TikTok-famous content creators Janelle & Kate have done the impossible. They’ve made a macaroni and cheese dish so revolting that viewers say they’ll never eat the beloved comfort food again.
The unorthodox recipe starts with Kate dumping a pot of macaroni not in a colander, but directly in the kitchen sink.
“I think it’s easier when you’re making a big batch. Just do it in the sink,” Kate explains later in the Facebook video.
More culinary crimes follow. Kate tosses ingredients like Velveeta cheese and Campbell's cheddar soup into the sink with abandon. She then covers the unmelted globs of butter and gelatinous Velveeta with shredded cheddar and mozzarella, bags of which she conveniently keeps on the floor … next to her bare feet.
After stirring the mixture — again, this is all in the sink — she shovels it into a baking dish and puts her kitchen sink mac and cheese in the oven.
“If you’re wondering about any of the things that were in the sink, guess what? It boils all out,” she says.
The “best way to make mac and cheese” video quickly went viral on Facebook, where it has more than 6.5 million views. More than anything, viewers have responded to Janelle & Kate’s bizarre kitchen hack with outrage, disgust, and even concern, with multiple Facebook users calling the recipe “unsanitary.”
“This is why I worry about going to potlucks. Next up: Toilet Tortellini,” one commenter wrote.
“There is absolutely no reason to mix all that in the sink. I don’t care if it was sanitized. It’s disgusting to me,” another viewer added.
Commenters’ concerns about bacteria are warranted. According to microbiologist and professor Charles Gerba, one of the top five dirtiest places in the kitchen is the sink.
"Kitchen sinks are full of germs," Gerba told Today. "Think about it, everything is slopped into it. You cut raw meat then rinse off the cutting board in the sink. There's more fecal bacteria in a sink than there is in a flushed toilet! That's why dogs drink out of the toilet. They know better than to drink out of the kitchen sink!"
But a closer look at Janelle & Kate's content shows that their videos might intentionally provoke outrage to boost engagement. In a toilet cleaning tutorial, they fill a dirty toilet to the brim with shaving cream and cleaning supplies, and the video is so over-the-top that it seems like their exaggerated production is merely a publicity stunt. The strategy makes sense.
In 2021, the Washington Post reported that Facebook's algorithm favored "more emotional and provocative content," with the platform ranking emoji reactions as five times more valuable than a simple like.
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