If you thought the days of cloud bread and whipped espresso were in the past, you’re wrong – there are still dozens of weird food trends sweeping TikTok. Some of them are great, others are disgusting, and some are just plain weird. Read on for some of the most bizarre viral food trends of 2023.
1. Cheese and Pickle Wraps
Lay some of your favorite grated cheese down on a hot pan, then fry it until it’s semi-crispy on the bottom and gooey on the top. Then, put your preferred brand of pickle on one side and use a spatula or fork to roll up the cheese. Take it out of the pan, let it cool off, and then enjoy.
Lovers of the pickle and cheese combination cite the snack’s salty and savory flavor as the main draw, but others see this odd snack as more like the type of craving one would get during pregnancy.
2. All Kinds of Kelp
Kelp snacks are all the rage on TikTok, the most popular being seaweed snacks. They usually come in small packets, dried, salted, and ready to eat. Their low sugar and low carb makeup makes them a good food for those looking for a heart-healthy treat. And supposedly, they have antioxidants that help reduce overall triglycerides and cholesterol. But to some, kelp snacks just taste like dirt and fish.
3. Tinned Fish
Tinned fish refers to any fish that comes in a tin: salmon, tuna, anchovies, mussels, or even caviar. They’re cheap and delicious, and though they usually have a high salt content, they’re jam-packed with lots of protein. With only a slice of bread and a tinned fish, diners can have a gourmet experience with minimal effort. However, tinned fish can be divisive for its strong, intense flavors.
This chef influencer got her fifteen minutes of fame through “tinned fish date nights,” where she and her husband would enjoy a new kind of tinned fish each week with wine and crackers.
4. Baked Oats
For breakfast food that tastes like cake, try out baked oats. This meal includes oats, bananas, eggs, salt, baking powder, and a drop of honey, sugar, or other sweetener. Stick it all in the blender at once, pour them into ramekins, and customize or garnish them with cocoa powder, peanut butter or peanut butter powder, nuts, fruits, and more.
Though gluten-free consumers love this adorable version of a mug cake, others believe that baked oats have a weird, dry consistency. They’re palatable if you’re on a diet and have nothing else, but otherwise, a real cake is much better.
5. Pasta Chips
The next odd food trend is pasta chips. First, you’ll boil your pasta until it’s al-dente. Then, drain it and dry it. Toss it with olive oil, cheese, and whatever herbs you choose. Then bake it for 12-15 minutes at 400 degrees. Content creators say it goes best with a Greek yogurt dip, feta dip, parmesan dip, or feta dip.
The obvious question regarding this trend is: why not just eat normal pasta and chips? While the answer might be unclear, some people say that baked pasta quite literally tastes like uncooked pasta, making the trend as gross as it is silly.
6. Fruit Roll-Ups and Ice Cream
This food trend is as simple as it sounds – you put ice cream in a fruit roll-up, roll it up like a burrito, you can freeze it a little longer if you want, and then eat it. Some love this treat as it satisfies an extremely sweet tooth. But if you’re looking for a wrapped ice cream dessert, this trend is just an overly-processed, Americanized version of the delicious Japanese delight called “mochi ice cream.”
7. Butter Board
A butter board constitutes the mixing of butter with different things like herbs or garlic. Then, when it’s nice and soft, you spread it on a charcuterie board and dip bread in it with your friends. You can also drizzle accouterments on top of the spread butter rather than mixing it. Either way, it’s still a board full of butter – and while slices of bread and kinds of butter are quite enchanting, some say that dipping (and potentially double-dipping) into whole sticks of greasy, softened butter is a little too rich for their blood.