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Why This Beloved Cheese Has Vanished From Grocery Store Shelves

A viral recipe may be to blame.
FACT CHECKED BY Mura Dominko
cheese aisle

If you're having a hard time finding feta cheese on grocery store shelves, you can thank the omnipresent TikTok Pasta recipe for it. The one-pot dish has been making the rounds on social media and is allegedly causing feta shortages in some parts of the country.

This isn't the first time that the recipe—in which pasta sauce is made by roasting fresh tomatoes and feta cheese in the oven—has caused a shortage of the popular Greek cheese. According to Yahoo! Life, this isn't even a new viral sensation, but one that has finally made its way across the ocean. A Finnish food blogger Jenni Häyrinen first created the viral pasta dish in 2019, and it ended up being widely shared on social media. The popularity of the "UuniFetaPasta," as it was called in Finnish, ended up causing a feta shortage in the Scandinavian country. (Related: Grocery Shortages To Expect in 2021, According to Experts.)

And now that the sensational pasta finally landed on TikTok, it is causing a similar shortage in American grocery stores. According to a recent report by The Charlotte Observer, "finding a block of feta cheese is like a "golden ticket" in Charlotte right now," thanks to the viral recipe.

In the odd chance you missed the whole TikTok Pasta craze, let us fill you in. The ingredients for this delectable dish are simple, but its true genius lies in the simplicity of its preparation. It calls for cherry tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, fresh basil, pasta (think penne), and of course, a block of feta cheese, all of which come together in one baking dish in the oven. The preparation is easy, the cleanup even easier.

As for the specific recipe, many exist out there, but one of the clearest to follow is this version posted by The Food Network. So go ahead and try it for yourself, if you haven't already. And if you can find feta, that is.

For more one-pot dinner recipes that have viral TikTok potential, check out 30 Quick & Easy One-Pot Meals, and don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest food news delivered straight to your inbox.

Steven John
Steven John is a freelancer writer for Eat This, Not That! based just outside New York City. Read more
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