By Melissa Locker
November 11, 2018

Christmas is coming and along with it comes the Christmas parties, festive gatherings, holiday pageants, and school recitals in need of refreshments, and the annual cookie swap. All of those may require baking and if you've exhausted the options in your grandma's hand-me-down cookbook, that may have you running to the computer (or phone or tablet) to look up recipes. You're not alone, people across the South turn to their favorite kitchen tool—Google—to find recipes.

To see what exactly Southerners are searching up, we dug into Google trends and it turns out that come the holidays, a lot of Southerners want to find a new favorite to add to their Christmas cookie repertoire. Bakers from Myrtle Beach, Chattanooga, San Antonio, and Augusta, all started searching for sugar cookie recipes as the holidays neared. While snowman and Christmas wreath sugar cookies frosted and covered in edible glitter are holiday classics, that wasn't the only cookie that was a popular search term. According to Google data, people in 40 out of the 50 states—including the entire South—found themselves on the internet searching for gingerbread recipes once November rolled around. For good reason, too, its warming, sweetly spiced flavor and potential to be made into adorable cookie shapes make it a delicious holiday tradition.

Outside of the cookie world, other popular holiday recipes to Google include sweet potato casserole. In fact, according to one site only Southerners are searching for a recipe for this tasty side dish—and the rest of the country doesn't know what they're missing! How to cook turkey tutorials are also a popular topic to Google (particularly in Mississippi) as well as recipes for pecan pie, because apparently no one can manage to keep their Karo corn syrup bottle clean enough to read the recipe off the side of the bottle. Tennessee has a particular fondness for reindeer chow, that addictive blend of Rice Chex, chocolate, and peanut butter, and Texas has a thing for Christmas ravioli, according to Google Trends.

While recipes are fun and helpful, Google Trends provides another not-too-surprising insight: Southerners really like Christmas movies, particularly the ones shown on the Hallmark channel. Since it hit November, there has been a 3,800% increase in people searching for Hallmark Christmas movies on Google as well as a 3,600% increasing people looking for info on the 2017 Netflix film Christmas Inheritance. Guess we all need something to watch while baking—or just eating—Christmas cookies.