This is a good time of year* to break out something that I put together ages ago: Food Website Bingo!
A lot of you will be familiar with sites like Foodgawker or Tastespotting, where food bloggers submit photos and descriptions of food they’ve made or eaten or whatever and you can click through and read about the food on the individual blogs, usually get the recipe, that sort of thing.
Having been submitting my own photos and recipes to such sites for more than a year now, I’ve been noting particular tropes that come up again and again; devices, descriptions, themes or motifs that recur many times, to the point of becoming a cliché. Some of these tropes are unavoidable. Some of the tropes are simply sensible. But I find a lot of them betray a bit of, well… a lack of creativity. I mean, seriously, can we perhaps pair cookies with something other than a glass of milk for once? I, for one, have never eaten cookies with a glass of milk (with a coffee, yes x 1091,145), but it’s a trope that’s been popularised by American culture and it’s just an all-too-easy fall-back food styling device.
After I’ve sighed my way through the tenth cookies and milk photo for the day on these sites, I’m just a bit over it. So to make scrolling through Foodgawker and Tastespotting a bit more entertaining (not that they aren’t entertaining as they are, because there are a lot of creative recipes and photos on there), I developed Food Website Bingo, featuring the tropes that I’ve noticed recurring most often, plus some things that are just unavoidable (e.g. gluten free things), plus some things that personally just get my goat for whatever reason (e.g. food items such as cookies or brownies balanced on the rim of a glass or cup – who would actually do that in real life? PSYCHOPATHS, probably).
So here is your bingo card…
Disclaimer: Food Website Bingo is just for frivolous fun (except for the parts where things on the bingo card actually genuinely enrage me). We’ve all succumbed to using these tropes ourselves before, and we should use our awareness of how repetitive they are to drive creativity in the future. Maybe I’ll pair my cookies with, I don’t know, a snifter of port next time.
*Basically everything is “perfect for” the 4th of July at the moment. I tried to include “Not perfect for the 4th of July” in all my Foodgawker submissions this time last year and they all got rejected…