Feta pasta TikTok: is it worth it or not?  UNC students weigh in on viral trend

Feta pasta TikTok: is it worth it or not? UNC students weigh in on viral trend

Feta pasta is the newest of TikTok’s viral food trends, and many students are eating it. At a time when eating out isn’t always a safe option, students are flocking to apps like TikTok for easy, tasty recipes they can make from home.

With a short ingredient list and cooking time, this dish is the ultimate viral recipe, with some videos from accounts like @cookingwithayeh and @grilledcheesesocial racking up millions of likes and thousands of shares.

Despite its recent rise in popularity on the video-sharing platform, the dish’s viral roots go back to 2019 when Jenni Häyrinen posted her version of the recipe on her food blog, where it became an instant hit.

Freshman Rachel Giles said she was inspired to try the pasta because of its popularity and ease.

“My roommates and I claim one night a week to make dinner, and I’ve wanted to try this recipe ever since it appeared on my ‘For You’ page,” Giles said. “I decided that’s what I would do because it seemed easy and I pretty much knew the recipe by heart by now.”

First-year Eesha Desai said her mother wanted to make the pasta so badly that she came over to help make it.

“My mom has been sending me subliminal messages that she really wanted to make the pasta,” Desai said.

One of the reasons pasta went viral was because of its simplicity.

“It was so simple because all you do is cover the tomatoes, garlic and cheese with olive oil, add salt, pepper and herbs, then pop it in the oven for 30 minutes, then turn the heat up a little bit for about fifteen while kitchens. cook the pasta,” Giles said.

Like most recipes, feta can be good on its own, but the students added a personal touch to make it better.

“Add a little garlic, oregano, and a little Cajun spice, and it’s golden brown,” Desai said.

Even taking allergies into account, Giles believed the recipe was a winner.

“I have gluten and dairy allergies, so I remixed the recipe a bit using dairy-free ricotta and chickpea penne from Weaver Street Market,” Giles said. “I love Italian food, but I struggle to find good Italian food that I can have with my allergies, and have wanted to branch out with more dairy-free cheese, which are usually super hit and miss, but this one was a hit. ”

Senior Maria Cade said she was drawn to the recipe through TikTok and her love of cooking.

“I, like probably most people, got a TikTok during quarantine last spring and have been using it for inspiration to do things while social distancing and staying home,” Cade said. “I wanted to try it because I love to cook, that’s something I’ve always done with my mom and grandma. So, I really wanted to try it and see if it was as good as everyone else said.”

Eager to try the recipe, Cade and his mother recreated the dish, but were put off because it didn’t live up to expectations.

“It was definitely different,” Cade said. “I’m Italian, so I’m used to a specific type of pasta. In my opinion, my grandmother makes the best homemade sauces and pastas.”

Cade said the experience of making the pasta was fun, but the result was less than he expected.

“I did it at my house the other day, but I actually asked my mom to do it at my house, and she said it was fine too,” Cade said.

Both Giles and Desai said the simple pasta recipe was tasty and worthy of its popularity online. Giles added that the pasta is even praiseworthy for picky eaters and those with allergies.

“It was really delicious — it tasted like my old favorite Olive Garden four-cheese ziti pasta in my pre-allergy life, and even my roommate who was hesitant about tomatoes in pasta sauce enjoyed it,” Giles said. “I would definitely recommend it to other people who love to cook but are mean like me.”

The students may disagree about the taste of the pasta, but they all said it’s an easy and fun recipe to try.

“Feta cheese and ricottas can be expensive, but considering how easy and delicious it is, I think it’s worth both the hype and the price,” Giles said.



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