Column: A virtual feast — in praise of food blogs
Published: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 12:44am
Gargoyle senior editor
Posted Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009
I THINK I am obsessed with food.
I know, I know — it's been said, and it's been said again, but not all food, to be clear, is worthy of my adoration.
Being obsessed with Food-In-General is crass and typical and indelicate and trite; food, like words, must be chosen with care whenever possible.
By care, I do not mean something avant-garde or expensive.
If someone tried to force-feed me truffles or El Bulli, I'm pretty sure there will be no refusals happening, though I'd rather actively seek out royal jujubes (the date!), spinach and water spinach (inspired by the cartoon "Popeye" and my grandmother, respectively), spaghetti, Oreos, soup noodles, soy milk, seaweed, vermicelli, duck blood soup (only delicious in Nanjing), black vinegar, dried peaches, other foods of minimal effort —
But to use one of history teacher Chris Butler's catechisms: I digress.
It's not even eating the food that I spend most of my time on — it's watching it. Or rather, permanently affixing myself to delectable, ambrosial online food blogs. This is how to truly minimize effort and maximize enjoyment.
I think I can sustain myself, palatially if not physically, through food blogs alone. I'm known to spend hours and more hours scrolling through my food blog subscriptions on Google Reader when I'm supposed to be waking up again in five hours to go swimming. Yet, there never has been a time when my dear food blogs have not been worth the sleep deprivation.
What a selection! What vicarious living! How I feel the sniffy critic, e-Napkin folded neatly in my lap, making my scalding comments, choosing that entry (or entrée, rather), then this!
It's better to show you, dear future food blog convert. Here are some of the loveliest highlights of my online eating.
- Under the High Chair, maintained in Canada by one mother named Aimée, is devoted to what she feeds her two small picky children and her beautifully photographed Canadian-made foods. She recently bought a cow. To eat. Which she documents in The Beef Chronicles.
- The Amateur Gourmet lives in the States but has the delightful life of traveling to such places as Barcelona and Paris and Puerto Rico and eating at the same time! His writing can be (un-purposefully?) hilarious at times, which goes to reminds us that food blogs are only half food, the rest half blog. His photos might not be the most artistic of the bunch, and his cooking prowess rather shaky and very spur of the moment, but his lengthy entries and top-notch critiques mean I'll have a bit of whatever he's having, please.
- Appetite for China is the Asian foodie's haven, where you get lots of bang for your yuan or yen and will leave the table (or screen) feeling full and fed. Not for the picky eaters/lookers among us, certain Asian foods take some getting used to, eating or looking. For some reason, I also especially enjoy negative reviews of restaurants, as this vegan "Taiwan burger" of Cool Whip and lettuce on a bun .
- Cannelle et Vanille is for those who love desserts, beauty, and preferably both. No specific entries to share here — just scroll through and let the light wash over you. Because these look too pristine and ethereal to actually eat, I feel not at all hungry marveling. All right — maybe a tad bit hungry.
Plenty of food lovers out there cannot understand making food blogs a hobby — with time spent, they think, food can actually be made. When one has not the luxury of traveling to Europe or Asia in the middle of September or living in New York City, however, one makes the best one can.
With technology's help, that best can be simply delicious — a veritable visual feast.