Words by: Coby Renkin
In a year that’s thrown Melbourne in and out of lockdown more times than I’d like to think about, I, like many others, have taken comfort in two things: food and TikTok. Without sounding too sad, both have brought me a lot of comfort… and cured a LOT of boredom. I mean, only so many hours of the day can be taken up by walks within my 5km bubble and chaotic Zoom calls with friends.
So in all that time in-between, I’m sure you can imagine my joy when my two old reliables came together, and I landed on food TikTok (FoodTok?). Like every other side of TikTok, FoodTok has its fair share of trends. So I picked four of the most popular and road-tested them.
- Pasta chips
In true basic-vegetarian-white-girl fashion, I consider both pasta and hot chips to be essential food groups. So the thought of combining the two into one delicious snack had me excited, but I was left unsatisfied, to say the least. Admittedly, my pasta chips may have ended up a little ~overdone~, a fact I’m going to attribute to my inability to accurately predict the appropriate cooking time of anything, and the generous-yet-entirely-appropriate amount of cheese I decided to coat them with. Nevertheless, I felt I got the gist of this, dare I say it, overrated snack. I struggle to believe that even if you took away the crispiness and slightly charred taste of my “chips” that they would live up to their hype. I kept mine simple with olive oil, oregano, garlic powder and cheese (what should be a delicious combination) and it just did not work. I’ll stick to either pasta or chips from now on. 4/10.
- Nature’s cereal
I’m sorry, but TikTok straight-up lied to us about this one. I’m not sure I’ll ever forgive Lizzo for having me believe that a bowl of coconut water, fruit and ice could be so refreshingly delicious. Admittedly, I was skeptical. I mean, it’s coconut water, fruit and ice? But I generally try to be a “don’t knock it till you try it” kind of girl so, I gave it a go. There was just nothing good about it. A cold bowl of soggy fruit floating in what I can only assume water would taste like if it expired? I’ll pass. While my beef with nature’s cereal may lie in my apparent hatred for coconut water, I refuse to believe this is a necessary addition to anyone’s diet. Eat your fruit, drink your water and maintain your sanity. 1/10.
- Folded wrap
There’s not a whole lot to say about TikTok’s viral wrap hack. It’s a wrap, with four fillings spread over separate quarters, folded in a roundabout way, resulting in a triangular sort of shape. It’s hard to criticise this one because it’s so customisable. You can fill it with whatever you like and cook it however you like (if you like). I love a good wrap for my lunches, so no complaints here on the taste factor. My only issue is the fold itself (that’s right, the whole point of the trend). The nature of the fold simply does not allow for optimal filling ratios. Too much of anything and your wrap will not fold. If it does, and you want to toast your wrap, it’s got too much height and results in uneven toasting. Delicious snack, unnecessary method. 6/10.
- Everything but the bagel seasoning (EBBS)
This one was technically a 2020 trend but the hype carried over into 2021 so I’m running with that because this stuff has a hold on me like I never thought a seasoning could. TikTok went crazy for EBBS, and I absolutely cannot argue. This stuff is delicious. There are few occasions where I find myself jealous of Americans, but the mere fact that they can buy EBBS ready-made and in bulk is almost enough for me to jump on a plane and never look back. Making it yourself is pretty simple though, so in hindsight, I might regret that. Sea salt flakes, poppy seeds, black and white sesame seeds, garlic granules and onion flakes are all you need to make this seasoning of the gods, and pretty soon you’ll be putting it on everything. I started with the classic capsicum and cream cheese like so many TikTokers told me to, but now it goes on my avo toast and more snacks than I’d like to admit. I’m making it for friends and I’ve even got my mum sprinkling it on the odd veggie for family dinners. I can’t fault it. 10/10.