By Ben Huberman
The holiday season is officially upon us: that special time of the year dedicated to friends, family, red-nosed reindeer, and—
Who are we kidding? It’s all about food! Glorious, comforting, yummy food. As millions of Americans are busy preparing for tomorrow’s turkey/turducken/tofurkey feasts, the food scene on WordPress.com is equally abuzz with recipes, food stories, and pictures that will make you drool over your screen. Here are some of our favorite food blogs — better not continue on an empty stomach…
Eating with your eyes
A picture is sometimes worth a thousand bites, and many food bloggers take their images seriously, pushing food photography to a whole new level. On cookinandshootin, for example, bloggers Tara Striano and Maria del Mar accompany the detailed recipes with crisp, bright photos. They make great use of Anthem‘s full-width content display to make the pictures pop.
Others follow suit: in Lattes and Leggings, New York-based blogger Jen presents her healthy preparations with photos that channel each season’s distinct textures and colors. Across the continent, in Los Angeles, former baker Paula Parsons showcases her delicious-looking creations on Love + Cupcakes, where well-lit food and elegant typography makes for an irresistible mix.
Taking a different approach, illustrator Heather Diane creates custom-made drawings for each post, infusing her site (soon to become a book), Illustrated Bites, with an unmistakable, tongue-in-cheek retro vibe.
Food and contemporary society
Eating is, of course, never separate from much larger questions about culture: it defines societies at least as much as language or politics.
For those interested in the social aspects of food and cooking, Tangerine and Cinnamon offers fascinating cultural analyses of food by Sarah Emily, a Johannesburg, South Africa-based writer. Sarah also curates extensive weekly lists of food-related news from across the world, from Jon Stewart’s takedown of Chicago pizza to Israel’s prickly pear shortage.
Over at Eatocracy, CNN’s food blog, you can find an ever-changing roster of stories on the intersection of eating and current events, as well as weekly chats with blog editors Kat Kinsmen and Sarah LeTrent, who are often joined by special culinary guests.
For a look at the environmental stakes of the comestibles we grow, produce, and consume, the food section of eco-centric news blog Grist will satisfy any reader curious to learn about the policies that affect our eating habits (or anyone interested in knowing how you can cook your turkey in the dishwasher).
Recipes for all dietary choices
Are you vegan and wonder how to make desserts decadent enough to satisfy your sweet-tooth friends? Is your nephew gluten-sensitive and you aren’t sure how to approach Thanksgiving dinner? WordPress.com food bloggers cover all possible ground in today’s ever-expanding map of dietary choices and restrictions.
At his blog, The Domestic Man, soon-to-be-published-author Russ Crandall focuses on healthy, fresh takes on the paleo diet. This increasingly visible food doctrine aims to replicate the healthy eating habits of our prehistoric ancestors who shunned grains and had no access to processed products.
In a similar vein, Pallavi Gupta, the north-Indian blogger behind Veggie Zest, promotes the benefits of vegetarianism and veganism with sleek photos of her fresh creations, as well as of the delicious street food she encounters around the world.
And, if you thought that producing yummy cakes without wheat-based products is impossible, you clearly haven’t visited The Pink Rose Bakery, baker-blogger Kirsten‘s gluten-free baking site. We haven’t tried her bundt cakes yet, but they sure look delicious.
Food, the ultimate cultural bridge
It’s near-impossible to understand different cultures — whether oceans away or across town — without paying attention to the way people eat. Luckily, in blogging as in real life, food invites us to explore and expand our cultural horizons.
Using food to negotiate the different backgrounds and locales that have shaped their relationship, the blogging couple behind Chef and Steward, based in the United Arab Emirates, share their love of food and discovery through health-conscious recipes and gorgeous photography. Likewise, Eva Wong, a Malaysian food blogger based in Finland, brings these two drastically different climates together in her blog, Spicy Tones, writing about cooking and reflecting on her childhood.
Blogging about food can elide not only geographic distances, but temporal ones, too. With the insight that food cultures of the past reveal so much about earlier periods, author, seasoned traveler, and food-history lover Cynthia D. Bertelsen digs into fascinating stories, like White House desserts from the nineteenth century or pear preservation in antiquity.
The dawn of modern cooking is explored in depth, too, in food-history blogs like Gastronomy Archaeology, the project of a self-avowed “British food nerd” who’s into medieval and Renaissance cookery. If colonial-era hearth-fire feasts and heirloom seeds are more your thing, Victoria Rumble, over at The Historicfoodie’s Blog, will quench your curiosity.
A blogging cornucopia
From the Roman Empire to present-day North America, people have never tired of talking, writing, and thinking about food. Whether you’re looking for a pumpkin pie recipe or a reflection on food tourism, WordPress.com bloggers are here to enrich your culinary knowledge, and prepare your taste buds for their next savory adventure.
Looking for more food bookmarks for a rainy-day, food-blog fix? Check out some of these sites:
- Paper and Salt, a blog focusing on the unexpected connections between delicious food and great literature.
- The Hungry Artist, a site by a book illustrator who’s also an avid cook, with many kid-friendly recipes.
- Emily Contois, a blog by a food studies scholar exploring the place of food and body image in contemporary culture.
- British Blokes Cooking, where musings about cooking and living in Cornwall are interspersed with recipes for dog treats.