Do you guys remember when you’d go out to eat in your town when you were growing up? You’d get chicken fingers or a burger and fries, and while they didn’t necessarily look like anything special, they sure tasted great. Fast forward fifteen years and things couldn’t be any more different. Whether your food actually tastes good is inconsequential; instead, what matters is whether your Instagram hits trip-digit likes.
Food writer Dani Valent looked into this trend and realized that the rise of Instagram is what we have to thank for our food prices to jump, actual taste to decrease, and weird, absurd appearances to skyrocket. Fill a donut with icing using a syringe? Check. Forego scooped ice cream for rolled? I’m down. The weirder the food, the more likely it is to make an appearance on Instagram, and restaurants know this is the best marketing tool they can implement. Instead of wanting to hit up a restaurant for a delicious meal, we’re flocking there in droves to get more and more likes on our #foodporn Instagram posts.
Like many others, I’ve fallen prey to Instagram food envy. Did I drive half an hour out of the way and wait in a forty-person line for hand-rolled ice cream? Yes. Did it taste good? Absolutely not. But you’d better believe I did it and I’d do it again to make all of my friends jealous on social media.
So are we doomed to live a life full of strange foodie creations and never again eat an average-looking but delicious meal at a restaurant again? Not quite. We’re now at the point that strange food creations have become so commonplace and have so thoroughly infiltrated social media, that restaurants are trying a new trend – simplicity. When strange food became so easily accessible that anyone with $4 could buy and Instagram a cronut, it started to lose its appeal. Now, higher-end restaurants are getting back to the basics by balancing simple but elegant presentations with actual, real, delicious flavor. While prices may not go down, our food might actually start tasting good again, which is a trade-off I’m more than willing to make. So long, raindrop cakes and Black Tap milkshakes – comfort food is on its way back and, hopefully, will be here to stay. .
Image via Shutterstock