A peek into topics buzzing at Cassandra.

Another week, another seemingly endless stream of viral moments. Gen Z drives the online conversation, and we're here to catch a glimpse. Today, we're turning our attention to the latest trends and viral moments in one of our favorite corners of TikTok, Food-Tok. In the past week, we’ve seen a challenger rise up to take on the mighty charcuterie board for dominance, we’ve learned about the 3.5 star rule, and of course there’s the “trend” that got the FDA worked up into quite a tizzy, sleepy chicken. So let’s get into it.

Image of a wooden cutting board with buttered toast and a butter knife on top


Youth’s obsession with #charcuterie boards is well documented across TikTok. Then earlier this week, Justine Dorion turned us all onto butterboards, defined by the Washington Post as “boards smeared with softened butter and topped with all manner of savory and sweet accoutrements.” TikTok went wild for it, racking up over 8 million viewers and 1.1 million likes for her original video alone and setting off a chain reaction of other food influencers’ interpretations with 20 billion views of #butterboard already. Cassandra’s seasonal recommendation: Make sure you check with your besties before your Friendsgiving party accidentally consists of just many boards of butter.

Red background with 3.5 white stars indicating a Yelp review


Never get bad Chinese food again thanks to Freddie Wong's 3.5 star rule method. In his TikTok video that’s reached over 8.5 million views and 1.6 million likes in the past week, Wong explains that a Yelp rating of 3.5 stars- not more or less- is the best way to find the great authentic Chinese restaurants in any city. His video, which speaks to the cultural differences in customer service expectations in American and Chinese cultures, challenges people to look a little more critically at what’s driving Yelp ratings in order to avoid missing out on authentic food from other cultures. The comments section of his video is filled with others sharing how his theory aligns with their own experiences when it comes to global cuisines in the United States.

Image of a bottle of NyQuil and breaded chicken cutlets on top of a piece of lettuce


If you didn’t already know, let us make it very clear, cooking chicken in NyQuil is a terrible idea. The FDA also wanted to make that clear when they sent out a release earlier this week warning about the dangers of the NyQuil Chicken Challenge. The fact that there is no NyQuil Chicken Challenge didn’t stop news outlets from reporting on this fake trend, thereby amplifying the absurdity of the situation and bringing even more attention to it. It also perfectly illustrates the difference between a trend (something a lot of people are actually doing) and a viral moment (something a lot of people are watching). It’s an important distinction for us all to understand, right FDA?