Thoughts on Blogging About Food

I’ve been writing this post since yesterday.  This sentence is actually being written the day after I wrote the next paragraph, since I wanted to say this post took me longer than most posts do.  No reason really, I just had some friends over yesterday and I served them a flourless chocolate cake, which, of course, I have pictures of…but that’s for another post.

So much to say, I don’t know where to begin.  I wanted to post last night about an article I found on Julie Powell, patron saint (???) of food bloggers (but surely food blogging existed before her blog?).  I didn’t know she had an extramarital affair, and now there’s a book about that and her time as an apprentice to a butcher somewhere in upstate, NY that she’s written.

The beginning of the Newsweek article talks about how you will read an anecdote from someone’s life and how it ties in to the food they happen to be talking about before you actually get to the reason you even went to their blog in the first place — the food — is true I suppose.  As the article says, “Eight hundred words or so in, and you still wouldn’t know how to fry a squash blossom, but you’d know a whole lot about me.”  And then it goes to state that that is the point of food blogs.  I did witness this firsthand while searching for a recipe for apple cider beignets this morning, and I came across a post from a food blog, in which the author talks about how she first had beignets when she had broken up with her boyfriend and as an effort to cheer her up, her father took her to have some beignets and she thought he was crazy, and she went on I’m sure, but I had clicked to the next search result before I even got to the beignets themselves…That was awfully sweet of her father to cheer her up with beignets, but I was just there for the food.  But I do understand why people would tell backstories — it creates a relatableness factor and a “feel-good” factor, if you will.  If all food bloggers only talked about the food, well it would be awfully dry, wouldn’t it?  And for most people who blog about food, including myself, there is a reason we do this beyond the fact that we love food, but also because food just brings up certain feelings, associations, memories (usually positive) — for me, it’s an association with my mother and my admiration for her — and we want to share it with those who will read us, hoping we will reach people who can relate.  And for some of us, like myself, it’s because we enjoy writing too but somehow never made a career of it.

It’s funny that they say the point of food blogs is for you to get to know the writer, and then the food, but I actually started this blog because I wanted to stop talking about my personal woes and triumphs.  I’d blogged before on sites like Livejournal and found myself getting tired of reading myself talk about my day-to-day dramas.  And if I was bored with it, well, what was my audience thinking?  And so the point of this blog was for me to talk about something I enjoy, and most people enjoy, which is food.  Sometimes, for relatableness, I will make vague references to the personal, but rarely.  They’re more reflections on life that are, of course, reflections of what may be going on with me at the time.  But never in explicit detail.

This is about the food.  Well, mostly.

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