Last Updated: July 16, 2021
We all know the drill; it’s 11pm, you tell yourself you’re going to have an early night. You climb into bed with your phone and snuggle under your blankets, the familiar black logo with a quaver note calling out to you like the cursed spinning wheel from Sleeping Beauty. Alright, you say to yourself, I’ll just watch TikTok videos for 10 minutes.
And suddenly it’s 4.18am. Just for the record, I’m definitely not speaking from experience.
I’m sure most of us avid TikTok perusers are no strangers to trends that go viral and amass millions of views. One of the trends include users trying out the strange food cravings shared online by expecting mothers, some of which are unexpectedly delicious and others better off consumed as they are. I was enthusiastic at first when my Editor assigned me this, but now I can safely say that I tried weird TikTok food combinations so you don’t have to.
I’m not starting out with the worst combination, though this one cuts it close. I was most curious about this because I love Nutella-everything and I’ll never say no to BBQ sauce on anything. But when eaten together, with chocolatey flavours mixing with the tangy sourness of BBQ sauce, I’d say that the resulting flavour is the feeling of confusion—in taste form.
The sour, nutty chocolate notes are not entirely inedible, but if I were doing a blindfold taste test, I’m pretty sure I would’ve short-circuited.
Gone are the days of the conventional blueberries on yoghurt combination. This combination was highly raved on TikTok, with cries of ‘don’t knock it till you’ve tried it’. Well, I’ve tried it and I’m knocking it. The mild sweetness of the blueberries was overwhelmed by the strident flavours of the yellow condiment, making it feel like I was eating spicy blueberries.
It is definitely not the worst thing I’ve tasted for this article, but can we just stick to fruit salads and mustard with relish, please?
Okay, fine, I absolutely dreaded trying this one. I’ve always maintained that these two ingredients should only be combined when baking decadent chocolate cakes, but I stand corrected. The heat from the hard-boiled egg melted the chocolate, giving way to something unexpectedly creamy and rich. The chocolate’s bitterness didn’t give the egg a cloying sweetness, and in return, neither flavour was overpowered by the other.
It’s certainly not going to be a staple snack in my household, but I’ll admit that it makes for a pretty good conversation starter.
This pairing was the only one I had some faith in, and I was fortunately proven right. The light saltiness of the cream cheese befriended the creamy honey immediately, leaving a creamy-sweet aftertaste that had me reaching for a second scoop just to make sure I was right.
This had a lot of potential to be transformed into a honey-glazed cream cheese dessert. And when a TikTok chef has perfected that recipe, I’d like to place my order for three of these, thank you very much.
This combination didn’t seem completely inedible at first, but I immediately felt the urge to apologise to my tastebuds. The two came together in a terrifying jumble of creamy, salty, and eggy flavours that would probably have tasted the same as eating peanut butter that had gone bad.
It does seem that these well-loved condiments and spreads will not always pair well unless conventionally tried and tested or satisfying a very random, late-night craving.
Guess what? Not all strange TikTok combinations are bad. This was my favourite–tart, sweet strawberries eaten together with a potato chip dusted in well-loved hot and spicy seasoning. I don’t quite understand how or why, but these two got along like a house on fire (pun intended).
The strawberries help to neutralise the saltiness of the chips, giving way to something that was pleasantly sweet, with a mildly spicy kick that I’m actually looking forward to revisiting in future.
I saved the worst for last because the avid coffee drinker in me is still recovering from this. Sure, a salted caramel frappuccino sounds amazing, but as far as savoury coffee goes, that’s it for me. The smell and taste of espresso almost always dominates, which meant that after the butter was stirred in, all that remained was a salty coffee with unappetising yellow chunks of unmelted butter.
I hated coffee as a kid, and I’d say with absolute certainty that if coffee tasted like this all the time, I would hate it as an adult too.
If I’m being totally honest, writing this article meant that I had to embark on the strangest yet most memorable tasting thus far. I wouldn’t consider myself the most adventurous of foodies out there, but this gave me a welcome push out of my comfort zone. This article didn’t cover every wacky combination on TikTok, though if you’ve found a couple you tried and liked, recommendations are always welcome.
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