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Tiny Cooking, it’s an Actual Thing!

When I first saw one of these Tiny Kitchen videos on Instagram, I thought it must be a one-off, a cute gag. I laughed at the silliness of the whole business, marveled at the ingenuity of the tea candle stove, the teeny cookware, and the patience to use it all. And I was delighted to see that you really could make respectable-looking tiny iced donuts with sprinkles in a doll house kitchen.

Then it hit me. Wait a minute. I know the Internet. I know of the countless micro-culture tribes it fosters and serves and the lengths to which people will go in creating novelty niches to hang out in with others of similarly strange and esoteric proclivities. I started imagining an entire subculture of people collecting tiny kitchenware and cookware, dreaming up and sharing their own micro recipes, and sharing videos of themselves creatively cooking up food for unseen Lilliputian diners.

I was right. Searching further, I found the Tiny Kitchen website and other similar sites and YouTube channels. Tiny cooking is an actual thing! Tastemade, the small-minded chefs who seem to be at the forefront of this tiny food movement even tried (unsuccessfully) to launch a Kickstarter to fund the design and manufacture of a stove especially made to support this odd little hobby. They asked for $50,000. Six thousand was pledged.

Here are a few of my favorite Tiny Kitchen episodes. There are many more. I can almost guarantee you that there are people out there who claim that watching tiny cooking videos has a calming, almost ASMR effect on them. We humans are a strange and wonderful lot.

[youtube https://youtu.be/BWig5gexJXQ]

[youtube https://youtu.be/gQ9tqKkQ5rs]

[youtube https://youtu.be/IMdl-swxs5E]

[youtube https://youtu.be/T8elmcv4AwI]

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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