Most viral Facebook recipes are too gross to eat

A few days ago, PopSugar’s food blog shared a Facebook video recipe for “Wine and Cheese Shots.” It sounds bad even before you know the worst part: the shot glasses are made of cheese. All you do is melt a bunch of cheddar cheese, scoop the gooey mess into a shot glass mold, and then just let the mold sit for half an hour until the melted cheese coagulates into something resembling a solid. Finally, you pour wine into your warm cheesy vessels. Enjoy!


As Vanity Fair reporter Maya Kosoff rightly pointed out, this is disgusting. Are you supposed to drink the wine first and then gnaw on your reanimated waxy chunk? If you’re making these for a party, won’t the cheese start to sweat and fold in on itself as the shots sit for hours on the snack table? For that matter, is gripping a cylinder of cheese in your clammy paw supposed to be a pleasant party sensation? Then there’s the small issue that perhaps no one wants their wine to taste like it’s been soaked in microwaved cheddar.

PopSugar Food’s readers weren’t too thrilled with the recipe either. More than one person commented, “This is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen.” Some called it an insult to wine and cheese lovers; others wondered if it was the deranged fantasy of an inventive stoner.

But even as Facebook users lambasted the video as the final Jenga piece in the wobbly tower of true culinary innovation, it seemed like they couldn’t look away from it. There are almost 13,000 comments on the clip, and even though almost every single one is negative, that’s still about 13,000 more comments (give or take a handful) than a PopSugar Food video usually gets. “Wine and Cheese Shots” has 1.8 million views while similar videos on the site’s Facebook page have just tens of thousands.

Still, only a very small number of those viewers (if any) will likely end up heading out to the store to buy some Extra Sharp and a shot glass mold. That’s because recipes like these — short and simple, but hacky enough to dazzle your friends — are meant to be shared, not literally consumed. These videos are either intentionally unappetizing, like the cheese shots or Food Network’s edible candle video, or absurd, like Tasty’s Cheeseburger Onion Rings and Guacamole Onion Rings. The recipes themselves are created to disgust or to awe, but not to motivate.


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