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Food Porn: Not appreciated in a growing number of places
By Barbie Latza Nadeau
Great Escapes, The Daily Beast
March 26, 2014
The Problem with Food Porn Tourism
You may think snapping food photos is innocent fun, especially while trying new dishes on vacation. But some chefs are starting to fight back, ruling no cameras at the dinner table. We’ve all seen them. The waiter plops a gorgeous plate of sumptuous food on the table but, rather than taking out a fork and knife to tuck in, they grab their cellphone and snap a photo. Within minutes, it has been hashtagged #foodporn or #cameraeatsfirst and posted to Tubmlr, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. By the time they’ve shared their gourmet delight with the world, the food is cold, and the chef is grumpy. The phenomenon of photographing food is known as food porn, and just like the “other” porn, it is highly addictive. Gastronomic tourism is one of the fastest growing travel sectors among the traveling class, according to the World Food Traveler, which conducts research on culinary tourism.
According to their 2013 statistics, over 39 million leisure travelers are considered “deliberate culinary travelers,” which means they choose their destination based on its cuisine, and their tours often include cooking lessons, wine tastings, or other food-related activities. The research shows that an additional 35 million leisure travelers are “opportunistic,” which means they may choose a destination based on its artistic or cultural offerings, but eating well is also a priority. Thousands more are “accidental” culinary tourists, who get caught up in the local cuisine without even trying. No matter their category, these travelers all have one thing in common: they take pictures. And despite the fact that they may be in gorgeous cities like Rome, Florence, or Paris, their holiday photos are of plates of spaghetti and foie gras, not the Coliseum and the Eiffel Tower.
Luckily for the culinary tourist, there are plenty of social websites where they can boast about their adventures. One of the first food porn sites on the Internet was Taste Spotting, which was founded in 2007 based “on the idea that we eat first with our eyes.” The site bills itself as an “obsessive, compulsive collection of eye-catching images that link to something deliciously interesting on the other side. Think of TasteSpotting as a highly visual potluck of recipes, references, experiences, stories, articles, products, and anything else that inspires exquisite taste.” Scores more sites have followed, including the popular Food Porn Daily and Pintrist’s Food and Drink section.
Read the full story here.