Some of the most greasy, cheesy food taking over social media, is our food slowly moulding for that perfect picture on the internet?
Gluttony must be declared as the word of the year! Did we realise how our everyday food gradually has taken such a prominent place even on our digital spaces, but with so much grandeur? From a comforting bowl of salad to some of the most indulgent, fluffliest pancakes or some of the highly decorated, ever inviting monster shakes — they’re all floating everywhere on the Internet — constantly giving us a reason to want to eat more. After the social media gave in to these temptations, restaurants also seem to be making an effort to present food in a way that makes for a pretty picture that you can put up on your Instagram. So, is this the next food trend, — Instagrammable food?
If you’re a foodie living in the city, you’re definitely following a few of the most popular food pages and blogs, where scores of fellow good-food-worshippers are continually reminding you of all the restaurants you haven’t visited yet. On these platforms, food politics seems to take place on a whole other level — pictures seem to be the key for this part of the world.
So, if a dish at some unknown restaurant looks particularly appealing, and even though the post screams about how bad it tastes, the rest of the social platform has to try it out and capture the visual treat too. Of late, the video of a particular moongil (bamboo) biryani caught the attention of the ever-hungry on the web. And it was nothing short of winning an adrenaline-high treasure hunt when the city found out where it was being served. The story after that? Scores of biryani-cravers visiting the place just to see how the basmati rice fell out of the long bamboo.
Manager Ajmal of Chickies Restaurant, which rose to fame after the video, is busier than ever with Chennaiites flocking to his restaurant for the dish. “There has been at least 60 per cent rise in the number of people who order the moongil biryani. And everyone definitely wants to make a video or click pictures as the waiter serves the rice out of the bamboo stick. I think it’s for the sight that many have been visiting us,” Ajmal says.
It was a similar digital explosion of monster shakes when Ashvita Bistro first launched them in the city. Whether one could finish the shake or not, it had to make it to everyone’s Instagram account. Ashvin Rajagopalan of Ashvita elaborates, “People want to see this opulence. We are at a certain stage in our history where we see food and get gluttonous — not necessarily in a bad sense. But, we want to see more food, which is why eating anything cheesy or fried seems a lot more delicious. And I think there’s some amount of visual to it. These monster shakes are highly indulgent, definitely, and happen to make for good pictures, which we’re not complaining about. Whether people finish it or not, every table that orders for monster shakes surely clicks pictures of it. People in Chennai usually are not used to seeing well-presented food and they’d like to show that they’re eating.”
Waffles overloaded with cream, berries and other toppings have become another such addiction for netizens. Minakshi Anand, the ideator of Waffles Thru The Day, has seen some of her dishes become instant hits on Instagram, with the pictures acting as digital marketers for her place. “The power of hashtags is today’s game changer. A picture has always been worth a thousand words, and a pictorial representation from the culinary world, especially on social media, takes one’s creative exploits across generations, cultures and countries.” One can only look forward to how much more dramatic future food can get!