No, You Cannot Turn Potato Chips Into Mashed Potatoes

There are three types of food content on TikTok: Stuff that is genuinely useful, pure shitposts, and honest content that just isn’t good. If you watch this mashed potato hack video from elis_kitchen, it may not be immediately clear which type you are looking at. However, if you view it within the context of their other videos, it becomes abundantly clear what kind of poster Eli is.

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Unlike a lot of viral food videos, there is no slick editing at the end. This young person is not a liar, and the final “glamour shot” is very, very real. The chips do not boil down into slop and then magically transform into fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes; they boil down into a watery mess with a wallpaper paste-like consistency, and they remain that way even after they are strained and mixed with cheese and paprika (though they do wind up less watery).

But it’s Eli’s certainty, their confidence, their belief in this bowl of cheesy potato mush that makes the video compelling content. It’s also what drove me and Joel to make our own bowls of gloppy, cheesy, wet potato chips, even though we both “know better.”

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“What is the value in this?,” you might ask. “What did we learn?”

I learned that I am old, and that young people are very good at convincing me to do silly things with food, even against my better judgement, especially if those silly things are presented with the confidence of youth. This is funny (to me), but it also might be helpful to other old people who are similarly influenced by fresh-faced TikTokers, because now you know that this “hack” definitely does not work, and you can save your precious potato chips (G/O media paid for mine).

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