Viral feta pasta: The simple recipe taking social media, and old world media, by storm

The viral ‘Uunifetapasta’ — or baked feta pasta — recipe has over 40 million views. — Picture from LauriPatterson/Getty Images via ETX Studio
The viral ‘Uunifetapasta’ — or baked feta pasta — recipe has over 40 million views. — Picture from LauriPatterson/Getty Images via ETX Studio

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LONDON, March 1 — A super simple recipe has been going viral worldwide. The ingredients for this global success? Tomatoes, feta cheese, olive oil and ... 40 million views.

Its success is such that even highly respectable media outlets like The Wall Street Journal have taken interest in the subject. Here’s a look back at how this simple baked feta pasta dish conquered the internet.

Don’t tell me that the cherry tomato/feta/olive oil hype has passed you by? Where have you been? Because this most simple, unassuming of recipes has gone viral worldwide, breaking the internet in less time than it takes to flip a steak. But how exactly did that happen?

A year and a half ago, Jenni Hayrinen, a Finnish food blogger, posted this super-simple pasta recipe: take an ovenproof dish, add cherry tomatoes (not even halved), a block of feta cheese in the middle, a healthy slug of olive oil, then put it in the oven for 40 minutes and, hey presto.

The blogger, who describes herself as a “food artist,” told Today that she owed the dish’s success to ... her own laziness. “The original recipe was created because I needed a quick and easy lunch,” she explained. I was getting hungry and started craving some oven baked feta.”

Feta, tomatoes, jail

Titled “Uunifetapasta,” the recipe proved a global hit and has been watched — get ready for it — over 40 million times. But the video didn’t go viral instantly. Although posted in 2019, it’s in 2021 that it has been subtly breaking records, thanks to versions from various influencers on their Instagram and TikTok pages.

Since then, the baked feta pasta hype has grown such that even the highly respectable The Wall Street Journal has taken interest in the story, looking at the many disgruntled web users complaining that they can’t get the right texture of feta or that their tomatoes are all wrong. In fact, WSJ reports the recipe’s creator has even had people telling her she should be in jail.

This isn’t the first time that a recipe has sent the internet wild. There was lockdown’s banana bread, the colourful rainbow cake craze, and who could forget Japanese fluffy pancakes. Whatever could be next? — ETX Studio

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