Why You Maybe Shouldn't Try TikTok's Perpetual Stew Trend

If you stay ahead of the social media curve, chances are you've come across the latest sensation sweeping TikTok — the captivating "perpetual stew" trend. At the forefront of this trend is Annie Rauwerda (@depthsofwikipedia), a TikTok user whose vegan stew has been simmering away for an impressive 40-plus days at a charming park in Bushwick. In a heartwarming twist, visitors contribute vegan-friendly ingredients to the ever-evolving potluck, making it a collaborative and flavorful experience.

While it has sparked innovative flavors that have propelled adventurous foodies into a frenzy, this perpetual stew trend may not be entirely safe. Meal kit delivery company HelloFresh sheds light on potential health risks associated with this practice, cautioning against the possibility of food poisoning (Via The Gazette).

Advising against the perpetual stew craze, Hello Fresh's head chef, Mimi Morley, explains, "The longer the stew sits, the higher the risk of food poisoning." She adds, "Ingredients rich in nitrates, like celery, parsley, spinach, and other green leafy vegetables, grow more toxic with repeated reheating. Similarly, potatoes shouldn't be overcooked, which is inevitable if you're simmering them for extended periods, as this can lead to the formation of acrylamide ... Not only that, leaving the stew in a pot for weeks also exposes the food to bacteria and other harmful microorganisms." So if you're eager to give the TikTok trend a shot in your kitchen, it's essential to approach it with caution. Remember, your health comes first!

The idea of a perpetual stew is not new

Perpetual stew is an age-old culinary tradition perfected over years and constantly evolving with each new addition of fresh ingredients. For example, a restaurant in Bangkok has been simmering beef stew for 40 years straight. As you savor this delectable stew, the pot is never emptied. A small amount of savory broth and ingredients remain, awaiting the next infusion of goodness. The cycle repeats, delivering a delightful surprise with every new round of ingredients.


it’s not about the stew #perpetualstew #bushwick #bushwickstew

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For food safety purposes, Mimi Morley recommends "bulk cooking the stew and dividing it into containers, which can then be safely stored in the freezer for later reheating. This approach ensures both safety and convenience, sparing you the need to constantly monitor the simmering process for days on end."

However, it's not just about stew. At the heart of perpetual stew is a captivating communal experience. As pots steadily empty and are replenished, curious individuals line up, mingling with one another in the heartwarming embrace of a welcoming environment. As the simmering pot's aroma wafts down the block, the atmosphere buzzes with camaraderie and the thrill of making new connections. These stew gatherings forge genuine friendships.