Pickled eggs, pickled sausage, banana peppers, jalapenos, and spicy sauce: these are the ingredients typically seen in the Southern snack favorite known as spicy bowls. Spicy bowls are a regional staple in states like Louisiana and Florida, and they're all the rage on TikTok right now.
It's not hard to see why. From their fiery red hue to their mouth-watering ingredients, they're a certified tasty treat. You can pick them up locally from seasoned spicy bowl experts or have them shipped to you across the country - but that doesn't mean you should.
Like the infamous Chef Pii's Pink Sauce, these flavorful snacks are under fire at the moment for their potential health risks. From spoiled contents to unsanitary serving conditions, spicy bowls are going just as viral as the mysterious condiment right now. Here's what you should know about them before placing your order.
What Are Spicy Bowls?
Spicy bowls are a savory snack creation for anyone that loves a little heat. They include delectable additions like pickles, crawfish, onions, and anything else you can think of, all mixed together and topped with brine or special hot sauces. You can dig in with a fork and spoon or eat them with your favorite chips, cheese, or whatever you want. Forget chili or dips - if you want something special and filling that ignites your taste buds with yummy heat and a tangy zip, spicy bowls are where it's at.
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Many spicy bowls are made from store-bought ingredients. For instance, many of the pickled sausage and pickled eggs that go into the bowls are from a singular brand: Big John's, which can be purchased from Amazon. Sellers typically spoon these pre-made ingredients out of their individual containers and mix everything together. Many spicy bowl chefs create their own sauces and cook their own meats and eggs, though.
Spicy bowls are typically eaten with different types of chips, like a type of soupy dip. Some eat them with cheese. Some people like to dig right in with utensils or their hands. No matter how people like to eat their bowls, one thing's for certain: they can't get enough. As you search through TikTok, there are countless videos of spicy bowl fans chowing down, making them for the first time, or selling their own.
Many spicy bowl creators put together their bowls for hungry customers to pick up locally. Others allow for shipments, sending out spicy bowls and snack boxes to anyone who wants them, even in other states. But, like the Pink Sauce, shipping these bowls across the country comes with its own set of issues. It's one thing to sell them to customers who are nearby, so they don't have to simmer in the heat for days and days. It's another to expect the bowls to hold up to high temperatures and the other pitfalls that comes with shipping food.
There have been several horror stories, like a recent warning from TikTok user @devatillis, advising potential spicy bowl buyers to refrain from having one of the viral treats shipped to them. She ordered her own spicy bowl from seller @TheeBakerGirl, but unfortunately her shipment turned into a negative one thanks to shipping delays. When she received her bowl, which was filled with crawfish and other spicy items, it was rotten and spoiled with a noxious odor radiating from the package. She's far from the only user, and @TheeBakerGirl since set her up with a refund and a better experience, but the problems still remain - and with other TikTokers.
As a result, many have been quick to chime in on these issues, like user @ohdatgirlov, who questioned why people are buying food from strangers on the platform without knowing how they're creating their dishes, their qualifications, or anything of the sort. Just like the Pink Sauce, there's no regulation with spicy bowls, which means issues like those that @devatillis dealt with can continue happening. Food like this isn't really meant to be shipped long distances, at least without the proper precautions, and when you order it without these safeguards in place, you have no idea what you're going to get.
Spicy bowls certainly look appealing. From their bright red aesthetic to their unique Southern ingredients, they're a fun way to try new foods and a reliable way to try a popular TikTok trend. But for now, it may be worth it to stick to local sellers, if you can find one, or make your own. All you need to do is collect the ingredients and fill your own bowl - that way, you'll know exactly where everything came from, and no shipping is required.