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UNC students are turning to food TikTok for the latest cooking trends

DTH Photo Illustration. UNC-Chapel Hill students have been using TikTok to try out culinary trends such as whipped coffee, folded tortillas and air fryer recipes.

In a year where students are using their phones more and eating out less, many are turning to food TikTok to see what new dishes they can stir up.

Food TikTok is known for continuously sparking viral crazes that anyone can try. From folded tortilla wraps to air fryers to whipped coffee, college students have mastered quick food hacks — proving good food can come from even the smallest of dorm rooms.

Grace Souder, a sophomore majoring in political science, has used TikTok for two years and recently discovered the tortilla wrap hack through the app. 

Instructions are as follows: Cut one line in your tortilla to the center, place your ingredients into four different triangular sections, and fold the layers on top of one another.

When Souder first saw the hack in her TikTok feed, she thought it was ingenious. She makes her wraps using a low-carb tortilla, then puts lettuce, basil pesto, turkey and Swiss cheese in the corners. 

“I follow a lot of health food accounts and it kind of merged into that — a healthier way to have lunch,” Souder said. “The cheese goes on the outside, so it’s literally a perfect balance of all the flavors when you eat it. It’s really good.”

Alicia Robbins, a junior studying journalism and Italian studies, agrees the tortilla hack is useful for small-space living. 

Robbins has tried a recipe for a one-person cookie and various others from a food account she follows, but she has been particularly excited about the whipped coffee trend. 

“It makes it like this little coffee cloud,” Robbins said. “It’s really creamy and it’s really good.”

To create this trend, also known as Dalgona coffee, combine hot water, sugar and instant coffee. Then with a hand whisk or electric mixer, mix until it is fluffy and light. The final step is spooning a dollop of this creation over a cup of milk and then stirring. 

“The results varied with how thick it was,” Robbins said. “It’s inconsistent.” 

Brooklyn Woody is a junior majoring in psychology and has only been on TikTok for two months. She used her air fryer long before it began trending on the app.

“I was so excited,” Woody said. “I’d been trying to tell people how great air fryers are.”

Woody said air fryers are great for cooking, and she always decreases the oven temperature stated in the recipe and checks on her meal over time.

“It's super easy,” Woody said. “You just put your food in there, set the temperature, set the time and close it.”

Woody’s favorite thing to make in her air fryer is french fries, adding they are “life-changing.”

“I think (air fryers) are one of the food trends on TikTok that are worth it,” Woody said. 

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♬ Food - Densky9

Woody also attempted making the popular hot cocoa bombs, but they did not turn out as well as she expected. 

“They were very disappointing,” Woody said. “They weren’t as cool as I thought they would be, but they were still fun.”

While some trends are more fun, like hot cocoa bombs, others can be especially helpful for college students who often live in tight spaces. 

“The age group of TikTok is really specific to our age group — people who are young adults just starting to live on their own,” Woody said. “And some of the stuff makes cooking a lot easier, like the air fryer.”

Whether you’re looking to cook something practical and healthy or fun and tasty, food TikTok can inspire your latest and greatest culinary endeavor.