A TikToker went viral after asking the universe why Tostitos’ creamy spinach dip contains water chestnuts. The video was uploaded by TikTok user Paden Ferguson (@padiano), who typically posts content about unusual ingredients in food.
“Hey, Tostitos. I have a genuine question that I need answered. How come on Tostitos creamy spinach dip, there are water chestnuts?” he asked, unveiling the ingredient on the back of the jar. “I don’t know a single spinach dip recipe that has water chestnuts,” he concluded the video.
@padiano @tostitos is this what makes it crunchy? 🤣 Maybe it’s just me 👀 #padiano #foodquestions #weirdingredients ♬ original sound – Paden Ferguson
The Daily Dot reached out to Ferguson via email, Instagram direct message, TikTok comment, and Frito-Lay via contact form for more information. The video garnered over 17,000 views as of Sunday, where apparently viewers already knew this information.
“Ive heard of water chestnuts in spinach dip!” one viewer said.
“Water Chestnuts are the best part!!” a second remarked.
“Yes it’s the best! Many recipes with water chestnuts!!!” a third echoed.
For the uninitiated, water chestnuts are not nuts but instead edible plants that grow under water. As the Spruce Eats notes: “The name ‘water chestnut’ comes from the fact that it resembles a chestnut in shape and coloring (it has papery brown skin over white flesh).” According to Healthline, they’re loaded with health benefits and “can be enjoyed raw or cooked and are a common addition to Asian dishes such as stir-fries, chop suey, curries and salads.”
In addition, viewers revealed the reason why water chestnuts are added.
“For the crunch, some people need the crunch,” one user wrote.
“it adds that crunch. plus a filler. like pesto with pine nuts. you don’t need pine nuts to make pesto!” a second agreed.
“Crunch for texture. It never gets soft/soggy,” a third stated.
Others shared which dips use water chestnuts.
“The Knorr recipe calls for water chestnuts! It’s so good!!!” one person shared.
“Walmart brand spinach dip does too,” a second commented.
“And some of the dry soup mixes in order to make vegetable dip they ask for water chestnuts I usually don’t put them in because they’re gross,” a third revealed.
For his part, @padiano’s TikToks have sparked significant virality in recent weeks as they effectively ask “What’s the deal with these ingredients?” Be it in spinach wraps, mayo, wing sauce, syrup, or marshmallows.
Update 2:52pm CT, Apr. 24, 2023: During an interview with the Daily Dot, Ferguson shared how he stumbled across the water chestnut ingredient on the dip.
“I was at the store because I needed to buy some chips. And I saw that Walmart had reduced the price on it. So I grabbed it, but decided to read the label on it since that’s what I have been doing in my video series,” he told the Daily Dot via Instagram direct message.
However, the content creator didn’t end up buying it. It wasn’t not liking water chestnuts that deterred him from buying the drip, rather it “weirded” him out.