Let’s ban the urgency of headlines when talking about food when talking about food
OMG if you read one thing about food today, read this, quick. Before everybody else reads it.
Does this sound familiar to you?
It certainly does to me, and I’m tired of it.
A quick trawl through articles published in Ireland by bloggers, online magazines, and newspapers in the past month reveal the following headline samples:
Make This Super Easy Chocolate Cheesecake on Evoke.ie
The 5 things you need to try at Taste of Dublin this weekend Independent.ie
All of these headlines have an urgency to them; with an underlying current of instruction. The main reason being that the publications have something to sell, be it more advertising, perhaps the post is advertorial, or that they want to drive traffic.
When large publications online (and offline) post updates with these terms, they become the norm. Regular food bloggers see that the headlines are working and start using the same terms themselves. The terms are perpetuated and it is becoming a vicious cycle.
The problem with introducing too many superlatives into food language is that it becomes a race to the top and bottom for describing food. The middle ground of descriptive terms fall away, leaving the food that lies between in a sort of limbo.
What’s wrong with decent Irish terms like ‘nice’, ‘lovely’, and ‘grand’? Is it that they convey a feeling of adequecy, of accepting that something is alright but not amazing? In my Grandfather’s vernacular, the term ‘lovely’ was high praise, and if he proclaimed a dish lovely then I knew I was on to a winner.
I, for one, look forward to reading a recipe description that uses brevity, such as ‘vanilla cake recipe’. When I know that it has been tested (another bugbear of mine) then I will invariably want to try it.
As a parent I believe in teaching my children that they cannot always be happy; that they must experience sadness to understand what happiness is. Life is full of opposites and the grey areas in between. If we spend our lives rushing towards the ultimate food experiences then everything else will dull in comparison.
I’ve written before that the best meal I’ve ever tasted was a plate of simple toast, washed down with a cup of tea, after giving birth.
What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten? I’d hazard a guess that it might not be down to the ‘food experience’ but down to who you shared the meal with, or why you ate a particular meal.
Let me know what you think!