Eating habits change with the seasons, dictated by temperature, weather and available produce. But there’s a little more to it than that. Created by Google News Lab in collaboration with data visualization specialist Moritz Stefaner, The Rhythm of Food charts 12 years of food-related search trends — and it’s all too easy to get lost in.
Comparing the frequency of queries month-to-month and year after year, The Rhythm of Food documents seasonal searches — “chili con carne” surges in late fall and sustains into the winter months, for example — and looks at national trends, too. In Germany, searches for “asparagus” climb from April to May, while in Japan, the same search starts to rise in March, peaks in May and tapers off in June.
Select graphs feature annotations that spotlight holidays or events that contribute to surges (or declines) in search frequency. Others illustrate broader cultural trends. “Pumpkin spice latte” was virtually uncharted until 2011, at which point it caught on — and reaches an apex each September, when Starbucks announces the release date for its now-ubiquitous seasonal beverage. On the contrary, “cold brew coffee” experienced a small surge in 2007, but didn’t really take off until 2015.
As for upcoming queries, if the past is any indicator, you can expect to see searches for “champagne,” “horseradish,” “tamale” and “smoothie” increase in frequency in the coming weeks.
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