tide pods

I Made Edible Tide Pods — and Honestly, You Should Just Eat a Real One

Photo: Jed Egan

So you — like, apparently, the rest of the internet — want to eat a Tide Pod? Here’s the thing: You shouldn’t really eat a Tide Pod, but you could, if you’re feeling domestic, follow this very unofficial recipe and make your own, edible version of a Tide Pod.

The earliest version of this recipe began circulating on Tumblr at the beginning of January. (It has since been deleted, apparently because “the legal manager for the Procter & Gamble Company” reported the Tumblr user for “using their [Procter & Gamble’s] registered trademarks without our permission.”) Thanks in part to the helpful tutorials of YouTubers Megan Weller and Sam Zalabany, whose videos were also inspired by the Tumblr recipe, we’ve re-created our own version.

Ingredients and necessary items: 
• Blue Jell-O
• Orange Jell-O
• Vanilla pudding
• Milk
• Parchment paper
• Tinfoil
• Shallow baking dishes (for Jell-O)
• Tape
• Mixing bowl
• Scissors
• Whisk
• Iron
• Spoons
• Many, many sponges to scrub gelatin and Jell-O off your counters
• Actual Tide Pod to eat when this process makes you long for the sweet relief of death

Step 1: Visit six different grocery stores in Manhattan and Brooklyn looking for blue Jell-O. Eventually find some at the Target in Tribeca.

Photo: Jed Egan

Step 2: Prepare said blue Jell-O, and some orange Jell-O, according to the instructions on the box. Pour a thin layer of each — about a 1/4 inch — into its own pan and place in the refrigerator to chill until set. (Approximately the amount of time it takes to write three blog posts, take one phone call, and eat a deli sandwich at your desk.)

Photo: Jed Egan

Step 3: Make a bowl of vanilla pudding. Any brand is fine. Make according to the box. Pour into bowl to set while the Jell-O is chilling.

Photo: Jed Egan

Step 4: Make gelatin paper. Place a dozen tablespoons of water in a pot and set the burner on high. Once the water is hot, but not yet boiling, vigorously stir — we’re talking serious wrist action here — in one, one-ounce package of unflavored gelatin. Once boiling, stir in a second packet. Once fully combined — there will be some gelatin that clumps and doesn’t dissolve; you can skim this off the top … it will smell like hot garbage and look even worse — take the pot away from your heat source and let it sit for two to three minutes.

Photo: Jed Egan

Step 5: Prep your tray. Place a layer of parchment paper over whatever flat object — make sure it’ll fit in your fridge — you’ve got around. A baking sheet would be ideal because the edges will stop runaway goo. (I used the top of a gift box from Twitter. Bloggers can’t be choosers.) Spread the semi-cooled gelatin across the tray as thinly as you can get it without any holes. This will become the plastic wrap for your Tide Pod. Place tray in the fridge for as many listens of “Reputation” by Taylor Swift as it takes you to start thinking, Hmm, maybe this album is good. (About four hours.)

Step 5.5: Go back to your desk, and after an hour check on your gelatin and realize that parchment paper crinkles up when it gets wet and this probably won’t work. Re-create step five using a foil pizza tray you find kicking around. (Alternatively, step five would work perfectly if you replaced the parchment with tinfoil in the first place.)

Step 6: Pull your gelatin wrapper from the fridge and cut two square shapes. Make sure to cut them bigger than you think you’ll need. Set aside, but keep in the refrigerator for easier handling.

Photo: Jed Egan

Step 7: Cut crescent-moon shapes out of the orange and blue Jell-O. I created a cookie cutter using some tinfoil and tape, but you could probably cut these out by hand with a knife if you have a secret knack for whittling.

Photo: Jed Egan

Step 8: Pull out one of your gelatin squares and scoop a spoonful of the vanilla pudding into the center of it. Position one orange crescent and one blue crescent atop the pudding. Place the second gelatin square over the top.

Photo: Jed Egan

Step 9: Seal your pods by wrapping the edges in parchment paper and running an iron over them. I used a flat iron kindly loaned to me by my beautiful friends at the Cut, but you could use a real iron if you have one. (This guy on YouTube heated up a knife blade over his stove top and used that. Anything that will melt the gelatin and create a seal.)

Photo: Jed Egan

Step 10: Place your pod back in the refrigerator to chill. About 20 minutes. While you wait, watch the YouTube classic “End of the World” and its 2018 sequel.

Step 11: Trim excess gelatin from edges to create a more uniform square shape and hope that you didn’t flat-iron your pod beyond recognition.

Photo: Jed Egan

Step 12: Bite into your pod and realize that orange Jell-O and blue Jell-O and vanilla pudding don’t work super well together. Also realize that nobody should eat this much unflavored gelatin in a single bite. Or any gelatin, really. Swallow and regret every life decision that led to this moment.

Photo: Jed Egan

Yields two pods and a whole lot of leftover pudding and Jell-O.

It Took Me All Day to Make One Lousy Edible Tide Pod