Queen’s Eats: Is Tasty worth the hype?

Three recipes to spice up exam season

Tasty recipes look great, but are they feasible for students?

We’ve all scrolled through our feed and fallen into the Tasty trance. It’s impossible not to love those beautiful overhead shots of hands combining ingredients that have been pre-chopped and organized into little glass bowls.

Tasty is a food-centric branch of Buzzfeed, a media company known for quantity over quality. While Tasty recipes are aesthetically pleasing and appear easy to prepare, I’ve always wondered if they’re actually good. I was skeptical if the channel actually cares about developing quality recipes, or if the majority of Tasty dishes are designed to be pretty, and subsequently trendier.

Additionally, Tasty makes everything look so easy. The short-form videos make it look like you can roast an entire chicken and prepare three sides in 90 seconds—not to mention, the pre-measured ingredients make the preparation process much quicker. The recipes could be delicious, but what student has three hours to commit to cooking one meal?

I tested three Tasty recipes to see if they’re as delicious as they look, and to confirm if they’re practical for a student lifestyle. Also, as the holiday season rapidly approaches, I chose dishes perfect for a comforting winter meal.

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Sweet Potato Gnocchi

This dish is relatively simple, requires minimal ingredients, and true to the recipe, only takes about 45 minutes to make. The bulk of the preparation is spent roasting the sweet potato, so you can pop a tray in the oven and study while the spuds are cooking. The process gets tedious when it comes to rolling out the dough, as the recipe says to roll each ball of dough along a fork to create signature gnocchi ridges. This step absolutely made the gnocchi look cuter, but you can skip it if you’re in a pinch.

The simple butter herb sauce calls for sage, but there’s room to get creative and substitute with whatever you have in the fridge. I used fresh rosemary, garlic, a pinch of chili flakes, and a squeeze of lemon. The gnocchi turned out a little denser and chewier than traditional gnocchi, but overall, it was simple and fun to make. If you’re looking for something warm and hearty to ease the exam stress, this is the dish for you.

Potato Latkes

Get a taste of Hanukkah with these simple potato pancakes. It’s hard to get fried potatoes wrong, so of course, these were delicious. If you have a food processer with a grating attachment like the recipe suggests, you can prep the latke batter in five minutes. If you don’t, a cheese grater works just as well, but requires a little more time and elbow grease. This is an ideal dish to bring to a holiday party with an array of dips of your choosing, from sour cream to apple sauce. Or, even better, make a batch for yourself in the morning and enjoy it alongside some eggs to kickstart your day.

Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding

This dessert is more style than substance. The picture featured in the recipe looks beautiful, drizzled in chocolate sauce and crowned with a scoop of ice cream. On its own, it’s a little underwhelming, both visually and in terms of flavour.

The mixture could use a tablespoon of sugar or honey and a pinch of salt to enhance the overall flavour. While this dessert wasn’t the tastiest, it was fun to adapt (I added chopped apples instead of chocolate chips) and is a good way to use up those forgotten brown bananas sitting on the kitchen counter. 

As it turns out, Tasty dishes are just like those from any other professionally cooked recipe: never as good as they look online, but still good enough to eat.

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