Food Blogs and Exigence (Or, An Easy Way to Become Hungry)

Looking to gain some weight?  Go read a food blog (or go on Pinterest).  I guarantee that within five minutes you’ll be salivating.  Especially if, like me, you eat in a cafeteria that produces semi-bad, semi-good, mostly-very-bland food.  I routinely torture myself with food blogs, partially because I really love baking (brownies from a box are blasphemous) but mostly because I just crave something with flavor.

Of the (many) food blogs I enjoy, I find myself coming back again and again to Averie Cooks.  There are a lot of reasons for this, but I think that first and foremost I love the aesthetics.  Like, even if her recipes were trash, Averie’s food photography and clean, slightly whimsical background are beautiful.  Bonus: her recipes aren’t trash!  I’ve made multiple things from this site, and they work out.  For example, these gorgeous nutella-filled-cookie-cupcakes.  You’re welcome.

Plus, as a bonus, it’s not just about baking.  There are loads of healthy, not-so-healthy, but always absurdly delicious recipes.  Even when compared to other popular food blogs like smittenkitchen, Averie Cooks is organized really well, and has a ton of pictures.

It’s those pictures that I find most interesting.  Food blogs in general thrive on their mouth-watering visuals, in ways that cookbooks don’t have to.  For example, I have a cookbook from Magnolia Bakery.  Every recipe I’ve made from there (and I think I’m up to five or six) has been pure gold.  However, there are about eight pictures total in my Magnolia cookbook.  Blogs like Averie’s thrive on the kind of picture that instantly makes you hungry.

But the clincher is this: most of the time, you’re not actually hungry.  I browse food blogs at any time of the day–after dinner, before breakfast, at 1 AM.  How long does it take before I start craving food?  Less than five minutes.  Food blogs have to create a need or exigence in their readers in order to have an audience of any kind.

Beyond that, food blogs have to create a need or exigence that is stronger than any other food blog out there.  Don’t believe me?  Try typing “chocolate chip cookie” into Pinterest, and see how many food blogs you find, each one claiming to be the best (for the record, my money is on this recipe from Broma Bakery).

It’s easy to see why Averie Cooks, with its colorful photography (even the menus are pictorially arranged) has risen to the heights of food-blogger-dom.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go find a chocolate chip cookie.

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