Extremely Online

We All Deserve A Rat Snack

The weirder, the better.

Long gone are the days of unnecessarily intricate kitchen projects. Sourdough? Don’t know her. That one salad that requires you to finely dice five different types of produce? It’s a no from me, dawg. After a successful 2022 enjoying our feral era, 2023 is taking that same energy and running with it all the way to our kitchens, for what we can lovingly call “rat snacks.” Everyone has a weird, sometimes nasty little snack that they love, and who are we to deny one another such pleasures?

To know a rat snack is to love it, and everyone has enjoyed one at some point. For me, it can be a tortilla slathered in peanut butter sprinkled with berries or a piece of salami and cheese dipped in mustard when I need a midday pick-me-up. For TikToker @ken.eurich (1.4 million followers), it’s “chip soup” — crushed-up potato chips in vinegar. And yes, it’s eaten with a spoon.

One snack has made its rounds on TikTok as of late in true viral #FoodTok fashion: the pickle cheese wrap or #pickleinablanket (essentially keto “chaffles” rebranded because even rat snacks can come back in style). TikTok user @clurmurr posted a video on Jan. 17 sharing a pickle wrapped in fried cheese and a new name for the trend, with the #pickleinablanket tag now boasting 6.4 million views on the app. “My husband thinks it’s gross but I think I can find someone else out there who makes this,” she says in the clip that has 1.6 million likes.

Claire Snyder has since made multiple follow-up videos trying out suggestions from her comment section — upgrading the pickle cheese wrap with a slice of salami or Tajín seasoning. “Weird little snacks go viral on Tik Tok because snacks tend to be quick, easy, and most people would already have the ingredients in their house,” she tells Bustle. As someone who tried the pickle in a blanket after seeing Snyder’s post, I can confirm the hype.

For other users, the rat snack is a way of life rather than a one-off viral phenomenon. @KelitaRosita, who doesn’t share her real name online, has 561,000 followers and over 100 videos in a playlist on her page dedicated to her series “What I Eat In A Day From Somebody Who Just Scrounges Around.” In these videos, she shares the foods she puts together from her “initial feeding” of the day (she doesn’t love breakfast foods) until she goes to bed full and satisfied. The video that started it all was one where she showed the cheese and mayonnaise sandwich she grew up eating.

“Sometimes people get grossed out or say I eat weird, but other people relate. I would call myself a grazer, a scavenger, and things like that. Then people [on TikTok] called me a scrounger and I'm like, ‘Oh yeah, I guess I do kind of scrounge around,’” Rosita says. By sharing her unorthodox meals, she has found a community of people who eat similarly, whether due to food allergies, food avoidance disorders, or other reasons. Her favorite groceries to have on hand are orzo (“I don’t know why I love it so much!”) and shredded carrots since “you don't have to wash it and it lasts forever.”

Although Rosita is willing to try new foods when going out to eat, she sticks to her scrounges when at home. In the world of rat snacks, leftovers are king. “Sometimes I'll save food and it'll be three bites. I've thrown that stuff away before because it's just such a little amount and then three hours later I'm like, ‘Ah, I would've loved those three bites right now!’”

Grace Black, the host of the Five Years Time podcast, also leans into low-maintenance food videos for her 375,000 TikTok followers. Much of her top-performing content shows her putting together snack platters. This sort of small bite-centric eating has been a habit for Black throughout her life — from long days attending class in college to afternoon meetings in the workplace, and now as a new mom. “Snacking is one of the best forms of eating for me as a busy human in this world. I love that you can do all your mundane tasks, whether that be working at a desk or literally folding laundry, and snack as you go,” she says.

Her favorite rat snack is a “pickle dish” — you can always find one added to her spreads as a savory bite. “My perfect pickle dish is a normal pickle, like a cucumber pickle, and then a unique pickle of some sort: carrot, asparagus, whatever. And then an olive. I like to have the little extra salty trio in there,” she says.

Not only are these snacking videos fun to watch, but they are also a great way to simply eat what you want when you want it, says Abbey Sharp, a registered dietician, who also posts content on TikTok @abbeyskitchen to her 659,000 followers. Sharp often shares her formula for what she calls a “Hunger Crushing Combo” — a non-diet framework that encourages people to mindfully honor their cravings. “The idea is rather than always thinking about what we need to remove or restrict from the diet, we're thinking about what can we add in to make it more satisfying and satiating,” she tells Bustle.

On Feb. 17, she shared her take on a rat snack using the processed, sliced cheese she was accidentally sent in her grocery order. On a slice of bread, she layered it with caramelized cinnamon apples and pecans to replicate an apple pie flavor profile and cover the bases of healthy fats, carbohydrates, and fruit. It’s further proof that satisfying snacks do not have to be pleasing to the eye, a sentiment that makes sense in a world where goblin mode was just named the Oxford Word of the Year. Sharp has seen food trends come and go during her 12 years of content creation, and today’s rat snacks, she believes, are simply a sign of the times.

“[With] the rise in grocery costs, people are trying to find any way that they can save money and for a lot of people, this means digging deep into the pantry, freezer, or fridge to pull together any little bits and pieces that may not traditionally go together,” she says. “Now, people aren't interested in hyper-stylized content, they want what's genuine, they want relatability. These rat snacks are becoming more popular because people often don't see themselves making the smoothie bowls that they see on Instagram, but they can pull together a piece of cheese and a pickle with a pinch, because they have it on hand too, you know?”

On TikTok, the weirder the food, the better. Ultimately, as long as you’re sustaining yourself in a way that is satisfying for your body, that’s all that matters. Even if that means considering leftovers their own food group or sneaking a single anchovy from the fridge every once in a while. Guilty as charged.


Claire Snyder, TikToker @clurmurr

Kelita Rosita, TikToker @kelitarosita

Grace Black, TikToker and host of Five Years Time podcast

Abbey Sharp, registered dietician, food content creator @abbeyskitchen