DOES your day, like mine, sparkle seeing a droolworthy photo of chef David Lebovitz’s cheesecake brownies? If the answer is yes, you will be totally in sync with why food blogging, has become the big thing.
Everyday new food blogs pop up, be it health food blogs, dessert blogs, breakfast food blogs, seasonal cookery posts, food porn sites, celebrity chef blogs and chatty, informative sites like Eater and Grub Street. Bangalore has its own burgeoning community of food bloggers, and I caught up with a few. Many will congregate on August 1-2, for the Indian Food Bloggers Meet in Bangalore (ifbmeet.blogspot.in), to discuss all things blogging. Nandita Iyer (saffrontrail.blogspot.in) with a popular 8-year-old vegetarian food blog, is one of the organisers. Iyer says her best-loved posts are often her simplest. Like how to make south Indian filter coffee or Tambrahm sambhar, or her latest: making granola at home. I asked food blogger and baker Monika Manchanda (sinamontales.wordpress.com) about the rising popularity of food blogs. “Everyone likes looking at food. It’s an integral part of our lives,” she replies. Her blog, studded with photos of food she takes herself, started as a diary to herself three years ago. Over time, positive feedback made her decide to take it forward. Today, she gets messages from readers asking for recipes, even tips on eating out. “My baking, adapted to Indian conditions and ingredients, has caught on most,” she adds. Advice? “Be honest,” she says, “There are lessons of failure on my blog, things I’ve learnt from and pass on to my readers.”
Former dental surgeon Neha Mathur blogs on baking on whiskaffair.com, and other food stuff on myeverydaymusing.blogspot.in. She took to blogging while travelling with her husband to new places, tasting new food. “My recipes turn out the way they should – something you don’t often find on the internet.” Mathur, like Manchanda, places emphasis on beautiful photographs. “Every post must tell a story, and photography helps. Reading a coffee cake recipe should make you think of having it with a cup of coffee, on a balcony – the total experience.”
Veteran blogger, Suma Rowjee blogs on baking at cakesandmore.in, and plans to join the food bloggers meet. “A lot of bloggers are experts, but I don’t consider myself one. I am a learner at a different stage of learning,” she says describing the successful blogger as one who goes into crucial cooking details which are vital for the recipes’ success. She counts her posts for beginners and microwave baking amongst her best.
Food writer Suresh Hinduja is one of the earliest established bloggers with his gourmetindia.com, and uses his experience to advise new bloggers. “Eating at five restaurants doesn’t give you the right to opine unless you know the cuisine, so don’t thrust ‘expert’ views onto readers, be wary of sweeping statements,” he says. His website is both a blog and a forum for food lovers to discuss all things food. “These elements give your website a global reach,” he adds, This joy of cooking draws new bloggers into the blogosphere, like Kavita Muthappa’s home-style recipe blog at myhappytable.com.”
“Food blogging is a huge trend today,” adds Iyer. Will it last? I’m guessing that as long as the world loves eating, food blogging will stay. That’s pretty much forever.
-Ruma Singh (Ruma Singh presents a column on observations, insights and what’s buzzing in the city.