Culture Features Recipes TikTok Video

Content Creator Highlight: The Golden Balance

Photo: Facebook

If you didn’t know, this is Arab American Heritage Month. While this is a newly recognized celebratory tradition in the states, it’s long overdue. The purpose of this month is to honor Arab Americans and Arabic speaking Americans by highlighting their culture and contributions to the world. 

Here in the U.S., Arab cuisine is loved yet the culture’s representation is not prevalent. One content creator illuminating Arab culture and traditions is Ahmad Alzahabi, aka The Golden Balance. Inspired by his last name, which means golden, Alzahabi initially had an interest in documenting his journey to a more balanced and healthy lifestyle. Not long after he started sharing his daily routine, his culinary content began garnering attention, drawing more and more eyes to his delicious creations.

Alzahabi admits to having more culinary passion than experience in the beginning. During high school, he interned in Dubai at a four-star Swiss hotel, which taught him the ropes of working in a restaurant. While his knowledge grew, his hunger for more culinary growth pushed him onward. Fast forward a year later, along with countless trial and error attempts, and now The Golden Balance has millions of followers across three social media platforms. 

His self confidence undoubtedly plays a part in The Golden Balance’s success. Instilled in him by his parents, Alzahabi believes that it isn’t an insecurity if it’s something you embrace. This spirit can be felt in his content, which not only features mouthwatering food recipes, but also messages of positivity and encouragement. 

Although it was never his original intention, The Golden Balance has helped shed light on his Islamic roots. He later realized that for many Muslims, sharing their culture was a hurdle. Burgeoning fan interest in his culture inspired him to not only share more of it, but was also the origin of his tagline, “Now Bismillah.” The suggestion was made to him by Arab fans of his content who naturally identified with it. Alzahabi fondly recalled the impression these cultural interactions had on him:

“In their head it was like, sometimes it’s tough to embrace who you are, given your surroundings. So, when they see someone that’s representing who they are, and what they say and normalizing words in Arabic or foods that previously were looked down on — like look at this weirdo, look what they’re eating. And now, it’s making it cool, people feel represented. People feel represented through you, your name is Ahmad Alzahabi, you’re putting out dishes that your mom taught you that are completely Syrian, you’re saying ‘Bismillah’ at the end of every single video. I wasn’t doing it intentionally, I just said it because someone commented on it and thought that’s a good idea.”

During last year’s Ramadan, an Islamic observance of fasting, prayer, reflection and community, Alzahabi would break fast around 8pm or 9pm, and then create food content until the wee hours of the morning. Through this experience he was inspired to begin sharing his process along with other aspects of his culture through a series aptly-named The Ramadan Chronicles.

Moving forward, Alzahabi hopes to continue sharing his culture and making the kitchen a lot less intimidating for people. While he’s unsure if he does the best job expressing it, his goal is to encourage you to embrace who you are and be unapologetic as a person through food. “You gotta embrace the process,” he underscores. 

To follow Ahmed Alzahabi’s journey and learn some amazing recipes while you’re at it, you can visit his website here.

Technology TikTok

TikTok is Obsessed With This Ramen Machine Found at an Airport


Shoutout to our airport bestie 🤗🍜

♬ original sound – Kirsten

Airport food, for the most part, can be a drag; the price points are high, the quality sub-par and the feeling of being rushed on a meal while in an airport are all a part of its downside. This ramen vending machine, however, looks to be a game changer.

Yo-Kai Express, the company behind the ramen vending machine highlighted in this clip from popular TikTok creator @pepperonimuffin, specializes in “autonomous restaurants” and has multiple on-the-go dining concepts at high traffic areas like airports.

In the clip, which has more than 5.5 million views as of this writing, we’re shown the delicious convenience of treating yourself to a warm bowl of restaurant-quality ramen or other dishes like rice bowls or Taiwanese beef noodle soup — which is shown to have a reasonable price of $13.99.

Autonomous restaurants, next level food vending machines and robotics in quick service restaurants are surely becoming more prevalent these days, which can serve as the barometer for how much farther technology will have a part in how we eat daily. Welcome to dining in the future.

Celebrity Grub Now Trending TikTok

Social Media Roasts Paula Patton For Her Awkward Fried Chicken Recipe


y’all come watch paula make chicken 🤦🏾‍♀️

♬ Italian Dinner Party – Italian Restaurant Music of Italy

Paula Patton is getting obliterated on social media for a fried chicken recipe that the Four Kids and It star had posted to her Instagram last month.

The controversial recipe was initially posted on March 4, yet began trending on social media after TikTok user @thetrackqueen, AKA Olympic medalist, Ashley Spencer, gave her own recap of the awkward fried chicken tutorial.

Off the jump Patton gets called out for the way she washed (or didn’t wash) her raw chicken, then continues to violate fried chicken protocol by failing to season the flour and then seasoning the chicken while it’s frying in the oil — which of course, will burn the spices and render them useless. Patton then slices into a piece of chicken, revealing undercooked, pinkish meat.

Social media was swift with their condemnation with Twitter and TikTok roasting the ‘famous fried chicken’ recipe that Patton learned from her mother.

“Paula, don’t eat that,” pleaded Spencer on the above TikTok clip.

Thankfully this story wasn’t all bad vibes, as it lead folks to chime in with their own surefire and foolproof fried chicken recipes. Let’s hope Paula Patton rolls with the punches on this one and takes notes on the reliable recipes shared.

Perhaps taking a look at Los Angeles’ best fried chicken can help cleanse ourselves of this unfortunate recipe.

Feature photo: Gage Skidmore

Cravings Restaurants TikTok What's New

Birria Chicken Wings Are the Latest Take on the Popular Mexican Stew

@thefirstdatedude I was pleasantly surprised with these #fyp #chickenwings #birriachickenwings #birriaeverything #birria #fypfoodies #dudewheresmytacos #alamedaca #alamedacalifornia #bayareafoodie #bayareafoodies ♬ original sound – user395684431830

The more birria content, the better I say. The popular Mexican stew isn’t a trend, it’s here to stay. With such booming fame in the past couple of years on social media a slew of different takes and birria-inspired menu items. Even El Pollo Loco helped spread the birria gospel on a national level with their new birria menu lineup.

This time around we are treated to knowing that birria chicken wings exist. Spotted by TikTok account @thefirstdatedude, the wings can be found at Capullo Cucina Mexicana in Walnut Creek, California and Alameda, California.

Just watching the slow motion shot of delectable birria-glazed chicken wings getting dunked in rich consomé is enough to set off a major craving. Forget a fly outfit, this is the type of drip that I’m smashing the like button for.

Cravings Theme Parks TikTok What's New

Find This New Giant Mozzarella Stick at Downtown Disney

@foodatdisneyland New Giant Mozzarella Stick in Downtown Disney! #foodatdisneyland #disney #downtowndisney #giantmozzarellastick #cheese #cheesepull #fyp #foryou ♬ I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston

Just spotted by TikTok account @foodatdisneyland is a giant mozzarella stick at Blue Ribbon Corn Dogs in Downtown Disney. From the looks of this clip, it’s of epic proportions, one that rivals the size of the largest corn dogs out there.

What’s interesting to note is that the batter looks to be an outer layer of rice krispies, which would I can only imagine would yield the crispiest of crunches, like ab workouts with impeccable form. As expected with a mozzarella stick this large, it is only giving out epic cheese pulls, ones that would make a Ninja Turtle squirm in their shell.

Speaking of giant Disney food, here’s what happens to their massive gingerbread house displays from the holidays.

Celebrity Grub TikTok

Doja Cat’s New Song About Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza Should Be On Repeat


♬ original sound – Doja Cat

Doja Cat’s no stranger to oddly vibey and off the wall tunes (remember “Mooo!”?), so when her latest TikTok is an actual ode to her love for Taco Bell’s iconic Mexican Pizza, I already knew that it would be a banger.

“I made a song about Mexican Pizza because I love it so much. I wish Taco Bell didn’t discontinue it a year ago,” prefaced Doja Cat before she launched what she called a “monstrosity of a beat” and let off a couple poignant bars detailing just how much she adores Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza.

Only Doja Cat could make such a quirky tune be actually dope. I’m sure she’d be elated to find out that the Mexican Pizza is set to make a return later this year, though.

Cravings Now Trending Restaurants TikTok

Watch TikTok Star Eat Delicious Ukrainian Comfort Food

@ashyizzle It’s all about love 🇺🇦💙💛 #mukbang ♬ Where Is The Love – Instrumental – The Hit Crew

TikTok star Ashley Yi is popular for her delicious eating exploits, all of which showcase her exuberance for any and all kinds of food. In one of her most recent TikTok videos, Yi visits, Traktir, a restaurant in West Hollywood, California that’s served up Russian and Ukrainian comfort food to the community for 16 years.

Check out the popular clip above as she highlights some classic Ukrainian fair like traditional boiled dumplings called varenyky, and holubtsi, which are stuffed cabbage rolls.

The significance of this video lies in its spotlight on Ukrainian fare, right as the world watches the country face major crisis and acts of war from Russian invasion.

Yi’s video concludes poignantly, “Even though the world may be a little broken, food will always bring us together.”

Film/Television TikTok

You Can Find the Official Recipe for ‘Kevin’s Famous Chili’ from ‘The Office’ Hidden in This Unlikely Place

@hiddentvdetails Did you know this about The Office? #theoffice #theofficeus #theofficeclips #theofficetiktok #theofficekevin #kevinmalone #theofficebloopers #theofficememes #theofficeshow #peacocktv #peacocktv #tvdetails #eastereggs #easteregg ♬ original sound – Hidden TV Details

“I’m serious about this stuff. I’m up the night before, pressing garlic and dicing whole tomatoes. I toast my own ancho chills. It’s a recipe passed down by Malones for generations. It’s probably the thing I do best.”

This was the iconic commentary ‘The Office’s’ Kevin Malone provided regarding his recipe for ‘Kevin’s Famous Chili’ — right before he infamously dropped the pot and spilled it everywhere.

If the ensuing scene of the clean up effort made you cringe and empathize with Kevin over all that lost chili, rest assured that there’s an actual recipe out there to help you recreate it. The recipe just so happens to be found in the most unlikely place.

As TikTok account @hiddentvdetails points out in the clip above, the full recipe for ‘Kevin’s Famous Chili’ can actually be found hidden within the Peacock streaming service’s terms and conditions.

It’s a neat little Easter egg for sure, and one that provides delicious results.