Pinterest Food Groups: What We Eat, According to Pinterest

published Dec 12, 2011
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Are you a Pinterest addict? Pinterest, at its heart, is a collective pinboard of photos that people find interesting enough to bookmark. Lots of these visual bookmarks are food-related — and we have been noticing some repeat themes, watching the food that people bookmark and pin over and over again.

Read on to see some of our thoughts on what America wants to eat, judging from Pinterest. Do you agree? Add your own reflections on Pinterest food groups!

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If you were to design a recipe index of the major food groups represented on Pinterest, it would look something like this.

The Pinterest Food Groups

  1. Edible rainbows – We really, really want our food to be like a rainbow. Extra points for rainbow shapes, like on these rainbow cupcakes from Monica Joy of Bits & Pieces. See also: This brilliant roundup of all the rainbow cakes on Pinterest, and rainbow Jell-O.
  2. Food with a marshmallow on top – Marshmallows, s’mores, and hot cocoa — or some amalgamation of all three, like these Hot Cocoa Cookies from Pip and Ebby — show up again and again. Honorable mention: These squares. And this pie.
  3. Peanut butter and chocolate, mashed up – Peanut butter and chocolate features heavily on Pinterest. Got a gooey up-close shot of peanut butter mashed together with chocolate? Re-pin here we come. (Bonus points here for the visual recipe presentation on these Peanut Butter Squares from The Vegan Stoner.)

  4. Candy, repurposed – The denizens of Pinterest have a serious sweet tooth, enough so that treats like this Candy Pie at Cookies and Cups show up over and over. Repurposed Halloween candy finds its home on Pinterest. Also noted: Malted Milk Ball Cake.
  5. Food that looks like something else – This is a huge category of food on Pinterest. Strawberries that look like footballs, cake pops that resemble turkey legs, cheese balls in the shape of pine cones. My current favorite has to be these panda sushi rolls.
  6. Casserole dishes dripping with cheese – Savory dishes are a definite minority compared to the sweet stuff on Pinterest (just try finding a salad — at least, one that isn’t layered prettily in a Mason jar). But the exception is cheesy casseroles. There are lots of those. Take this tater tot casserole recipe from Blog Chef, which gets extra points for including tater tots. Also check out cheesy corn casserole, cheesy chicken enchiladas and mini mac and cheese (also of the “mini food” and “stuff baked in muffin tins” sub-sub-food groups).
  7. Cupcakes with tall things on top – When it comes to cupcakes, which are a supergroup on Pinterest, the taller the better, like these Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes from Bakers Royale and these O Tannenbaum cupcakes from Better Homes and Gardens. Extra credit: Fancy roses and other decorations that push cupcakes into the realm of edible art.
  8. Fruit (or cookies, or cupcakes) stuffed with cheesecake – Cheesecake commands a sizable audience on Pinterest, and people just love to pipe it into stuff. Take these Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries from The Sweets Life and this cookie dough cheesecake. (Cookie dough really deserves to be a runner-up Pinterest food group of its own.)
  9. Anything (and I mean anything) that involves Oreos – Oreos have a special place on Pinterest. They are Pinterest catnip. Check out this Oreo bark and these Oreo truffles — all examples of a theme that rolls on and on.
  10. The ultimate: An Oreo wrapped in cheesecake, baked inside a cupcake (with or without something tall on top) – Perhaps the quintessential Pinterest food pin: Cookies & Cream Cheesecake Cupcakes from Handle the Heat. This one has it all.

What do you think? Did I cover most of the basic Pinterest food groups? Or did I miss a couple? I couldn’t fit in some other serious contenders, like sweets with bacon, mini food and food with faces.

Related: Redesigning the Food Pyramid: How Would You Do It?