Features / Lifestyle Features

5 Signs You’re a Food Porn Addict

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How many of you have seen the now infamous Marks & Spencer’s food adverts? This is not just an M&S chocolate pudding, this is a ridiculously delicious-looking, melting in the middle, steaming M&S chocolate pudding that made hundreds of people, myself included, attempt to lick their TV screens in an ecstasy of sugary lust. That was food porn at its best, reducing you to a puddle of hungry goo as you could almost taste that rich, creamy goodness.

My name is Lizzy Pennock and I’m a food porn addict. Before you back away disgusted, imagining various disturbing scenes involving chocolate sauce and apple pies, hear me out. I love food; I love cooking food, thinking about food, buying food and of course, eating food. But most of all I love looking at food, describing it, and drooling over it.

I’m not alone either. Food blogs are now the fastest rising type of blog on the Internet, with people from all around the world posting pictures of their favourite creations, discussing and comparing recipes and generally feasting on delicious food porn with their eyes. So much to taste and so little time.

Succulent. Juicy. Creamy. Satisfying.

It is no coincidence that many of the words used to describe food have sexual connotations, food having been long associated with carnal acts and desires. Just like sex, food is necessary to our survival but can be so much more than a necessity, can become a want, a pleasure and a source of joy. Why do you think TV advertising executives use a half-naked male model to try to sell us Aero chocolate bars? We’re far more likely to want to lick melted chocolate off his sculpted body than listen to the spiel about 5% fat or the bubbles.

5 signs you’re a food porn addict –

1. You take a genuine interest in what your friends have for dinner and press them for details until they cry, exasperated beyond belief, “What do you want, a picture?!” Yes, please.

2. Recipe books without pictures are one of life’s biggest disappointments.

3. You are perfectly happy to stand outside a restaurant, drool over the menu descriptions, choose your dream meal then move along to the next one.

4. Lying in bed at night thinking about tomorrow’s meal becomes a regular and normal occurrence.

5. You frighten your friends and family by making loud noises of contentment as you watch cookery programme after cookery programme. Especially Nigella. Yum.

In today’s society of self-improvement, will power, exercise and skinny toned supermodels who look as if they would fall over in a breeze, it is easy to resent food, to see it as a nuisance and a waste of time and money. I say enjoy food, indulge in it, revel in it, rejoice in every hot buttery bite of that Cornish pasty and be grateful that we live in a world where you can enjoy food from every culture, from France to Thailand, Argentina to Morocco. Go on, let your inner food pervert loose.

Originally published on The Yorker 6th June 2010

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