TikTok Is In Shambles Over A Gravy-Dipped Popeyes Chicken Sandwich

You may be reading the headline and thinking to yourself, "Is putting gravy on a chicken sandwich that bad?" If people put mayo, BBQ sauce, and all sorts of condiments on their chicken sandwiches, gravy doesn't seem all that strange. Gravy is even served with chicken, so why the big deal? It seems TikTok's reaction isn't because dipping your Popeyes sandwich in some gravy is wrong, but because of how it's being eaten.

TikTok user Zach Choi uploaded a video of himself dunking a chicken sandwich into a paper tub filled with gravy and wolfing it down in large, tearing bites. As Choi ravenously tore into the gravy-soaked poultry, many commenters were quick to joke about it. "My dad when he wants a bite of my food," joked one user. One Instagrammer wrote,"The food not going no where bro." Another commenter quipped, "I think bro likes the gravy."

While this may seem like a video meant to showcasing Choi's  enjoyment of Popeyes, this isn't the first time Choi has done something like this. Choi runs a food ASMR YouTube channel, boasting an impressive 14.2 million subscribers and 655 videos. The content of these videos consists of Choi cooking and/or eating large amounts of food, with the sounds of cooking and eating being a source of soothing or comforting sounds for people. But what exactly is mukbang and where did it come from?

Mukbang has roots in Korea

The idea of watching people eat large amounts of food may sound like it has roots in competitive eating, mukbang originated in Korea. According to TODAY, the word translates to "eating broadcast" and is rather popular in South Korea — there are even professional mukbangers who enjoy lucrative sponsorships. The videos provide a virtual companion to someone who is eating alone, as Korean culture usually encourages socialization during eating.

But how did such a concept take root in America? Thrillist explains that the American mukbang videos are rooted in two concepts: popularity and ASMR. Upon noticing how popular the videos were in Korea, American streamers decided to try their hand at it. There is also a neurological factor, as the sounds of eating and cooking – biting into extra crispy fried chicken, chewing on pasta, cutting vegetables, or sipping a bottle of soda — give those who watch it a tingly sensation as part of their autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR.

So while many commenters on Zach Choi's TikTok video joked, others wrote things like, "I love ASMR," and "Best mukbang youtuber," after viewing the video.