What is Perpetual Stew? Internet’s obsession with TikToker’s neverending stew explained

Alice Sjöberg
Perpetual stew TikTok

A woman has gone viral on TikTok after making a medical perpetual stew that never ends and serving it to New Yorkers, but viewers aren’t totally convinced.

Perpetual stew was a popular dish during the Medival times and is made by constantly simmering and continuously replenishing the ingredients of a single batch of stew. 

According to How Stuff Works, what makes this 14th-century Polish stew unique is that it’s often “skimmed and strained, leaving behind only dark, rich broth.”

Consumers of the stew get to taste the complex flavor profile left behind by all the different ingredients added during its different iterations.

Annie Rauwerda is documenting her experience making a medieval soup called “perpetual stew,” and TikTok is eating it up. 

TikToker went viral after making everlasting perpetual stew

Rauwerda’s stew journey began in June when she posted a video announcing she would make it and document it on her TikTok, @depthsofwikipedia. Rauwerda also runs an Instagram account of the same name, where she posts screenshots of oddities she’s found on the popular site to an audience of more than one million followers.

In the video, she shows the Crockpot that will house the stew and says she has invited friends over to add their ingredients to the concoction. In order to maintain food safety, How Stuff Works advises keeping the soup “around 200 degrees Fahrenheit” at all times. 

In a follow-up video two days later, Rauwerda proved that her friends made good on their promise to add to the stew. 

She showed clips of her friends and the various ingredients they brought. These ingredients included: a clove of garlic, a bunch of carrots, a potato, a bunch of parsley, and some onions, to name a few. 

On the fourth day of the perpetual stew, Rauwerda updated her more than 171,000 followers by letting them know that dill was “overpowering the flavor.”

TikToker allows viewers to take part in tasting and making the stew

Six days into the stew’s simmering, Rauwerda hosted a gathering at a park in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood where strangers could add to the concoction as well as try the now-famous stew. 

According to a TikTok after the meet-up, Rauwerda said about 50 people came and ate the stew and that she was even recognized at the grocery story as “stew girl.”

Since then, Rauwerda has hosted four more stew parties on the 10th17th, 30th, and 33rd day of cooking, and everyone who tries it seems to love it.

“The stew was definitely 4.8 stews out of 5,” a guest named Stu said about the 17-day-old stew he’d just tried.

“I thought the stew was fantastic,” another guest named Nate said.

Rauwerda is currently over 40 days old, and she is keeping fans posted about everything that’s happening with the stew, from what ingredients are added to when people have the chance to taste it themselves, on a designated blog.

She also continues to keep viewers posted on her TikTok, but not everyone seems to be too sure about it.

One person commented: “Genuinely curious is this like safe to eat? no hate I’m just like how does it not go bad at some point?”

Rauwerda responded: “The broth is always cooking so it’s too hot for harmful bacteria! Veggies do get mushy but I try to put them in at strategic times so they cycle out!!”