Trends takedowns

Food-blog tropes and tics

January 9, 2014

The food blogger Sean Timberlake recently posted a list of 10 food-blog trends he wanted to see the back of in 2014.

Topping the list are photography tropes he dislikes and riffs on, including “food bondage” (food wrapped up in ribbons, such as a cute little stack of cookies) and “Mason-jar abuse” (using the homey rustic jam containers for displaying and serving everything edible).

But Timberlake also pooh-poohs what he calls “healthifying” (trying to make cupcakes, for example, a little less bad for you) and what he dubs “Paleo everything,” in which food faddists shun all grains on health grounds but then spend way too much time “figuring out how to combine coconut oil, date paste, and almond flour into a chiffon pie.”

In this, he echoes a few other recent online food posts, including an October post on xoJane dismissing the Slow Food idea of "clean food," a November post on the Fat Nutritionist doing the same for the concept of "real food," and a post on the Wire from a year ago snorting at the trend for packaged, processed foods to proclaim that they were all "made with love."

Meanwhile, the food writer Sophie Brickman interviewed Nathan Myhrvold — the Microsoft techie better known in the food world for his gastrotomes on modernist cuisine — on the subject of trying to photograph food in the real world.

With Brickman, Myhrvold scrolled through the Instagram feed of René Redzepi, the modernist chef at Copenhagen’s Noma restaurant, stopping on a photo of a pile of apples, one with a few bites missing:

“So this is where a half-eaten subject is good,” Myhrvold said. “Except I’d probably have done one bite at most, not five. The single bite out of the apple is the most iconic image.” But his professional rival, Steve Jobs, knew that years ago.
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