I didn’t want to like TikTok food trends.
They seemed kind of silly. Stunty. Weird stuff for views.
I think the first recipe I remember seeing on TikTok was the pancake cereal. Remember that? The little mini pancakes people cooked up for…some reason? I didn’t get it. Why? Just make pancakes.
Now, to be clear, I am decidedly an Old, at least as far as TikTok is concerned. I lurk on it mostly for work. It’s an app largely dominated by creative young people and I am barreling toward 30. So, you know, of course I don’t get some stuff.
But cooking is pretty much my main hobby. I am barely able to make simple food. Everything needs to be overly complicated. Let me put it this way: I squeezed an electric smoker on my 7-foot by 3.5-foot New York City balcony.
So, eventually, of course, I was lured to food Tiktok. The apps For You Page algorithm has incredible power.
At first, I predictably ran into cooking demonstrations. Basically, I was flying through pared-down YouTube cooking videos where people blitzed through recipes. (A personal favorite is , a restaurant chef who makes beautiful food.)
But eventually, I wound up on what I can only describe as food trends. It wasn’t people making recipes, it was people doing their own version of a single recipe. Think about the whipped Dalgona coffee craze? You remember? When everyone was making the kind of ? That’s the kind of thing I’m talking about.
I ignored the whipped coffee. I held out from the pancake cereal. Again, it seemed stunty. But then, a TikTok recipe I couldn’t resist. White Claw slushies. My goodness: White Claw slushies.
I can’t even remember how we found it, but over the summertime, my fiancée and I got obsessed with it. If you don’t know what a White Claw slushie is, well, it’s exactly what it sounds it like. It goes something like this: Pour a White Claw in a blender. Add a dash of vodka. Throw in some fresh or frozen fruit that matches, or complements, the flavor of White Claw you chose. Fill to the brim with ice then blend that sucker until a thick slush is formed.
Is that stunt food? I mean, maybe? It takes a trendy-ish drink — White Claw — and makes it into a slushie. But holy hell is it good. The drink has the texture of a frozen margarita, but it’s super simple to make and the icy, carbonated Claw is quite refreshing.
Here’s a picture of pineapple slushies we made to sip on our balcony.
I mean, come on. Tell me those don’t look incredible. Refreshing, simple, guaranteed to get you a little buzz in the summer heat — a truly wonderful drink.
I can be a little…let’s say…picky about my cooking. Like I typically don’t trust random food blogs. Those sites where the intro is an entire life story before you get the recipe? No thanks. I like recipes from food publications because I know it has been vetted by folks with more knowledge than me.
Enjoying the slushie was me getting out of my arrogant little shell. From there, it’s been a joy. Like, if you haven’t tried the viral four-section-tortilla fold, well, you’re missing out. It’s so much easier to make than a burrito, and you get a nice, layered sandwich. Here’s one I made with egg, chorizo, cheese, avocado, and salsa. Not the most aesthetic thing in the world — thanks green wrap — but it tasted fantastic.
I was skeptical of TikTok food trends because they’re designed to be aesthetic and fun. How else would something go viral? But that doesn’t mean they’re without merit. I mean, TikTok somehow has everyone making delicious as hell birria tacos. If that’s not a win for food culture overall, what is? (And yes, I will be making them at some point.)
My job necessitates that I spend much of my life on the internet and I suppose that when it came to cooking — my favorite hobby — I felt like I had nothing to gain from something so crass as ~viral~ food. Of course I was wrong. Because I’m an ass.
But I still contend the pancake cereal trend was dumb.
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