When food be­comes eye candy

Vocable (All English) - - Édito Sommaire - AMÉLIE ARA RÉDACTRICE EN CHEF

It is com­pletely nor­mal nowa­days to see peo­ple tak­ing snaps of ap­petis­ing dishes on their mo­bile phones. There are mil­lions of pho­tos of food on so­cial net­works, and the hash­tag #food­porn is one of the most pop­u­lar on In­sta­gram, so much so, it has be­come the norm world­wide. But the pre­pon­der­ance of beau­ti­ful and ap­petis­ing food in the mass me­dia is not a com­pletely new phe­nom­e­non. The term “gas­tro­porn” was in­vented long be­fore the ad­vent of so­cial net­work­ing, when jour­nal­ist, Alexan­der Cock­burn, first used it in his cri­tique of the book, Paul

Bo­cuse’s French Cook­ing for the New York Re­view of Books in 1977. It was the wave of Nou­velle Cui­sine chefs who, in cre­at­ing elab­o­rately styled dishes, un­leashed this mini culi­nary and so­cial rev­o­lu­tion. Since the 1980s, mak­ing food look ap­petis­ing, ‘sexy’ even, be­came a ma­jor pre­oc­cu­pa­tion for res­tau­rants and food re­tail­ers. Also, this kind of food temp­ta­tion has been on our screens for a long time, in­clud­ing two very iconic pub­lic­ity shots, the pear cov­ered in Nestlé choco­late in the early 1990s, and its British coun­ter­part, the Marks and Spencer choco­late pud­ding in 2005. The ar­rival of so­cial me­dia merely trans­formed this trend into a fully-fledged fash­ion. In ad­di­tion to our ar­ti­cle on “food porn”, we also take a look at an­other culi­nary phe­nom­e­non that seems to be en­joy­ing grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity in west­ern coun­tries: ve­gan cui­sine.

Happy Read­ing!

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