It’s okay to look

Here’s a phrase that has entered the popular lexicon in the past few years: Food porn. You know the kind–beautifully lit, intimately close-up shots of outrageously decadent food, so luscious looking that your mouth waters and your stomach growls. Even something as simple as a grilled cheese sandwich can be dressed to kill and posed to seduce:

An article on abcnews.com today says that FP is making us fat by making us crave the kind of high-calorie, high-fat culinary delights that taste so good to us but are in fact so bad for us. Like, um, cheese and stuff like that there. Television health guru Dr. Mehmet Oz claims it does, too, although he has his detractors.

Okay, so I admit that I love to look. Food styling is an art in itself and I always appreciate seeing attractive subjects well presented (do keep in mind that I am speaking here only of food!). I disagree that the looking necessarily leads to the craving that leads to the eating, though, because sites like Food Porn Daily don’t offer recipes with their pictures (I am not sure whether they’re doing us a favor there or not). I sometimes get good ideas from them, though, such as serving an ice cream sundae in a bowl made out of chocolate chip cookie dough.

So much of what I eat every day is so thoroughly pedestrian in content and artless in presentation that looking at really beautiful food reminds me how much of a feast for all the senses eating is supposed to be. I may never have the chance to sample any of those amazing dishes, but just knowing that such edible art is available in the world gives me something to strive for when I’m feeling like doing something new and different in the kitchen.

I say there’s no harm in looking because pixels have no calories! If you want to enjoy some harmless visual stimuli and maybe find a few great recipes, too, Cook & Be Merry has compiled a helpful list of places to go that should satisfy even the heartiest appetite.

Enjoy!

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