World Food Day: How food bloggers are making our meals Insta-ready.
New Delhi: As noted playwright George Bernard Shaw has rightly said - There is no sincerer love than the love of food! In the social media world, even before the food reaches the stomach, the scrumptious delicacy is all over the internet!
Thanks to the blossoming field of food blogging, introducing one and all to all the latest turns, twists and tangs in food. There were times when people devoured every crunch and bite on their plate, but today, it's the pictures sending you the taste of what one is having, thus, bolstering the concept of food blogging.
However, fancy it might sound, the inception of it can be as simple as showing a picture to your group, as it was for 38-year-old Shikha Gupta, who goes by the name 'Chatpati Shikha' on Instagram. "I started it in 2016 and gradually moved towards creating my own page. It happened by chance!" Shikha told ANI.
While Shikha has established herself in the field, she believes that the concept still isn't "fully appreciated in India as in foreign countries." However, with the rise in the number of social media users, they have witnessed a boost in this field as it introduces one with some undiscovered outlets too.
"I go out once in a week just to explore areas offering something for which things like cleanliness, the food's quantity and quality, price are kept in mind," explained the 38-year old. Just as big as it might seem, bloggers do have to stay responsible while reviewing any joint.
"If we don't like the food, we say what not to miss there rather than focusing on what we didn't like for positivity," she told. Another individual in the coterie, Punjeet, who goes by the name 'Bhooka Saand' is a known face on YouTube.
Also this year's FanFest speaker, he started sharing food content some two years back starting with a "food walk video recorded using iPhone", which worked well for him and "there's no looking back since," he shared.
The Monday to Friday IT guy, expressed how blogging is all "about sharing thoughts, opinions and experiences" adding that a milestone for him is people of all age groups watching his vlogs. He also shared that "collaboration with Arjun Kapoor, TV stars and even Smriti Irani was a great milestone," for him.
To take his followers to a less-known place, the foodie explained, "I keep my eyes open in search of hidden gems and chat with locals about food." Being a responsible enthusiast, Punjeet believes that "we shouldn't post a negative on any restaurant just for the sake of views/hits."
He continued, "I have dropped many videos in the past for the same reason." Commenting on a recent report that food bloggers can be sued for bad reviews, the 'Bhooka Saand' said, "We should have fixed criteria to blacklist a blogger if they do something wrong for the money. Taking legal actions won't help. We should work as a team and help each other grow," he affirmed.
'The Mountain Foodie' Sonali Sachdeva, a junior account executive at a firm in Delhi, started with cooking for her roommates who suggested her to create a food-related Instagram handle. "I started blogging to show my passion without expecting any returns or income," she explained. Sonali continued, "Food blogging is not only about taking good pictures. I evaluate it on plating, price, quality-quantity, uniqueness and of course taste!"
Just as the essence of blogging lies in documenting unmapped places, similarly, the 22-year old opined, "Just go out to a nearby market and you might come across a food vendor or food trucks that no one else has explored. These can be left unacknowledged due to lack of digitization." When Sonali is unhappy with the food of the place, she tends to write about the staff, environment and other good things!
Before food blogging fixed its roots, people relied on critics who are now less under the sun. Rahul Verma has been writing on food for over three decades and has been "tasting and gauging food from time immemorial!"
While he feels that times for critics are "changing", "the more, the merrier," is his say on bloggers. However, he pressed that they lack "experience." "One, we must have a passion for food. And we don't just eat, but must read about food, too," he added.
Sharing his thoughts on evaluating food, the critic explained the need for presentation recalling an anecdote, "I once had a dish prepared by Chef Vikramjit Roy that was inspired by the art of Jackson Pollock! And it was magnificent." But for "Insta generation, a picture is very important - and the food has to look photogenic," he added. Insta-ready food just sounds about right!