Enter Food Porn: From Online Addiction to At-Home Inspiration

Sound a little naughty? It’s supposed to. Food porn is essentially photos of (usually) calorie-laden foods that are meant to get your juices flowing – in your mouth that is. The word most used to describe it is “glamorized;” food that seems to have been impeccably staged, with the perfect setting, backdrop, lighting and photo filters, so that you want to eat what you’re looking at. Yesterday. Even if there’s no recipe with the picture, or even a link to one, food porn is meant to arouse your senses as if you’re taking indulgence to a whole new level. And it’s everywhere. Scroll through your social media feeds and you’ll be feasting your eyes on your neighbour’s splendid spaghetti or best friend’s delectable dessert that they’re about to dive into (and you wish you were, too). Sit through a block of television commercials and you’ll likely find yourself with an enormous craving for delectable, lip-licking ice cream or a cold, smooth beer.

The main driver behind the idea of food porn is to create a sensation within the viewer that’s so intense; they begin lusting after what they’re seeing. And isn’t that essentially how you would love for your guests to react to your next edible marvel?

Even if you’re no genius in the kitchen, there is still a chance for you to become a culinary stud in time for you next gathering. But creating a fantastic night of food at home has to do with more than what goes in your mouth. The profound impressions created by online food porn can transfer from your social media to your social life, making your meals the true entertainment for your guests. And as a bonus, it doesn’t require that you hire a professional photographer.

If you’ve spent much of the day working hard in the kitchen to create a dish that’s swoon-worthy, the worst thing you can do is serve it on a plate that swallows it whole. Think of a medium-rare steak served on a red or brown plate – they’ll blend into one another and make the steak look anything but appetizing. There’s a reason that many food porn photos are taken with the food on a white (or otherwise plain-coloured) plate. At home, your goal is to serve your food on a plate that contrasts but still harmonizes with the colour of the food. Because if the food looks spectacular, your guests will be even more eager to dig in.

With that in mind, really, really great food porn uses not only the colours of what’s surrounding the food but also the colour of the food itself to truly make your mouth water. When planning the menu of your next soiree, make sure you include lots of different coloured food. For example, you can find red, green, purple, yellow, white and black in a simple-yet-sexy bean salad (yes, salads can be sexy). Or you can add a pop of colour to each dish using a garnish such as green mint, red paprika or yellow lemon. But just make extra sure that the distinctive colours of your foods taste great together and don’t just look great together.

The true genius that exists with food porn is that it is most often pictured as single-serve – in other words, one plate, one fork, one mouth (at least, that’s the idea). Looking at it, you can imagine yourself taking a bite of that succulent, slightly steaming caramel-chocolate-sea salt brownie because there’s just one in the picture – seemingly with your name on it. Serving your guests their own prepared plate of food instead of having a family style meal elicits the same effect. It also keeps portions under control, so you’re sure you have enough for everyone, and then some. If serving up plates beforehand just doesn’t work for your type of gathering, finger foods and appetizers are easily arranged to look just as scrumptious on their serving tray together as they will on your guest’s plate as it’s filled. The idea is that they fill that plate in the first place, enjoying every sensual, sizzling, socializing bite and crowning you as the food porn star. Just don’t forget to post it to Instagram.

 

Written by Jess Campbell