Dave Ramirez squeezed the frozen bottle with both hands, watching the golden goop come out like toothpaste. Then, he took a big sticky bite.
“I’m not going to lie,” he said in a TikTok video. “That was pretty refreshing.”
Thus, the frozen honey trend was born.
The trend on TikTok has garnered about 900 million views, with creators uploading videos that show them putting honey in an empty water bottle, placing it in a freezer and then, hours later, squeezing viscous chunks into their mouth, sometimes in agony and often in delight.
The movement has quickly evolved since Mr. Ramirez’s July 9 video.
The concoctions are now made from different types of corn syrup and decorated with candies and flavors. Other versions include Chilitoloco spicy sour, bubble tea and sriracha.
Some creators, including Mr. Ramirez, have partnered with candy businesses offering their products as the next sweet treat to be placed in the half-frozen, half-gelatinous mixture in the videos. Still, honey remains the foundation on which all other flavors were created.
“I guess this got so much attention and traction because everyone has honey at home,” Mr. Ramirez said on Saturday. “People can say: ‘Oh, I have honey in my house. Let’s try it.’”
But like many social media trends, eating frozen honey comes with risks, health experts said.
Sarah Rueven, a dietitian in New York, said eating large amounts of honey could lead to stomach aches and diarrhea — consequences that some people on the app can attest to having experienced.
“I think like most viral videos on TikTok, it’s kind of, you know, shock value, and kind of silly, but it’s a cool concept, I guess?” Ms. Rueven said. “But I feel like people could be doing better things with honey.”
Eating large amounts of honey for a long period of time can be unhealthy, she said. It can lead to weight gain and be harmful to teeth.
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“When you eat something that’s so high in sugar, you’re going to have an equally high insulin response, which often leads to you having that sugar high and then getting really shaky afterward as your blood sugar drops,” Ms. Rueven said.
Mr. Ramirez, who has about 5.5 million followers on TikTok, said he did not set out to start a trend. He had seen many people eat delicate, cylindrical candy on YouTube videos devoted to autonomous sensory meridian response, or A.S.M.R., but had failed to create his own version of that candy.
He later learned honey could help create the gooey texture he was aiming for. He placed some in a small bottle, froze it, recorded himself eating it and then read comments from followers asking what he had just eaten.
Two days later, he told his audience his secret. “This stuff is just honey,” he said.
From there, other TikTok creators curious about the texture filmed their own A.S.M.R.-like videos.
Eloise Fouladgar, who has about 3.6 million followers on the app, said she takes only one bite from the cold sweetness. She first wanted to try it, she said, because everyone was raving about it.
“I definitely was apprehensive at first because I was like, ‘This is so random, but it looks satisfying at the same time,’” Ms. Fouladgar said, adding that her boyfriend had tried some and felt sick afterward.
When Daniella Shaba, 20, tried it for the first time, she said the initial bite was cold, but then the honey melted in her mouth and the chewy ooze tasted good. Ms. Shaba owns a candy company and has infused her own products into the mixture.
Source: New York Times