Aesthetically pleasing food has taken over social media. From food Instagram accounts to Buzzfeed’s Tasty videos, the internet is a sucker for beautiful food.
A meal’s presentation is incredibly important to every food experience. If something looks delicious, it sets up the expectation that it will taste that way too. Chefs have taken advantage of society’s obsession with food, reeling in customers with photos of artfully presented food.
Stern sophomore Jessica Xu appreciates the effort that is put into presenting food nowadays.
“I love when my food looks like art,” Xu said. “When it looks pretty, you know the experience matters more than just filling yourself up.”
When food looks like a work of art, it makes for great social media material. Posting pictures of visually appealing food online has become increasingly popular among young people. Tisch sophomore Emily Feng is one of many students with Instagram accounts dedicated to food.
Feng is constantly on the hunt for new photos to add to her feed and often looks to other accounts for ideas. Recently, she found a bakery that decorated macarons with cute faces of animals and cartoon characters. However, despite the hype around these macarons, Feng was disappointed by how low the quality was.
“They didn’t have the slight crunch of other macarons I’ve had, and the filling was too sweet and dense,” Feng said.
While the taste of the treats did not match their initial charm, Feng understands that Insta-worthy food items aren’t always as delicious as they are beautiful. “I was let down, but I didn’t really expect that much out of [the macarons] because I feel like sometimes the aesthetic compromises the quality,” she said.
Unlike Feng, Steinhardt sophomore Olesia Gritsyk is not as concerned with how her meals look. Taste is the most important part of any dish, according to Gritsyk, who seldom tries foods out of her comfort zone, no matter how pretty it is.
“For me, it depends more on the ingredients and what the dish is,” Gritsyk said. “If I wasn’t a picky eater, I would probably be more likely to try something that is presented well to me.”
Although beautiful food has blessed our social media feeds, it often comes at an expensive price and in small portions. LS sophomore Georgia Wright doesn’t believe good presentation warrants an increase in price.
“It’s dumb,” Wright said. “It’s a way to charge [more] money for less food.”
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Jan. 29 print edition. Email Natalie Chinn at [email protected]