Ireland's somewhat conflicted attitude to eating has been laid bare by Google in its annual Year in Search results which reveal that while "Operation Transformation recipes" was the most searched for food related term this year, "cake recipes" came hot on its heels.
Perhaps all the cake talk left users of the search engine feeling guilty, prompting them to look up “healthy dinner recipes”, which was in third in its annual rankings. The arrival of the “Beast from the East” in spring may have led to more searches for “bread recipes” as it found itself catapulted into fourth spot.
The annual Google Year in Search results provide a snapshot of what caught Irish people’s interest over the last 12 months.
The soccer World Cup was Ireland’s top-trending Google search this year, despite the Boys in Green’s absence from the tournament.
Irish rugby's historic victory over New Zealand last month was Google's seventh overall top trending search in 2018 and the second most searched for sporting event.
Golf tournaments took three of the top 10 spots in sport, horse racing took two spots, and tennis and MMA shared one spot each.
When it comes to music, death was to the fore with Avicii proving to be the second top-trending topic for 2018 after the musician – famous for the song Wake Me Up – died in April. Dolores O'Riordan was Google's fifth top-trending search after she passed away earlier in the year.
The Eurovision was the search engine’s sixth top-trending musical topic overall, driven no doubt by Ireland’s first inclusion in the final for five years.
The “How to...” category is frequently most telling about the year that past and this year is no different. The most popular question starting with those two words was “how to register to vote”.
People also asked “how to build an igloo” and “how to bleed radiators” in response to the snow and then “how to get rid of fruit flies” during the summer’s heatwave. The perennial “how to lose weight” was in third spot and our tech worries centred around “how to get old snapchat back” and “how to turn off automatic updates?”
Other politically charged questions included “what is blasphemy?”, “what is the backstop?” and “what is the 8th amendment?”
But the seriousness of politics this year was mitigated by our love for escapist films, with the musical melodrama A Star Is Born taking top spot in the movie rankings, and also registering as the only movie to appear in the overall top 10 list.
Comic book adaptations take four of the top 10 movie spots, hinting at a juggernaut of a trend that doesn't show signs of slowing, with musicals occupying three spots and drama/thrillers rounding off the list, including the Irish Famine-based movie Black 47 in fourth spot.
And the former actress and now new Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, made an unsurprising appearance in the top list this year, coming in at third place with her wedding, her pregnancy and her visit to Ireland all enhancing her curiosity value.