When once upon a time people may have said thanks or grace before a meal, the protocol now is to stage, often lengthy, photo-shoots before consuming ones food or drink. Food and drink have become increasingly more of a visual art form through social media, especially through platforms such as Instagram.
Photo sharing websites enable people to demonstration their culinary expertise, show their wining and dining activities and fulfil a new need to document small, often insignificant, details in their lives that are deemed noteworthy due to the self importance and narcissism that come with social media forums.
The constant obsession with the creation of a social profile showing off what apparently resemble our lives is easily achieved through pretty pictures. Food fits the void naturally, everyone has to eat, not everyone would be interested in great sporting shots. As far as self-indulgence is concerned, food pictures are the more acceptable version of the selfie.
I recently read in an article that taking part in the food photo craze was some people’s favourite part of dining or eating out. This fact has been noted by eateries as so influential to the point that restaurateurs and companies have begun to capitalise on the phenomenon.
Bird’s Eye found that 52% of Britons regularly take photos of their meals and drinks with the majority then being uploaded to Instagram. They created a pop up restaurant in London with the intention of providing free meals to consumers in return for them simply uploading a picture of their meal to Instagram with the hashtag #BirdsEyeInspirations. They hope the “instafood” trend will create conversation among people about their new Inspirations range.
According to their research one in ten Britons take at least one photo of their food every week. Some even confessed to artfully arranging their food on a plate with the intention of sharing it online.
Conversely, some establishments have gone so far as to ban the act. Almost Famous, a burger restaurant in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, placed signs on their walls warning people that they do not allow photography of their food.
Across the pond, a long-standing restaurant received an influx of complaints of cold food, which was most unusual after their many years of few criticisms.
After scratching their heads the owners took to CCTV to try and decipher the problem, they found that customers were presented with their hot foods but would not begin eating for several minutes due to the necessary ritual photography that had to take place. Customers were unknowingly letting their own food get colder and then complaining about it!
So, also jumping on to the instagramming food craze is Palatinate Food and Drink! Without further ado I would like to introduce the brand spanking new Palatinate Food and Drink Instagram account! You can find us @palatinatefood where we will be uploading food and drink pictures daily as well as asking for your food and drink related contributions.
In the near future I hope to run a ”Food Porn” section with the most delicious looking, envy instilling, mouth-watering delights that you have captured during the week.
On the other hand I also want to see the most ghastly, woeful and pitiful meals that are far too often a staple of every students diet (think pasta and marmite as my old housemate often devoured). You can share your pictures with the hashtag #palatinatefood and I shall share the best ones.
In the meantime follow the account for a highly professional collection of pictures of street foods in both Hong Kong and Bangkok including scorpions and a 60pence Pad Thai.
Follow us @palatinatefood
Photograph: Asher Klassen