic. Who didn’t love watching these two bananas and their endless shenanigans? OK, maybe we didn’t love watching them—they did skew scary sometimes—but their theme song was catchy and the show was, well, bananas.

Two people dressed up as bananas in pajamas
Getty Images / Cameron Spencer / Staff

4. Britney (and Banana) at the 2001 VMAs

While performing her hit “I’m a Slave 4 U,” the singer emerged on stage with an albino Burmese python named Banana wrapped around her. It was a bold move not seen by many, if any, performers before, and Spears reflected on it in her recent memoir:

In my head I was saying, Just perform, just use your legs and perform. But what nobody knows is that as I was singing, the snake brought its head right around to my face, right up to me, and started hissing,” Spears writes. “I was thinking, Are you f---ing serious right now? The f---ing goddamn snake’s tongue is flicking out at me. Right. Now. Finally, I got to the part where I handed it back, thank God.
Britney Spears performs (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Getty Images / KMazur / WireImage

3. The Banana Boat Scene in Jaws

Cue the dramatic music! You know, the one that immediately makes you think of a shark swimming up to you in the ocean?? In this scene from the fourth installment of the Jaws movies, a group of beachgoers is seen atop a banana boat when a shark suddenly starts swimming towards them, eventually biting the leg of a woman and pulling her off the boat. Okay, so maybe we’re not eager to hop on a banana boat anytime soon after watching this, but if you pause the movie right before things take a turn, it doesn’t look like such a bad time!!

Scene from Jaws
Getty Images / Universal Pictures / Handout

2. “The Name Game” by Shirley Ellis

This song originated as a rhyming game that makes it easy to rhyme to practically any name—but you probably know it most as a way to rhyme the name Hannah with banana. How many parents raised their Hannahs by singing this song to them? In fact, do you even have a daughter named Hannah if you didn’t sing this song to them at least once a day?

Shirley Ellis singing with children
Getty Images / Express / Stringer

1. "Hollaback Girl"

If you didn't know how to spell bananas, Gwen Stefani changed that in the year 2004. I was a mere elementary school girl when this song came out, but that didn’t stop me from belting the lyrics at the top of my lungs. The whole thing was generation-defining hit: The singer’s music video featured a high-school theme, and this part of the song saw a cheerleading squad decked out in banana-themed uniforms spelling out the name of the fruit with signs. It made me want to audition for the cheer squad, which I never did get around to, but I did use the inspiration to wear a cheerleader Halloween costume that year.

Gwen Stefani
Getty Images / John Shearer / Staff

We Tested 9 Methods to Prevent Peanut Butter From Separating—Here’s What Worked

Natural peanut butter and other nut butters are prone to separation. We tested nine methods to find the best one for keeping them combined.

Eight jars of peanut butter and one air-tight container full of peanut butter
Serious Eats / Yasmine Maggio, Amanda Suarez

I have a love-hate relationship with peanut butter. I’m talking about the good stuff, the real stuff, the stuff made with peanuts, maybe a touch of salt, and none of the more processed add-ins like sugar, palm oil, and emulsifiers—the stuff that also, as a result of its minimal ingredients, is prone to separating. That’s where the hate comes in. I usually give a jar my best stir when opening it and then hope for the best, until I inevitably get close to the bottom and find unappealing bits of dry nut butter. 

Clearly, my stir-and-hope-for-the-best method isn't great, so I set out to find the best option for keeping nut butter combined until the very last spread. I tested nine commonly touted methods, and got a good arm workout in the process. In addition to my results, I also have some tips for how to revive any dry bits of peanut butter you may come across despite your best mixing efforts. 

How We Tested

This testing requires starting with peanut butter that's heavily separated, so I went to the store and grabbed nine oil-laden jars of the same brand of natural peanut butter—as in peanut butter that only contains peanuts and salt. In my case, Smucker’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter had separated the most on my market's shelves.

The following are the variables I tested; in each case I let the peanut butter sit untouched for two weeks after mixing before recording the results.

  • Mixing Methods: One big question is which methods work best for recombining the separated peanut butter. I tested several methods, including the good ole "jam a knife down into the jar and attempt to stir without sloshing peanut oil all over," simply storing the unopened jar upside down to see if the peanut butter could mix itself as the oil flowed upwards, as well as several more time-consuming techniques that require transferring the contents of the jar to another container to then be mixed with a variety of implements (wooden spoon, whisk, immersion blender, food processor).
  • Storage Containers: After mixing, I tested storing the peanut butter in both the the original jar as well as wider vessels to see whether the shape of the vessel and the amount of surface area of exposed peanut butter on top had any effect on how quickly it re-separated.
  • Jar Position: In addition to flipping an unopened jar upside down in the mixing tests, I also checked how much an effect jar position had on separation after mixing. Was it more effective to flip a jar upside down after putting the recombined peanut butter back in it, or does it not matter at that point?
  • Storage Temperature: I kept recombined jars of peanut butter out at room temperature and also in the fridge to determine what effect temperature has on the rate of separation.

Results

Mixing Method

Jar Position

Some people claim that simply flipping a jar of brand new, unopened peanut butter over works as a method of mixing it back together, but as described above, my tests did not support that claim. There is an argument for flipping the jars over after mixing the PB together. The idea is that by inverting the jar, the "bottom" is always actually on top, so you avoid thick peanut butter settling on the actual bottom. This way, each time you turn it over to take some peanut butter out, you're dipping into the thickest part while still able to access the thinner peanut butter below.

In my tests, this was a worthwhile practice for storing well-blended peanut butter, ensuring it remained in a more blended state.

Temperature

By chilling the peanut butter in the fridge, its oils congeal, which can slow the rate of separation. But while my tests confirmed this to be true, the difference between samples stored in the fridge versus room temperature were not so different to say it's an absolutely required step. If you don't mind working with cold peanut butter (and also if you make your way through a jar slowly and want to slow down rancidity), the fridge is a good idea. If you prefer PB that's room temp, feel free to keep your jar in the pantry—it'll still be fine after the initial remixing.

Containers

Since some of these tests necessitated transfering the peanut butter to a larger container, I took advantage of that to also test whether leaving the PB in that larger container afterwards was better than returning it to the jar. Following my testing, I’ve come to the conclusion that the container you leave the peanut butter in is less important to keeping it combined than the method you use to mix it.

On the one hand, if you've already removed the PB from its jar to mix it, it might be easier to leave it in a larger vessel after that instead of trying to pack it back into the jar. On the other, a wider, air-tight container will take up more room in your pantry or fridge than a regular jar of peanut butter would. 

Conclusion: The Best Method of Mixing and Storing Peanut Butter

If your goal is utter optimization with no concern for the labor involved, then my results are clear: Blend the nut butter in a food processor, then store it in its original container upside down in the fridge.

But this may not be the best method for everyone. After all, dirtying the food processor is a pain, and transferring the nut butter back into its jar can be messy if you’re not careful. You could split the difference, using the food processor to blend the peanut butter and then transfer the result to a larger container for storage.

Otherwise, the option that requires the least amount of effort is stirring the peanut butter in the original jar with a knife, and then storing it upside down in the fridge. Just keep in mind it's hard to blend it well, and you’ll need to give it another good stir from time to time, but that arguably is less of a pain than having to deal with a bunch of dirty dishes. 

What to Do With Dry Bits of Nut Butter

If you’re reading this with one (or maybe more…it’s me, I’m guilty) jars with bits of dried up nut butter hanging out in your pantry, fear not! This tends to happen when the peanut butter gets dry because its oil separates out, leaving you with a thinner paste and therefore drier chunks of peanut butter. While you now know the best method for preventing that from happening from the start, you can still save those other jars. Our culinary editor Genevieve recommends adding in a few drops of neutral oil—essentially reincorporating what was extracted from the nut butter—to get it to stir, or tossing it in a blender if it's a larger amount. 

This 5-Minute Meal Prep Step Sets Me Up For Success

Juicing a handful of lemons at the beginning of every week is one of our editor’s best tips for saving time when cooking.

Lemon collage
Serious Eats ; Getty Images/Johner ImagesSerious Eats ; Getty Images/Johner Images

This website isn’t exactly known for shortcuts, but every now and then, someone on this team offers up a tip in passing that not only makes life (and cooking!) much, much easier, but it also just…makes sense. And while we’re in the business of making great food, we’re certainly not in the business of gatekeeping. So when our culinary editor shared what she does every week to make getting meals together during the week a breeze, we were eager to pass on the knowledge. 

For Genevieve, juicing about five or six lemons at the beginning of any given week saves her loads of time later on. She juices enough to keep a jar of it on hand—usually repurposing a 12-ounce. Bonne Maman jar. However, the amount of juice you get will depend on the size of your lemons. And while the flavor of the resulting lemon juice is good for about five days, she finds that it never lasts longer than that because she uses it so often. 

So many recipes call for one teaspoon or tablespoon of lemon juice at a time, and using this method is so much more efficient than juicing a whole lemon every time you need just a little bit of juice. “If I have a jar of lemon juice, I can make salad dressing, chicken piccata, spaghetti al limone, Reem's garlic lemon sauce,” she says; the sauce is a combination of garlic, lemon juice, chile, salt, and cumin. You can even toss it on your vegetables as a finishing touch for some brightness—the list really does go on. 

Our commerce editor Grace also chimed in saying she uses the same hack but prefers freezing the lemon juice in ice cube trays. Freezing the liquid makes it last longer, while turning it into ice cubes makes it easy to take out small amounts as needed. The number of lemons you will need to fill up an ice cube tray will depend on both the size of your citrus and the volume of your ice cube tray. When ready to use, pop out however many cubes you want and place them in a bowl or a jar to thaw in the fridge until liquid. Because of the thawing time, this method requires just a little more planning ahead, but will still save you time nonetheless. 

Genevieve often turns to the freezing method to use up lemons before she goes out of town. However, she prefers to freeze the liquid in jars and then thaw overnight when she’s ready to use it. She notes that whatever method you like to use for freezing, the juice will keep its flavor for about three months. 

For Genevieve, this trick is a no-brainer that she now can’t live without. “I started doing it when I noticed some lemons were starting to look sad, and I was like, ‘actually this is a good idea,’” she says. It’s also a great way to free up space in your fridge. So maybe you don’t always come to this website expecting a quick tip, but today is a new day!

5 Ways to Turn Focaccia Into a Sweet Treat

While you usually see focaccia in savory forms, we’ve noticed a growing trend for sweet versions, and we’re all for it. Here’s how to transform your homemade or store-bought focaccia into a dessert or a sweet snack.

Composite image of focaccia ice cream sandwich, focaccia with Nutella, and plain focaccia
Serious Eats / Yasmine Maggio, Amanda Suarez

Focaccia is undoubtedly having a moment on Instagram, and we’re here for it. While making a homemade batch is easy as can be (see our recipes for basic homemade focaccia, roasted garlic focaccia, and olive-rosemary focacccia), I can’t say I’m always ready to hop off the couch and prep a batch for the oven—fortunately good store-bought focaccia isn’t hard to find.  While good quality homemade focaccia or store-bought focaccia is satisfying on its own, there are myriad ways to dress it up. Of course there are many savory spins on focaccia (olive, tomato, and onion are some of my favorite add-ins), but it’s the sweet takes that are particularly piquing our interest now.

Once we saw this post using focaccia as a vessel for an ice cream sandwich, I and the rest of the Serious Eats team started furiously brainstorming other ways to turn this typically savory bread into a sweet treat. Here are just a few of our favorite sweet spins on focaccia.

An ice cream sandwich with focaccia
Serious Eats / Yasmine Maggio

Ice Cream Sandwich

Using slices of focaccia instead of cookies for an ice cream sandwich is genius, so we had to include it here. It’s as simple as scooping your favorite ice cream and smushing it between two pieces of focaccia. I tried plain focaccia with vanilla ice cream as well as with coffee ice cream, and both were delicious, but I can see this working well with other ice cream flavors, so play around with it—you never know what new combinations you’ll discover. Rosemary focaccia with honey or peach ice cream is one we want to try soon.

Since the average slice of focaccia is normally quite thick, I suggest cutting it down the middle to create two pieces. For maximum smushing capacity, it’s best to go with un-toasted focaccia here; a warm piece will lead your ice cream to melt rapidly, and a crisp one is an easy route to your sandwich falling apart faster than your life....

A piece of focaccia spread with Nutella and sprinkled with sea salt
Serious Eats / Yasmine Maggio

Nutella, Pistachio Cream, and Other Sweet Spreads

Good focaccia is more flavorful than your average piece of toast, which makes it the ideal vessel for your favorite spreads. Anything goes here: a chocolate-hazelnut spread such as Nutella, dulce de leche, and pistachio cream are great choices, but I particularly liked the simple combination of salted butter and a drizzle of honey. Whichever spread you choose to slather on your focaccia, a sprinkle of flaky sea salt is an ideal finishing touch.

This is a great option for a quick sweet snack, but if you’re entertaining, you could also cut the focaccia up into bite-size pieces and then toast them in the oven before adding your spread of choice, in the vein of  baguette toasts. 

Bread Pudding

If your focaccia is nearing the end of its freshness or is already stale, going the bread pudding route is a great way to use it up. You can use any bread pudding recipe and sub focaccia for the listed bread. Once mixed with the other ingredients and baked, the focaccia will take on a soft, spoonable texture—an ideal dessert to scoop into a bowl and cozy up with on the couch.

French Toast

One of the great things about French toast is how adaptable it is—you can make it with many different types of (preferably stale) bread, including white bread, challah, brioche, and, yes, focaccia. Since focaccia tends to be thick, we recommend leaving it in the egg bath slightly longer than you would with thinner bread to be sure it soaks it up well. Another option is to slice the focaccia into thinner pieces before placing it in the eggy mixture. However you do it, senior culinary editor Leah Colins, who first hatched this idea for focaccia French toast, recommends adding a bit of vanilla.  

Bread & Fruit Dessert Salad

Panzanella, but make it sweet? Don’t mind if we do! This idea from culinary editor Genevieve Yam is essentially a fruit salad with bread. You’ll want to cut up the focaccia into bite-size pieces and toss with whatever fruit you’d like (grapes and berries are my personal favorites), then season with a good quality olive oil, sea salt, and some citrus zest.

Can Food Set Off Metal Detectors? According to Jason Kelce’s Vat of Skyline Chili, Yes

After the NFL star and his team attempted to locate his ring in a giant pool of Skyline Chili using a metal detector, we learned that there are traces of iron in the chili. But did this come from actual pieces of iron or the iron in the beef? We investigated.

Side view of layers of cincinnati chili
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

If you’re an Eagles fan or a Kelce stan (doesn't matter which one), you probably saw this headline recently: Jason Kelce lost his Super Bowl ring during a scavenger hunt in…a tub of Skyline Chili. We, a group of Skyline Chili passionates, had so many questions. And then we learned that some used a metal detector to look for the ring in said tub of chili…which led to even more questions.

“There’s actually metal in Skyline Chili,” Kelce said on an April 17 episode of his podcast New Heights: ”There’s traces of iron within the chili itself.” This, apparently, led the metal detector searching for his ring to go off continuously, and he ultimately wasn’t able to locate it (...he still hasn't, legend has it, at the time of this publication). But was it pieces of metal in the chili or the iron found in beef that was supposedly triggering the metal detector? We wondered: Can food really set off a metal detector? We tapped in some experts to see what they had to say. 

According to cookbook author and molecular biologist Nik Sharma, you can’t detect molecular iron in meat. He compared it to blood in humans: “We have iron in our blood. If you put the machine on your hand, is it going to ping?” He notes that iron on a molecular level, whether in humans or animals, can be detected using electrode testing—AKA blood testing—but not metal detectors. Sharma concludes that it’s more likely that the detector was set off by metal embedded in the chili’s container.

A photo of chili
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Michael Stepanian, a manager for a liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry department (which studies known and unknown compounds in different molecules) at a Virginia lab, was also skeptical. “Biological iron is not iron from ore,” he says. He notes that grass and soil contain molecular iron, but they won’t set off the detector, just like they wouldn’t in a human. 

“I’ve gone through metal detectors and my body doesn’t set it off,” says Stepanian. “Otherwise everyone’s body would light up like a Christmas tree.” Still, a handheld detector is more sensitive than one you’d walk through. It’s more likely, he says, that any metal tracings—iron or otherwise—are from contamination before or during meat processing. A handheld detector would be able to detect even a few tiny particles of metal from a machine, like those from a deli slicer.

Dr. Eric Boring, a chemist at Consumer Reports who oversees food safety testing, also chimed in. “It depends on the food, and how sensitive the device is,” he says. “I'm not sure about the handheld metal detectors, but airport metal detectors have gone off from oysters, which are one of the highest sources of dietary iron and average about eight milligrams of iron per three-ounce serving.” It’s more likely, though, that any metal detected in meat or fish is a piece of metal that animals have consumed before being processed, Stepanian theorized. 

We reached out to Skyline Chili with requests for comments, but have yet to hear back. We’ll let you know if and when they respond. In the meantime, don’t tell me you’re not hungry for a bowl of Cincinnati chili right now—because I’d gladly eat it any day, metal detection be damned!!

Want to Try That Viral Coffee Grinding Hack? Think Again.

Grinding coffee beans and spices in an immersion blender is a recent hack that’s making its rounds. But the trend is more hassle than it’s worth.

Immersion blender next to three bowls of coffee beans and spices
Serious Eats / Yasmine Maggio

In our current age of social media racket, trends and hacks come and go at a dizzying pace—some of them are worth trying (see here and here), some of them most certainly are not. This week’s example in the definitely-not-worth-it category: Using an immersion blender to grind spices and coffee beans. The technique involves turning an immersion blender upside down, adding a small amount of spices or coffee beans to the bowl-shaped blade-guard, covering the blade-guard with a piece of plastic wrap, then letting it blitz.

We get it, novelty is appealing, and the idea that there's a whole world of untapped potential hidden in your stick blender is almost thrilling. Could this be a totally new way to grind coffee and spices? Common sense says no—at best it's a new way to send yourself to the ER! But in the name of science (and for the fun of popping stupid hack bubbles every chance we get), we decided to give it the good ol' college try. 

The Test

A box of plastic wrap, an immersion blender, a small bowl of whole coffee beans, and a small bowl of whole coriander seeds.
Serious Eats / Yasmine Maggio

To take my stick blender for a grinding spin, I gathered the requisite appliance along with some whole coffee beans and coriander seeds and set myself up at the island in my kitchen. With my phone camera set up on a tripod right in front of me, I was ready for action.

I poured 1.5 tablespoons of the coffee beans into my plugged-in immersion blender before wrapping the plastic wrap around the top, as so many of the videos going around Instagram and TikTok have shown. I hit the “on” button and coffee beans instantly flew to every corner of my kitchen (and I really mean every corner; I’m sure we’ll be finding them for days to come). While I was skeptical about this “technique” of grinding beans going in, I was shocked by how quickly it all went to hell. In the end, I could only laugh (and I laughed a lot).

Undeterred, I tried this trick a second time with coffee beans and then another two times with whole coriander seeds. The results were uniformly disastrous. So what should you take from all of this? It’s not even a little bit worth using your immersion blender to grind coffee beans or spices, and not just because of mess. Here are all the reasons that make it a dumb idea, in detail. 

It's Messy

After failing with the first round of beans, I blamed myself, figuring that I hadn’t wrapped the plastic wrap tightly enough around the blender (which was frustratingly hard to do with my other hand balancing the immersion blender) and that I must not have held securely enough to the plastic wrap during blending to keep it affixed. I decided I needed a bigger piece of plastic wrap (ah, the waste! But we’ll get to that later) and would need to hold it closer to the top of the stem, near the bowl of the immersion blender, so there was no way for the beans to break free. But when I tried again, the coffee beans were so eager to escape the bowl of the immersion blender once it was turned on that they ended up cutting through the plastic wrap and making another mess, albeit a smaller one this time around (lucky me!). The same thing happened with the coriander, sending coriander dust flying everywhere. 

A bowl of partially ground coriander
Serious Eats / Yasmine Maggio

While the testing left me cursing the internet, it proved a valuable point: An immersion blender is not meant to be used in this way. It’s not designed to contain dry foods nestled in its little cup-like blade guard, and there’s no way to ensure you won’t make a disaster of your kitchen in the process. 

It’s Unsafe

My specific instructions from Daniel when attempting this method were “DO NOT TOUCH THE BLADE,” (all caps, via Slack, so there was no misunderstanding his direction and concern for my safety). I thought this part was obvious. Clearly, I know not to touch the blade. But when I sent Daniel my videos of the test, he freaked out, still in all-caps: "YOU TOUCHED THE BLADE AND YOU DIDN'T EVEN REALIZE IT!!!!" Turns out, after I added my spices to the blender cup, I quickly used my finger to move a few that had landed on the blades, not aware of the danger of touching the business end of the plugged-in immersion blender even when it is turned off.* One slip of my finger with the “on” button and I would’ve ended up in the ER, which was Daniel’s initial worry when he first heard of this trend; an immersion blender is not designed for this kind of use and it's simply unsafe.

Did I put my life at risk to teach you all a lesson? Yes, I did, and you should be grateful!!

[*Editor's note: This exact mistake has sent former SE colleagues Kenji and Niki to the ER. It happens all the time.]

It’s Not Practical

If it weren’t so messy and dangerous, this trick might make some tiny amount of sense for spices since it’s not uncommon for a recipe to call for just a small amount of freshly ground spices. But the amount of coffee that you get from this method isn’t even enough to pull a single shot of espresso.

Either way, there’s nothing the immersion blender has to offer here that a spice or coffee grinder or small mortar and pestle can’t give you. In fact, you’re better off with a grinder so you can control the size of the grind—and if you’re grinding your beans fresh, we suspect you’re the type of person who cares about grind size too, so you likely already have a dedicated coffee grinder.

It’s Wasteful

We know you probably don’t need a lecture about reducing waste in the kitchen, and we admit we call for using plastic wrap when it’s the best option in a recipe, but why waste a piece of plastic wrap every time you want to grind spices or coffee beans—especially when you’re wasting it on a technique that doesn’t work? Perhaps worse than wasting single use plastic is the food waste, since I didn’t get any usable ground coffee or spices out of this whole exercise. 

The Verdict: 5/5 on the Stupid Hack Scale

Overall, the margin for error (and injury) (and mess) is high with this hack, so you’re better off just using a spice or coffee grinder for all of your grinding needs. We’re not sure how this trend made its rounds in the first place. But, hey, whatever, it just gave us a chance to, once again, prove the internet wrong!

Why I Fasted For Ramadan This Year

Despite being Muslim, I haven’t fasted for the holy month in years. But this year, I’m turning to my faith and cultural foods in order to connect with my people.

An illustration of a glass of water and a bowl of dates sitting in front of a window.
Nadin Burqan

As the adhan, or call to prayer, blares from my mom’s phone, I gather with her and my dad at the dinner table. I whisper a quick “Bismillah” to myself before taking my first sip of water since 6 a.m., followed by a medjool date. We then commence our iftar with our usual: a tomato soup with freekeh along with sambusas, crispy fried hand-held meat pies stuffed with cinnamon-spiced ground beef. These are just a few of the recipes my family has saved exclusively for Ramadan since I was little.

While this holy month and its foods are deeply familiar to me, it had been a while since I'd experienced the hunger, thirst, and eventual relief after each day's fasting. That's because, prior to this year, I hadn't fasted since 2020. What brought me back to Ramadan this year is also the first thing that has filled my mind each night for the past month just as I'm about to take my first bite: Gaza and its people. 

When I was young, Ramadan had always felt more like an obligation than a joyous practice, especially since I never found myself gravitating to the Muslim community in my area. Not having any friends who practiced the same religion as me made me feel like an outcast amongst my own social circle, and left me with a deep sense of insecurity about both my faith and culture.

The only aspect of my culture that didn’t bring me shame was the foods I was brought up with. I relished being raised in a house full of flavor, where home cooked meals were second nature, as was gathering to eat dinner as a family. Biting into sfeeha, individual pizza-like rounds topped with yogurt-marinated beef, or scooping up a bit of ful medames with pita bread after a long day of fasting comforted me when I felt otherwise unsettled by the aspects of myself that were so different from others. I can’t remember a day when I didn’t come home from school and open the front door to the scent of warm spices filling the air, pots clamoring against each other, and my mom working hard to get a fresh meal on the table for dinner, especially during Ramadan; her emphasis on cooking and feeding the family is one of the ways she has always expressed her love for us. 

As much as I loved the food we ate during Ramadan, I was less convinced about the fasting part, and I would complain regularly as both a teenager and a young adult. “Fasting has to come from your heart and soul,” my mom always responded. “If you’re not fully into it, not fully committed, then your fast has no meaning.”

I continued to grapple with the religious requirement, often seeing it as more of an inconvenience and unable to connect to the deeper meaning of the holy month. So eventually I took her message to heart and quit observing the holiday. Despite feeling a strong connection to my culture and religion as an adult, I didn't feel compelled to fast. The only option that made sense to me was to opt out completely.

But this year is different. Ever since the attacks on Gaza began after the events of October 7th, I’ve found myself looking to my faith more and more. I've been in a near constant state of fear and helplessness as I've watched the news and learned of the killings of more than 40 of my very own family members in Gaza, and worried for the lives of my remaining family there, not to mention millions of innocent civilians.

As it became clear quite early on that this would not end anytime soon, I began thinking ahead to Ramadan. How would the people of Gaza fare during the holy month in these conditions? And for the first time, I felt something inside of me that I hadn't felt before: a profound obligation to participate in the fast. Perhaps, through the act of fasting, I could feel connected to my people during a time of such complete devastation. And maybe reconnecting with my faith in this way could help me feel hope when hope was all but otherwise lost.

I tried my best to immerse myself in the spirit of Ramadan this year, paying close attention to my Palestinian mother as she prepared the pre- and post-fast meals for suhoor and iftar. Every day, she'd gather simple ingredients Palestinians have used for centuries—cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, chickpeas, and, of course, olives and their oil—to make traditional recipes like salata falahiyeh (farmers salad) and hummus. Almost every night, I would help her roll dough for sambusas and fill them with meat before my dad fried them. I hovered close to her, making note of how she prepared dishes like sumac-heavy msakhan, one of my personal favorites, and sweet qatayef, semolina pancakes folded and stuffed with cream or nuts, fried, and dunked in simple syrup.

Along the way, I sensed something different in her compared to all the times I've watched her in the kitchen before. Her duty to cook for her family seemed heightened, strengthened by the knowledge that many mothers in Gaza no longer have the same privilege. Cooking these recipes that are so close to her heart and passing them down to me also took on a new dimension—a defiant attempt to keep her culture alive while others are attempting to erase it.

Our Ramadan this year changed in another important way, too. In all the years before, our meals to break our daily fast were private—shared by my family, never with my friends. I felt compelled to invite others outside of the community to share what I could about both my Palestinian heritage and my religion. I hosted an iftar for a few of my close non-Muslim friends from college and graduate school in hopes that opening up our doors and inviting them to join in on this practice would build a more intimate understanding of both our religious traditions and the wider Palestinian community, strengthening both as a result. 

My mom and I spent all day cooking together, with maqlubeh as the centerpiece of the meal. While I worried the evening might be awkward, especially given the weight of the war that hovered over it, my friends moved through the night as if they were at home, connecting with my parents and going for seconds, even thirds. The evening was a success, but also left me feeling conflicted. Layered on top of the fulfillment and a sense of purpose that the dinner created for me was a lingering sense of guilt for being able to cook this feast and gather with friends simply because I live here and not in Gaza. 

It’s a strange feeling to use food in this way, to actively set out to make what those in Gaza can no longer enjoy. I’ve long struggled with the knowledge that while I’m Palestinian by blood, I grew up an American and was therefore spared my Gazan family's suffering. No matter how bad it gets, they never seem to give up. And if they can remain committed to a holy month of fasting even in the face of starvation—and many of them have—then there’s no reason I can’t do the same with all that I have. 

My decision to fast this year is not worthy of any sort of praise; after all, fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam that most Muslims participate in every year without even thinking twice about. But looking back on this month of Ramadan, my fasts have acted as a symbolic reminder of the unrelenting suffering Palestinians have been experiencing day after day. At the same time, the breaking of those fasts each night with ample plates of food has been a painful reminder that my choice to observe Ramadan this year will not save a single soul in Gaza. To fast, to cook with my mother, and to sit down with family and friends over the foods of my culture is not a resolution, but a small yet sincere way to honor the Palestinian people—the tens of thousands that have been killed, those that remain, my family—and keep them in my heart and soul, committed and with meaning. With that, I hold on to hope that someday soon they’ll see freedom.

Everything You Need to Know About Orange Blossom Water

How to buy, store, and cook with this sweet, floral ingredient.

Side view of orange blossom water
Serious Eats / Nader Mehravari

Open any bottle of orange blossom water and you’re likely to first think “that’s nice! Aromatherapy!” or “oh, wow. Perfume?” But make no mistake—this ingredient and its fruity, floral scent brings to life some of the sweetest, most beloved desserts. 

Overhead view of orange blossom water
Serious Eats / Nader Nehravari

A cousin to rose water but not as widely known, orange blossom water is a powerful ingredient that is most prominently used in Middle Eastern and North African cuisines. We asked Nader Mehravari, Serious Eats contributor and Persian cooking expert, to walk us through the intricacies of the ingredient to learn more about what it is, how it’s made, and how to use it in the kitchen. 

What Is Orange Blossom Water?

While orange extract is made from the orange fruit itself, orange blossom water is the essence captured from the flowers of the bitter orange tree (which are also referred to as Seville oranges, its name a nod to the Spanish city). “In spring, when the oranges bloom, the blossoms are collected [and] each blossom gives you four or five tiny petals,” says Mehravari, noting this process isn’t dissimilar from rose water’s distillation. “Those white petals are then typically boiled in water in a typical distillation process used to convert the aromatic steam that's coming from the boiling water into orange blossom water.” Seville oranges are not often grown industrially in the US—although Mehravari has his own tree in his backyard in southern California—so most orange blossom water sold here is imported. 

View of the tree in Nader's backyard
Serious Eats / Nader Mehravari

Many believe that Seville oranges originated in Spain, but they likely hail from Southeast Asia. They were brought to the Middle East and North Africa, and then introduced in Spain by Moorish invaders in the 8th century. Orange blossom water was likely used in perfumes and for medicinal purposes before it was introduced as a culinary ingredient. “Since orange blossom water is harder to produce, more expensive, and less available [than rose water], it wasn't used for culinary purposes as much,” he says. “Most historical recipes and cookbooks talk about adding rose water. Orange blossom is usually a secondary substitute.” 

View of oranges on the three
Serious Eats / Nader Mehravari

In addition to its sweeter aroma, the ingredient has a slightly bitter flavor that’s often the first noticeable note upon consumption. The water itself is a clear, slightly golden-tinged liquid. 

How to Buy and Store Orange Blossom Water

Orange blossom water can be found at most Middle Eastern or international markets, as well as at specialty markets and online. You’ll often find it next to—wait for it—rose water. Some of the most popular orange blossom water brands include Cortas and Sadaf (Mehravari noted that he performed a taste test of a handful of popular brands, and these turned out to be his favorites, along with Golchin). 

Side view of orange blossom water
Serious Eats / Nader Mehravari

Though orange blossom water is made from bitter oranges, its scent should be as close to sweet oranges as possible. When determining the freshness of a bottle you’ve had laying around, you can peel a sweet orange, squeeze the peel, and then compare the scent to the water. 

Side view of ornage
Serious Eats / Nader Mehravari

When storing, a bottle of orange blossom water should be tightly closed and, like many spices, tucked into a cool, dark place where it will last about a year before losing flavor. There’s no need to refrigerate the product.

How to Cook With Orange Blossom Water

Although orange blossom water is most commonly used in Middle Eastern and North African cuisines, it’s occasionally incorporated in French desserts such as gibassier, a breakfast pastry, and pompe à l'huile, an olive oil bread typically served around Christmas in Provence. The water is used more in sweet applications than savory. It is also often incorporated into desserts that feature a sweet syrup, like basbousa bel ashta, baklava, and kanafeh. Given its strong aroma and flavor, it’s best to start with small amounts, like half a teaspoon, then adjust accordingly.

While orange blossom water and rose water have different flavors, they are often used interchangeably, as they both offer floral notes to whatever they touch. While Mehravari’s recipes for sholeh-zard and fāloodeh both call for rose water, he notes that you can easily use orange blossom water instead—whether it’s all you have around or because you simply prefer the flavor. 

Outside of French, North African, and Middle Eastern cuisines, Mehravari says orange blossom water pairs exceptionally well with chocolate. You can incorporate a small amount into any chocolate dessert of your choosing—think custards, brownies, and even ice cream. It also pairs well with nuts like pistachios and walnuts, as well as sweet, warm spices like cinnamon, cloves, and anise, and it’s particularly wonderful in many different pastry applications. The ingredient can also be used in beverages and cocktails to impart its fruity, floral flavor. 

Overhead view of orange blossom
Serious Eats / Nader Mehravari

Once you become more familiar with orange blossom water, it might just end up replacing rose water in your pantry. Or, if you’re anything like Mehravari, you might end up storing them side by side and learning to appreciate them both equally.

31 Ramadan Recipes to Help You Break Your Fast

These recipes span a number of cultures and are ideal for a filling and satisfying iftar.

Overhead view of Kabab Halla
Serious Eats / Greg Dupree

We've officially entered the holy month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar when Muslims fast—from food, and yes, even water—from dawn until dusk for 30 days. Non-Muslims often express shock when I share this with them, but contrary to what many may think, Ramadan is a time of celebration; it’s about community, an increased sense of faith and worship, and, of course, joyful gatherings with loved ones. Whether it's with a small group of relatives or a larger group of both friends and family, Muslims gather at the end of the day for iftar, the breaking of the fast. 

It’s tradition for many Muslims to immediately break their fast with water and dates, which provide an initial boost of energy. From there, many cultures serve some type of soup along with a source of protein and rice. A meal my family frequently sits down to at iftar is a savory, garlicky tomato soup with bulgur, a refreshing farmers salad, and sambusa, a fried, hand-held meat pie that my mother fills with cinnamon-spiced ground beef—a personal favorite of mine. 

Given that there are more than 1.6 billion Muslims on Earth, the religion is practiced across a number of different cultures. In Malaysia, people gather for bubur lambuk, a comforting chicken and rice porridge. In Morocco, many replenish themselves with harira, a hearty lentil and vegetable soup. Fesenjān, a sweet-and-sour braise of pomegranates, walnuts, and meat is a mainstay of Persian iftar tables. Everyone celebrates in their own way. Below, you’ll find Ramadan recipes spanning several cultures to break your fast with.

South Asian Recipes

Aloo Samosa (Samosa Stuffed With Spiced Potato and Peas)

Samosas on a serving plate with a ramekin of herb chutney alongside
Andrew Janjigian

This recipe walks you through how to make the classic potato-stuffed South Asian snack at home.

Lamb Kheema Samosa (Samosa Stuffed With Spiced Ground Lamb)

Two kheema samosas on a plate, one broken open to show its interior
Andrew Janjigian

This meaty version of the beloved snack features spiced ground lamb stuffed in a pastry and fried.

Butter Chicken

20200218-butter-chicken-vicky-wasik-43
Vicky Wasik

The sauce for this butter chicken is simmered on the stovetop and takes on a rich tomato flavor, while broiled marinated chicken adds char to the final dish.

Fish Bhuna (Bengali-Style Fried Fish in Onion and Tomato Curry)

20180501-dorade-bhuna-vicky-wasik-11
Vicky Wasik

A change of pace from your usual fish dinner, this is great served alongside rice and a simple cucumber salad.

Palak Paneer

Bright green Palak Paneer in a white bowl one an orange back next to some roti
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Often mislabeled as "saag paneer," this dish of fried paneer in a spinach sauce is proof that sometimes simple is best.

Vegetable Biryani

A plated portain of Biryani on a pale purple plate on a bright blue background
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

This celebratory meal features aromatic and spiced rice and tender braised vegetables.

Vegetable Qorma

Overhead view of a portion of vegetable qorma served next to white rice on a blue plate, on a textured blue fabric
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

An assortment of tender vegetables and paneer in a rich, creamy sauce—this is vegetable qorma done right.

Chickpea, Coconut, and Cashew Curry

20210322-ChickpeaCurry-Andrew_Janjigian
Andrew Janjigian

This curry is intense with garam masala and ginger, cooled by coconut milk and ground toasted cashews.

Southeast Asian Recipes

Malaysian ABC Soup

Overhead view of ABC soup
Serious Eats / Michelle Yip

This no ho-hum chicken soup is deeply flavorful and satisfying, with an ease to deliciousness ratio that's hard to beat.

Malaysian Fish Head Curry

Overhead view of fish head curry
Serious Eats / Michelle Yip

South Indian and Malaysian cuisines come together in this spicy vermillion curry that's simmered with fish heads, eggplant, and okra.

Middle Eastern Recipes

Mansaf (Palestinian Spiced Lamb With Rice and Yogurt Sauce)

Manasf on green marbled top
Serious Eats / Mai Kakish

The quintessential dish of Bedouins, mansaf features lightly spiced lamb, fluffy rice, and a tangy jameed-based yogurt sauce, all piled on top of torn flatbread.

Maftool (Palestinian Wheat Pearls in a Vegetable, Chickpea, and Chicken Stew)

Finished bowl of maftool
Serious Eats / Mai Kakish

Caviar-sized pearls made of whole wheat served in a brothy stew with onions, chickpeas, butternut squash, and tender chicken make up this Palestinian dish.

Fesenjān (Persian Pomegranate and Walnut Meat Braise)

Fessenjan-NaderMehravari-hero
Serious Eats / Nader Mehravari

Fesenjān—an iconic Persian braise—gets its signature sweet-and-sour flavor from pomegranate molasses and its velvety texture from ground walnuts.

Khoresh-é-Bādemjan (Persian Meat and Eggplant Stew)

Overhead view of finished eggplant stew
Serious Eats / Nader Mehravari

Filled with melt-in-your-mouth meat and luscious eggplant, this aromatic stew is hearty, comforting, and undeniably delicious.

Kotlet (Persian Ground Meat and Potato Patties)

Overhead view of kotlets with tomatoes and french fries
Serious Eats / Nader Mehravari

These versatile pan-fried patties are made from a mixture of ground meat, eggs, and finely mashed (or riced) boiled potatoes.

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice With White Sauce

Halal cart-style chicken and rice
Diana Chistruga

Here, the chicken is marinated with herbs, lemon, and spices; the rice golden; the sauce, as white and creamy as ever.

Maqlubeh (Palestinian "Upside Down" Meat, Vegetables, and Rice)

Maqlubeh plated on a white dish with a bowl of sauce and a small salad next to it
Serious Eats / Mai Kakish

In this recipe, layers of meat, fried vegetables, and spiced rice are flipped over to reveal a complete and festive meal.

Msakhan (Palestinian Flatbreads With Onion, Sumac, and Spiced Roast Chicken)

Plated msakhan.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Served atop taboon, msakhan is a triumphant contrast of flavors and textures.

Kafta bi Bandora (Palestinian Ground Meat Patties in Tomato Sauce)

Overhead view of kafta in baking dish next to a bowl of rice.
Serious Eats / Mai Kakish

Lamb with herbs, onions, and spices make the juiciest version of this ancient dish.

Qidreh (Palestinian Bone-In Lamb With Spiced Rice)

Overhead view of Qidreh with a side plate of yogurt
Serious Eats / Mai Kakish

The hallmark dish of the Palestinian city of Hebron, qidreh is brimming with tender bone-in lamb and fragrant spiced rice.

Hashweh (Palestinian Spiced Rice and Meat)

Hashweh with chicken served with a bowl of yogurt and farmers salad.
Serious Eats / Mai Kakish

Spices bloomed in ghee add complexity to this celebratory Palestinian dish.

North African Recipes

Moroccan Egg Drop Harira (Vegetable and Legume Soup)

Overhead view of egg drop Harira
Serious Eats / Jen Causey

This version of harira features both lentils and chickpeas, and is finished with a drizzle of beaten egg.

Kabab Halla (Egyptian Braised Beef With Onions)

Overhead view of Kabab Halla
Serious Eats / Greg Dupree

Kabab halla, a signature Egyptian dish, consists of tender beef braised in a velvety sauce of caramelized onions.

Moroccan Kefta and Bell Pepper Briouats (Ground Meat and Bell Pepper Pastries)

Overhead view of Kefta Briouates
Serious Eats / Greg DuPree

Caramelized onions and red bell peppers lend sweetness to these briouats, while paprika, cumin, coriander provide an additional layer of flavor.

Chicken M’qualli Tagine With Olives and Preserved Lemon

Overhead view of chicken tagine on a platter
Serious Eats / Jen Causey

Bold, sweet, fragrant—but also sour and bitter with olives and preserved lemon—m’qualli carries a myriad of flavors that make it a special and comforting meal.

West African Recipes

Chicken Yassa (Senegalese Braised Chicken With Caramelized Onions)

Chicken yassa on a bed of white rice.
Jillian Atkinson

This Senegalese dish is a citrus-forward version of your favorite stewed and smothered chicken-and-onion dish.

Ghanaian Chicken and Peanut Stew (Groundnut Soup) Recipe

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Vicky Wasik

Peanut butter and tomatoes lend a rich and creamy backdrop to this simple, hearty Ghanaian chicken stew.

Nigerian Meat Pie

Nigerian meat pies on an ovular serving platter.
Serious Eats / Maureen Celestine

These Nigerian meat pies feature minced beef, onions, carrots, and potatoes in a curry-spiced sauce.

Nigerian Beef Stew

Overhead view of beef stew served with plantains and rice
Serious Eats / Maureen Celestine

A mainstay of many Nigerian meals, there are countless ways to make this stew.

Nigerian Jollof Rice

Overhead view of Jollof rice on a bright blue plate on top of a yellow table runner next to a glass of water
Serious Eats / Maureen Celestine

Jollof rice, a seasoned tomatoey rice dish, is eaten at every party, Sunday lunch, and everything in between.

Moin Moin (Nigerian Steamed Bean Cake)

Overhead view of moin moin, unwrapped and wrapped, and in ramekins
Serious Eats / Maureen Celestine

Moin Moin is a tender cake of black-eyed peas that can be steamed in ramekins or packages formed out of sturdy moin moin leaves.

Why Are People Whipping Honey? And, More Importantly, Should You?

Whipped honey has been making its way across social media lately. But is it an easy and cost-effective trend worth trying? We put it to the test to find out.

A stand mixer whipping honey next to a jar of honey.
Javier Zayas Photography / Getty Images

Recently, I’ve been coming across Instagram videos of whipped honey. In these videos, cool food influencers put loads of honey into stand mixers and let it rip while waxing poetic about how revolutionary a one-ingredient recipe this is. I didn’t think much of it until senior culinary editor Leah Colins mentioned that she’s been seeing the same. Two people coming across more than one video of a recipe on their respective feeds is not merely a coincidence, my friends. It’s something we like to call a trend that has gone viral. The claims across the internet were far and wide: Whipped honey is delicious, they said. Whipped honey is easy to make, they said. You can even double the volume of your honey, making your dollar go further, they said. But was all the hubbub worth the effort? Naturally, we grabbed our honey to put it to the test.

Test #1: Whipping With a Handheld Frother

Leah and I stepped into our respective kitchens to get started. While most attempts at whipping honey online seem to rely on a stand mixer for whipping, we wanted to first test with a small individual portion that, in theory, could whip up quickly with a handheld frother. Also, we know y’all love frothing stuff.  

The set-up: We each poured two tablespoons into a jar and got to frothing—or at least attempted to.

The result: The thickness of the honey made it difficult for our wee little frothers to do their jobs.  After that first disappointing show, we decided to microwave our honey for a few seconds so that it was more fluid before we went back to frothing. My handheld device kept slowing once it was submerged in the honey, so I didn’t get very far. Leah managed to make it to seven minutes of frothing before her motor overheated and she stopped. The consensus? Frothing was simply not the way to go.

Test #2: Whipping With a Stand Mixer

The set-up: We decided the next test was to whip honey in a stand mixer for at least 20 minutes (as is actually instructed by many of these videos). I tested with ¼ cup of honey, and Leah started with one full cup to get the whisk attachment to “catch” the honey (the difference between a culinary editor and a regular schmegular editor, I suppose!). We both started off on low speed and gradually increased the speed of the stand mixer in increments up to medium-high.

The result: At about seven minutes for Leah and ten minutes for me, we started to notice the color of the honey changing around the edges and some small bubbles forming. The honey became lighter in color without much texture change about 15 minutes in. From there, the honey I was testing became a tad lighter but didn’t change in texture between the 15- and 30-minute mark. Leah’s, however, did manage to turn lighter than mine in color with a bit of a fluid texture, but ultimately did not reach the whipped and aerated honey consistency we were looking for, nor did it increase in volume. Had we found a flaw in this viral trend?

Collage of whipped honey and frothed honey
Leah Colins / Serious Eats

So...Should You Whip Honey At Home?

This trend proved to not be worth the sticky mess. Even after 30 minutes in the stand mixer, though the honey was more viscous, it didn't aerate or whip up the way we had seen promised in videos. Another discrepancy we noted between our tests and the videos we’d seen circulating is the amount of honey being whipped. We saw creators pull out TUBS of honey and dump it into their stand mixer bowls in order to whip up a rather large batch of whipped honey and keep it on hand at all times. This is all fine and great, but who’s got that much honey lying around? Certainly not us, that’s for sure. But if you have a need for a large amount of honey (and an accompanying honey budget) then, hey, this might be the trick for you. 

It’s likely the popularity of whipped honey may have begun as a trend to bring life back to crystallized honey, and then just turned into a different way to use honey. (One video noted that once crystallized honey is whipped into this consistency, it will stay whipped). 

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention there are two other (small) draws to whipped honey: It makes a wonderful homemade gift that, yes, we would both actually give to people! It’s also just a great way to incorporate some flavor into your honey (think vanilla or cinnamon). However, Leah noted that including or swapping in whipped honey in recipes wouldn't make any noticeable difference. “Since the texture didn't change much, I don't see the value of using whipped honey over regular honey in baking applications,” she says. “But I could see the value of whipped honey on its own as a condiment to serve with a recipe, such as vanilla- and orange-scented whipped honey to drizzle over pancakes.”

Finally, I will say it’s a bit mesmerizing to watch in the stand mixer, the ribbons in the honey resembling the sticky-stretchy candy you see candy makers pulling before forming it into shapes. So I guess you could also make it if you’re in need of some entertainment? Besides that, unless you’re expecting a visit from Winnie the Pooh himself, the effort doesn’t outweigh the reward here.