South Korean health authorities are cautioning against consuming fried toothpicks following the trend’s surge in popularity due to viral videos.
These toothpicks are not the conventional wooden ones commonly used rather, they are made from starch. When fried, they expand and bear a closer resemblance to green curly fries than typical toothpicks.
They are commonly found in South Korean restaurants and are utilized for picking up finger foods. They are made from environmentally friendly and biodegradable materials such as sweet potato or corn starch, and food coloring is added to give them a green tint.
This unconventional dish gained traction after influencers posted videos of themselves frying the green sticks, leading TikTok users to replicate the process by frying the toothpicks, observing them puff up, and then adding seasonings like powdered cheese before consumption.
Fried Toothpick Trend
In a CCTV video, toothpicks crafted from starch are depicted turning green after being dyed and then fried in hot oil with spices. The trend gained popularity in South Korea following its introduction on a live-streaming platform where creators consume large quantities of peculiar or unconventional foods.
Brief clips depicted individuals placing the toothpicks into sizzling oil until they curled, followed by the addition of seasonings such as cheese or spicy powder before consumption. These videos have been widely shared and liked thousands of times.
Recent reports suggest that this trend of frying toothpicks originated from ‘Mukbang’ videos. Mukbang, a trend originating from South Korea, involves individuals eating large amounts of food while interacting with an online audience through live streaming.
Viewers find it entertaining and comforting to watch others consume various dishes. However, critics raise concerns about promoting unhealthy eating habits and overeating. It’s important to strike a balance between entertainment and mindful consumption to address potential health implications associated with this internet phenomenon.
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