40 Of The Best “Chaotic Food” Pics That Might Raise A Few Questions
The question of the day is: have you ever put a fried egg in a cash register?
Pandas, if you’re eating or drinking anything right now, we genuinely advise you to set it aside for the next few minutes. No, seriously. What you’re about to see is so deep down the rabbit hole of food that you might end up losing your appetite for the foreseeable future. In short, you’re about to see some stuff that’s so far outside our comfort zones that we’re lost in this culinary jungle of madness.
And it’s all thanks to the ‘Recipes With Chaotic Energy’ Instagram page. The social media project, also going by ‘Chaotic Foods,’ does exactly what it says on the dark-food-gods-worshipping tin: it documents the most bizarre, random, and flabbergasting images and videos of food on the interwebz. It's FoRbIdDeN fOoD.
Whatever you’re imagining right now, Pandas, it’s so much worse. The [cringes internally] ‘banana bread’ (notice the air quotes?) alone is worth some sort of award for its ability to break our minds. And all the rest are pics that really stretch the definition of food, cooking, and internet memes to the limit. Seriously, we've never seen edible ingredients used in these types of contexts before.
If you think you know what good and bad taste is, scroll down to have your preconceptions challenged. Don’t forget to upvote all the pics that made you go, ‘Wait, what?!’, and let us know in the comments which of these recipes you might be willing to try out. Would you like to confess the strangest things you’ve ever made in the kitchen? We’re all ears. The kitchen priest is in the house, and all he smells is sin.
We wanted to learn more about current food trends and the mistakes that beginners tend to make in the kitchen, so we reached out to talented pie artist Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin, the author of 'Pies Are Awesome.' She explained to Bored Panda that things in the food fad world seem to be trending in a pretty utilitarian direction.
"Given the global inflation we're all contending with, I’m not sure we’re going to be seeing a retreat from that any time soon," she argues that the utilitarian trend is here to stay... and it might even deepen.
"If anything, I think we’re just starting to see the ascent of trends like insect proteins and 'beyond meat; type proteins in light of both rising cost and environmental footprint of commercial meat industries. Look for lab-grown meat in a butcher shop near you soon!" Jessica said.
"Sustainable. Local. Homemade. Urban gardens. Kitchen hydroponics. Front yard chicken coops. None of these things are going to be going the way of Unicorn Frappuccinos and Molecular Gastronomy in the next decade. Though maybe we’ll all ease off on the homemade sourdough starter just a little…," Jessica shared some of the trends we might be seeing very soon. Whether this sort of future turns out to be utopian or dystopian is still up for grabs, though.
Bored Panda was curious to hear pie artist Jessica's thoughts on the types of mistakes that beginners make in the kitchen, whether cooking or baking. She explained that keeping things neat and orderly can help avoid a lot of trouble down the line. For instance, working with everything 'mis en place' (that's 'out in place' before getting started) is a huge confidence booster. And it helps stop at least some of the chaos and amateurs from feeling overwhelmed and spiraling out of control.
"Having all of the tools and ingredients needed before you get started with a recipe ensures that you don’t get half way through a step with some time-sensitive chemistry and then have to bail on your work because you need to run off to the store for something. And this should go without saying, but read the whole recipe before you get started with any of the steps!"
The ‘Recipes With Chaotic Energy’ project has 34.5k followers on Instagram, as well as a further 6.1k fans on Twitter. It’s your “daily inspiration” for weird things to ‘cook’ if you happen to be in the mood for some c H a O s.
It’s no surprise that we find some of these food pics weird. Some of these are so strange, that they’d make practically anyone shrug, no matter what year they’re looking at them. Meanwhile, others seem like they might be the products of passing trends and online fads, as well as the results of really overactive imaginations.
Is what you’re looking at food art? Debatable. But it’s important not to knock any recipe before actually tasting it. Something that looks weird might end up being your next favorite dish… or not.
Previously, Bored Panda spoke to Professor Nathalie Cooke from McGill University in order to learn more about vintage foods which might seem incredibly peculiar to someone seeing the recipes in the 21st century.
Professor Cooke told us that vintage party food recipes from the 1950s are “the result of food fashion—but not just of a food ‘fad.’”
“That is, the basic flavor combination is something that reaches across the decades. What you’re describing may seem very odd to us in the 21st century, but the taste combinations—savory and sweet (tuna waffles, ham and bananas) or sweet and sour (mayo with lime) are surely very familiar,” she said that even though the exterior looks bizarre, the taste itself is something that’s timeless.
“There were ‘fads’ at mid-century: think of cookbooklets demonstrating how to decorate one’s ham with slices of canned pineapple, topped with the bedazzling red of a maraschino cherry, for example! And you don’t mention the jaw-dropping recipes incorporating marshmallows in main course dishes, recipes that were brainchildren of corporate marketing departments.”
She continued: “But if we were to create one of today’s favorites from scratch, say Pad Thai, we would start from the same basic taste combinations in what at first glance seem like bizarre plate partners,” she explained
“Cooking bitter tamarind with water, raw sugar and fish sauce will build the basic foundation (sour, salty, and sweet). To that one would add the requisite green onions, bean sprouts, and noodles—and likely some additional flavor notes such as shallot, garlic, and perhaps dried turnip (salty and sweet) to deepen the flavor.”
The professor shared some of her thoughts about what the food of the future might look like, too.
“Perhaps that we try to ‘eat’ food without any taste at all—in the form of vitamin pills? Or drink it—in the form of smoothies? That we replicate the animal kingdom and encourage children to consume it—as gummy bears, cracker fishes, dinosaur eggs in oatmeal? That we continue to be mystified by the miracle of bread and milk?”
Meanwhile, others fully embrace the massive weirdness of chaotic foodstuff. For instance, Sébastien Mathys and Jonas Nyffenegger, the founders of the ‘Totally Gourmet’ Instagram page, shared with Bored Panda that they’re huge fans of experimenting in the kitchen.
"We like to experiment in the kitchen and try new flavors whenever given the opportunity,” they told us earlier, adding that strange and ‘ugly’ photos stand out on social media.
Sébastien and Jonas admitted that some of their fans lose their appetites when they see some of the photos they post on their page.
"We know what you mean. This occurs to us as well... We have tips to help, depending on the picture," they urged internet users to come forward and share their experiences.
They also shared one of their worst food disaster stories. "Younger Jonas organized a Surströmming party in a public park in Geneva with a few friends and me," Sébastien told Bored Panda.
"Surströmming is a Swedish delicacy made of fermented fish. Most of our friends refused to even try and backed away from the smell. Actually, the scent was so strong that everybody in a radius of 50m decided to leave. Even a group of punks. Our tasting was too trash for them."
It just goes to show that some recipes are too much for some people, no matter the Instagram project. The chaos is just too overwhelming.
Note: this post originally had 81 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.