Saturday, 19 January 2013

Food porn

Like many women I don't think I have a terribly good relationship with food. I love it, I feel guilty about it, I dream about it, almost fantasise about it, crave it and even, tragically, photograph it.
I have been somewhat mocked for this habit of photographing and posting pictures of meals on social networks.

To me, beautifully presented food is like art and the creator deserves wider recognition. Amongst my friends this quirky habit has spread and it would not be unusual to see us in a restaurant or someone's dining room oohing and ahhing and then whipping out assorted smartphones to record the dish for prosperity.

This latest habit I found recently is not unique to me and my circle of friends. The presentation of food for just such admiration even has a name- food porn!

Wikipedia defines this as "a glamourised spectacular visual presentation of cooking or eating in advertisements, infomercials, cooking shows or other visual media,[1] foods boasting a high fat and calorie content,[2] exotic dishes that arouse a desire to eat or the glorification of food as a substitute for sex.[3] Food porn often takes the form of food photography and styling that presents food provocatively, in a similar way to glamour photography or pornographic photography."

Ok, I don't think I'm getting that sort of kick from my grub but with this latest onset of snow in England I did realise how much I love to use everyday events as an excuse to eat yummy food.
Snow= carbs, stodgy treats and traditional winter warming meals like roasts, stews, sausages. A heat wave? ( which in the UK is two consecutive days in July or August without rain) We need to barbecue! Herds of people stampede to the supermarket wasting precious hours of sunshine in search of processed meat and dubious cuts coated in gloopy sauces.

A birthday? Cake and possibly a special meal. Christmas. Oh definitely an excuse to indulge from November onwards. Bad mood. Food. Celebration. Food. Hormones. Sweet food. Any life changing news generally requires some sort of edible consolation or celebration.

I actually have some friends who I have heard state that they are not hungry because they ate a big meal yesterday. YESTERDAY! I might not be hungry but I can always eat. Perhaps that's why I am not exactly model proportions.

I'm not saying I'm obsessed but I can remember details of meals from years ago- holidays, memorable evenings with friends and family, restaurants, elaborate dinner parties and casual last minute suppers.

One such memory was a meal I prepared- an elaborate recreation of the last 12-course meal served on the Titanic. Weeks of preparations and even some pre-meal rehearsal of tricky courses with some willing volunteers. The evenng came about after a group of village friends agreed to hold a light-hearted cooking competition. Each month one participating couple cooked and hosted a themed party. We had a best of British night, costa del sol style evening, trailer trash night and my Titanic night. Wonderful times and lots of entertaining photographs!

But equally one of my happiest memories of recent years was a simple barbecued pork chop and chips eaten at the Klimataria taverna ( better known as "Yiannis" )in the village of Mandria in Cyprus where my mum lives. This meal was shared with my mum and step dad, my friend Claire and her family and a number of members of her extended family! We had all gone on holiday together and in total 19 of us sat down one night at a long table under the ancient grape vine as the sun set, and wolfed down the giant chops the taverna is famous for. We had other wonderful meals on that holiday but that one sticks in my mind for the sheer simplicity and joy of it.

And that I think is the crux with me. So many times in my life food has been tied up with friendship, laughter, community and intimacy that I can't wait to create the next meal and maybe a happy memory.


















1 comment:

  1. Hi Afra,
    I am on my way to the Veltheim Motto Menue. Tonight its "Astrid Lindgren". I am going as "Ronja" and Bernhard is "Carlsson". I am looking forward to eat lots of K├Âttbullar. Thanks you for sharung the themed menue idea with your german friend!!!

    ReplyDelete

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