80/20 baking and cooking and why ‘food porn’ hurts this approach

When being efficient and authentic is no longer the goal

  • Wrong expectations. Have you tried following a recipe that is photographed so deliciously you want to bite right into the screen? And have you ever realised, biting into your own work, that it turns out to be less delicious than you thought? Of course, there are your cooking and baking skills to consider and also personal taste. But sometimes, all that decoration covers up very average recipes. I began to realise that as I noticed how more boring-looking recipes got better reviews than the beautiful ones I had picked to follow. Read recipes carefully and compare them with similar recipes that are less beautifully presented. I have since returned to selecting simple recipes with simple photos that show me more clearly what to expect. And don’t forget that our perception also plays a big role: Well-decorated dishes trick your taste buds and make you enjoy them more. You do have to decorate your own dish if you want to achieve a similar effect.
  • Lack of authenticity. When people started decorating for photos, they wanted to combine two very important aspects in portraying food: Make it look delicious and authentic. Clean tables are a no-go, after all, you’d expect some aesthetic chaos in the average kitchen, perhaps an ingredient here, a spoon there. Nowadays, though, decoration habits have gone through the roof: fresh flowers everywhere, explosions of scattered ingredients, surfaces and utensils that were bought specifically for food photography, … oh, and don’t forget to add some kind of sauce, fruits or nuts, as they suit any recipe. But let’s be honest: Would anyone who is not a food blogger actually do all of this, except for special occasions that warrant decorations?
  • 80/20-unfriendly. Foodies make it look so easy in their videos and posts, but the most time-consuming part is actually everything that happens around the cooking and baking: the planning, the preparation and measuring of ingredients, the setup, the extras, the decoration, the shoot, the after-production. Expect to spend several hours on just that if you want to achieve the levels of ‘food porn’. And the actual recipe? If you just make the dish or cake itself, it might require only half an hour of preparation, plus time to cook or bake. If all you want is a delicious product, you will only focus on the recipe itself, and it will look nothing like the heavily decorated version.

80/20 foodies will shoot boring photos

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Lana

Lana

Happily juggling my roles of working full-time in the media industry and resisting the urge to micromanage my two kids. Perfectionist, yet in love with 80/20.