If you haven't seen a rainbow bagel, you've probably seen a monster milkshake. And if you haven't seen a monster milkshake on Instagram, you've definitely seen a bloody mary piled high with bacon, or another elaborate food trend that's cycled its way in and out of your Instagram feed.
Hot food items come and go, but — shocking — how popular they get isn't always quite based on how tasty they are.
If we're being honest, most of the food we want to eat on the regular isn't particularly good for the 'gram. (Mac and cheese. A hoagie. Mashed potatoes.) The food we actually eat is even worse. (Morningstar anything. Frozen burritos because we're avoiding Chipotle. A whole block of cheddar cheese.)
And the food that is good for Instagramming? Yeah, very little of it actually ranks highly on a list of things we'd like to consume. As Jia Tolentino put it so wisely on Jezebel, "if something is more fun to photograph than to experience, it's bullshit. That goes for everything, and it really goes for milkshakes."
Of the various "trends" to ever pass through our feeds, here are the ones we have little interest in eating:
We love sushi. We love burritos. But one of the beautiful things about sushi, to some people, is their delicateness and their fresh, bite-sized flavor. Raw fish is great in small chunks in a tuna avocado roll. But massive slabs of raw salmon in a Chipotle-sized burrito? Something about this just seems unappealing as, well, Chipotle these days.
There's actually more than one kind of these monstrous calorific milkshakes, which are basically milkshakes with four other desserts piled on top. Australia's Pâtissez cafe in Canberra went viral over the summer for serving up milkshakes layered with s'mores, pretzels and Nutella. Months later, New York pub Black Tap sent everyone into a sugar craze for putting literal slabs of cake on milkshakes (and it's apparently inspiring copycats). All of this separate is delicious. But all of it together... vaguely nauseating?
OK, don't get us wrong. Runny, poached eggs can be fucking delicious. They are also fancy. They are sexy in that drippy way. But sometimes, we really just want scrambled. They're not pretty, but you know what? Sometimes we just want a lump of opaque eggs.
Bloody marys with pretty much anything other than celery
Whose bloody idea was it to put entire meals on top of bloody marys? History isn't totally clear, but we do know that it's fairly absurd. Like monster milkshakes, massive Insta-ready bloody marys combine all sorts of foods that are fine on their own but wholly unappealing when piled on top of a cup. Plus, who wants that many obstacles between them and their alcohol?
A pile of macaroons
Of all the foods the French have given us, the tiny yet mighty macaroon is the prettiest. You'd think the colorful, meringue-based cookie was created for Instagram. But anyone who's ever sampled the delights at, say, Ladurée knows these babies aren't like Oreos: You can't have more than a couple before they become far too rich. An abundance of macaroon riches looks nice on Instagram, but not so much on your plate.
Yeah, it's still around — and to be honest, it's not unappealing because of how it looks. On the contrary, it looks like the most virtuous beverage, eternal health bottled up for the low, low price of $9 a pop. But just as our eyes are sometimes bigger than our stomachs, sometimes our eyes are more evolved than our tastebuds. A lot of green juices, especially those chock-full of kale, taste like grass. You could add lemon, and maybe some sweetener, and maybe... well, maybe just have lemonade.
A thousand versions of the same meal in a row
As if you didn't have enough insecurities about not living a healthy, adult life, here come the meal prep enthusiasts on Instagram to demonstrate what it's like to have a healthful, home-cooked meal... seven days in a row. The perfectly symmetrical rows are visually perfect. The idea of eating the same thing every day for a week straight? That's grown-up discipline we're not sure we have.
OK, maybe just a bite. Just to see what a bagel that tastes like Fruit Loops is really like. But really, a kaleidoscope of color doesn't necessarily improve the everything bagel experience, especially when you swap out chive cream cheese (the ONLY kind worth eating) for sprinkle-dotted cotton candy cream cheese. Why change up one of the greatest food combos of all time?