I’m convinced most people who use the term foodporn have never actually seen pornography.
The term itself is most often attributed to feminist critic Rosalind Coward in her 1984 book “Female Desire”.
“That we should aspire to produce perfectly finished and presented food is a symbol of a willing and enjoyable participation in servicing others.
Food pornography exactly sustains these meanings relating to the preparation of food. The kinds of picture used always repress the process of production of a meal. They are always beautifully lit, often touched up.” (p. 103)
The anonymity of process is essential in maintaining the subject/object, voyeur/voyee relationship that pornography thrives on. It’s shot almost exclusively from the male gaze, the dominant, the sensualist, the hedonistic point of reference; the point from which we exclusively draw pleasure and eschew discomfort.
But it’s also a grotesquely selfish viewpoint, and you can never fully disassociate from that reality.
Every time you see the reflection of the fully clothed cameraman in an ill-placed mirror, every time you’re reminded of his movement when he drops to one knee to capture the ever-crucial ball ‘n’ butthole angle, every finger that slips onto the lens you come face-to-face with the process.
For a split second you’re staring at your own shame. You’re no longer looking at a carefully captured product of passion but at a crudely rendered sexual farce with a $90 production budget.
Then he’s out, the finger comes off the lens, and you’re transported back to a world that only exists on a paranoid screen in a dimly-lit Taco Bell bathroom. For the thousandth time you’re immersed in that dulcet, morphine-drip of gyrating flesh and bone; the world of Nikki’s and Ashleigh’s and Angel’s; the only world where Sexxx is not only a viable surname but the most common one. It turns into this self-contained, moralistic, unwinnable dialogue; a war of attrition forever ending in stalemate.
A three-minute thrill-ride of shame, hedonism, grotesqueness, beauty, self-loathing, and self-gratification. And that — THAT — is what I want #foodporn to embody.
I want male gaze, anonymity of process, and brief glimpses of beauty followed by a lifetime of self-hatred and abhorrence.
Look at the fluids dripping, oozing into one another, creating this depraved mixture of syrup and gravy and hot sauce and Doritos. I want pictures of food to take me on an emotional journey and make me question my own moral boundaries.
I don’t want to see the utensils you used, or the bountiful, verdant herbs that didn’t make it onto the plate but were just so damn beautiful that you had to get them in the shot. No.
Don’t give me your artistically-tattered, dishtowel-draped, ornately-garnished plate of petit-fours and call it #foodporn.
I want to look at your #foodporn and be forced to swivel my head in horror to see if my roommates are coming. I want to look at your #foodporn and feel like I need to scrub myself down in the shower with Ajax and steel wool. I want to look at your #foodporn and feel equal amounts of hunger, satiety, and disgust because THAT is the essence of pornography.
If you a label a picture with #foodporn, and you don’t wallow in self-loathing for at least three hours afterwards, you did it wrong my man.
Ah shoot, sorry. I got all worked up again. Here’s a recipe for that funnel cake burger though.
Savory Funnel Cakes
2 cups milk
2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 stick melted butter
1) In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and melted butter then whisk until smooth. In a separate (but equal) mixing bowl combine the flour, smoked paprika, black pepper, salt, and baking soda and whisk until evenly disseminated. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until you have smooth, sludge-like mixture. This is called batter. Tastes good when you fry it.
2) Pour the batter into a $.99 squeeze bottle from your local grocery store — or a pastry bag for the homies with a job — and make the opening roughly 1/4 in in diameter.
3) The key in making these funnel cakes into functional buns is the size of your pot; it’s going to frame the borders of the funnel cake, so you need something reasonably small. Or not, who cares. I used a 1 qt sauce pan, filled it halfway up with oil, and got it up to 375 degrees. You just do you homie.
4) Take the squeeze bottle full of batter and squirt it erratically it erratically at your oil. Go crazy kid, this is your time to shine. The batter should start to disperse near the sides of the pan, so keep squirting ’til you’ve gotten a reasonable amount in there.
5) Flip after a minute or two — you’ll know when it’s time — and cook on the other side for about 30 seconds. Remove from oil, drain on a paper towel, and dust your fried batter lattice with smoked parika.
Strawberry Rhubarb Ketchup
1 medium stalk of rhubarb
12 medium strawberries
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp allspice
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
salt to taste
1) Trim about 3 inches off the top of your rhubarb and finely mince the usable stalk. Mince your strawberries too. Seems like a good idea.
2) Heat 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a medium sauce pan on medium heat, and when the oil freely moves around the pan, drop your rhubarb in and sautee for a quick minute — just until it starts to become translucent.
3) Deglaze the rhubarb with your cider vinegar and add the rest of your ingredients: strawberries, tomato paste, ginger, sugar, spices, all of it. Fire the menu dawg.
4) Turn the heat down to low and allow the mixture to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the it’s reached the consistency you’re looking for. You can take a hand blender to the whole thing if you want, but the strawberries and rhubarb are going to break down so much with stirring that you won’t need to. Add water and salt and shit, and then you’re good to go maney.
Funnel Cake Burger
80/20 grass fed chuck (might be a bit lean for some, sorry for wanting to eat #healthy)
Strawberry Rhubarb Ketchup
1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2) Lay your bacon strips on a cookie sheet and throw ‘em on in. After 10 minutes, drain some of the bacon grease and flip the strips. Add a hefty layer of brown sugar on top and throw them back in for 15 minutes, or until delightfully candied.
3) Heat a heavy bottomed skillet on medium high with 1 tsp of vegetable oil, just enough to coat the pan. Form your ground beef into appropriately sized (big enough for the funnel cake buns) patties and liberally season with salt and pepper.
4) Sear the burger for 2 or 3 minutes o one side, then flip it and add a fatty slab of taleggio cheese. Sear the other side for 2 minutes, or whatever you think seems appropriate. Don’t overcook those burgers though. Don’t you dare overcook those burgers you sick son of a bitch.
5) Layer the burger as follows: funnel cake / strawberry rhubarb ketchup / cheesy burger / candied bacon / arugula / more ketchup / more funnel cake. Drop some powdered sugar on there to increase the glycemic index (spikes post-workout insulin bro) and shove it in your face hole.