What’s With All The Bonkers Food Trends?

by Sa'iyda Shabazz
Scrumdiddlyumptious/YouTube (left) / Shared Food/YouTube (right)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to cook. As I got older, that love led me to being obsessed with cooking shows. When I was in college, all I seemed to watch was the Food Network. Now that I spend most of my time on social media, my love for cooking shows has expanded to watching cooking tutorial videos on Facebook and YouTube.

I love a good over the top cake recipe, or four ways to spice up your pasta game. But I have to tell you, I cannot watch another weird food video. Potato salad cake? Barf city. Cheeseburger aspic? Hell to the no. Mustard and ketchup cake? Why would you ruin cake with two standard condiments? Listen, enough is enough.

I think it’s important to be inventive in the kitchen because eating the same thing every day would be incredibly boring. But these things are extreme, and I’m pretty sure no one is actually eating these weird things. It just seems like a battle for who can come up with the weirdest food combinations. I have yet to see someone actually admit that they’ve tried any of these concoctions either (okay, so apparently one person made that condiment cake).

So, who are they really being made for?

Nowadays, it’s all about what kind of outlandish content can make you go viral, and these weird food combos are definitely viral content. Seriously, who on earth is eating a peanut butter and pickle sandwich? Not only does it not sound like it tastes very good, it looks gross AF. Yet this was an actual recipe shared by the New York Times. THE NEW YORK FREAKING TIMES. They did use bread and butter pickles, which give you that nice sweetness, but why? I mean, if you’re going to do it, they make sandwich slice pickles, which are supposed to be used on something like a Cuban sandwich, or your average turkey sandwich, but would at least be more visually appetizing. But, really? Why would you taint peanut butter with something like pickles???

But what do I know? I’m still trying to understand how riced cauliflower can pass for pizza crust. Can someone explain that to me? See also: zucchini noodles and spaghetti squash as pasta. Let veggies be veggies, don’t torture them because you’re trying to avoid real carbs.

You know what else we shouldn’t mess with? CAKE. Cake is pretty fucking perfect as it is. It is versatile, it is generally easy to make, and it’s delicious. So, why in the world would you ever want to make a cake that tastes like ketchup and mustard?? And not even good mustard like deli brown or dijon. Yellow motherfucking mustard. That stuff is the worst. But I digress.

Ketchup and mustard belong on a cheeseburger, not in a cake. Luckily, the red comes from food coloring and not actual ketchup. Please, for the love of all that is holy, leave cake out of this; it has done nothing but bring us joy for hundreds of years.

Maybe this weird food thing is cultural, and we just don’t know it because as Americans we are too short-sighted to see that we’re not the be all and end all of everything? Could that possibly be it? I don’t know, but I’m open to considering all possibilities because this is some nonsense.

After first seeing the potato salad cake as a part of Kalen Reacts, I was curious. I did a little digging on this abomination and found it on what appears to be a German-owned site. The potato salad is allegedly more German in preparation, the addition of the apple is a little weird, but maybe it’s a slightly sweet/savory thing. It could be a new way of presenting the salad by putting it into a springform pan instead of a giant tupperware. But then…they added hot dogs. WTAF!

The hot dogs form the “crust” of the cake, which is pretty fucking disgusting in and of itself but, wait, it gets better. Nowhere in the instructions does it say to cook the hot dogs. I mean, I guess it’s safe to assume that they must be cooked, but hell, this is a video for a “cake” made of potato salad that uses hot dogs as a crust. There are no frigging rules anymore.

Can we just stop throwing things into cake molds to make it more visually appealing? Spaghetti-Os in a jello mold does not make it more appetizing. In fact, it looks like barf in the shape of a bundt cake. Hardest of hard passes. Please, just…stop.

Look, I know that weird food combos may be fun, and seem like an interesting experiment, but we all need to calm the fuck down with this nonsense. You wanna eat weird shit like peanut butter and pickle sandwiches? Sure, go for it. But do that in the privacy of your own home, and for goodness sake, don’t put it on the Internet. Stick with stuff like acai bowls and salads in a mason jar okay?