Food Porn: The Best Kind Of Porn There Is

I was watching an old episode of Paula Deen the other day, my mind dancing in a frothing, golden sea of butter and all of its limitless possibilities, when it dawned on me: Food porn is the greatest thing in the world. I mean, let’s not kid ourselves, no matter how many episodes of Barefoot Contessa we stare at with the slack-jawed intensity of a caveman, we’re never going to make this stuff. Sure, we might look up a recipe now and again, but how many times in our lives are we going to get up from the couch mid-Alton Brown, pirouette into the kitchen, and get to work making that soufflé? Rarely at best.

But that is not the point of food porn. Food porn is not there to actually encourage you to go and make awesome, complicated, delicious-looking dishes that you don’t have the equipment nor the spare time to put together, it’s to stare at. It’s meant to be so inhumanely gorgeous that you actually quell your hunger a little bit just by osmosis through your eyeballs, and fight the temptation to lick the screen. I could watch hours upon hours of matronly women in aprons talking about how to perfectly roast a rack of lamb and never, ever get tired of it.

There have been so many times when, sitting in my crappy apartment and staring down an endless cupboard of Ramen noodles, that food porn saved me. I clicked over to a blog and imagined how delicious all of that stuff would be, and how much better my life would be if I were the kind of person who eats things with a dollop of flavored foam on top of it. (In all sincerity, though, restaurant industry — why foam? I’ve never been lathering myself up in the shower and suddenly become overwhelmed with a desire to grab a handful of suds and place them gently atop a freshly-grilled steak. At least not to my recollection. But I digress.)

The point is that for those times when I have been staring at my computer with the glistening, yearning look of pure joy in my eyes for a solid thirty minutes, only to have my friend look at my screen and be like, “Why are you looking at a picture of a fried egg?” I have no regrets. I know that as much as people are allowed to spend their spare time watching strangers have sex on video, playing fantasy football with their dudebros, or watching their life slip away to a computer game — I am allowed to stare at food. I am allowed to derive a strange but sincere pleasure out of watching Paula Deen deep fry ever more preposterous semi-foods while telling us about how delicious they are in that Larry The Cable Guy-esque accent of hers. I’m allowed to watch Giada de Laurentiis make pasta, only to be occasionally distracted by her heaving bosoms. I am allowed to reconsider my sexuality for Nigella Lawson.

So to anyone out there who feels strange about the degree to which they like staring at pictures and videos of various edible things that you will never taste — I salute you. You are fighting the good fight, and keeping the people whose job it is to make the food look nice and pretty for the camera employed. You are a hero amongst men, and if we can only erase Guy Fieri from the public consciousness for all eternity — our work will not have been in vain. TC mark

image – Shutterstock

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=709095560 André Philippe Leblond

    I’m gonna be honest, I clicked on this article hoping for pictures of food. 

    • internetfemale

      ME TOO. I was so upset when there were no pretty food pictures :(

      • Renee

        haha me too and although the writing is great…i am a little sad :(

    • J

      i’m gonna honest, me too. 

    • KarliCo

      Yep, me too.

  • JimmieNoRadio

    Chalk it up to the crappy food they served in at my elementary school but I totally spent some days Peter Paning the hell out of imaginary food id never taste.

  • http://twitter.com/mitzyredmango Mitzy

    “It’s meant to be so inhumanely gorgeous that you actually quell your hunger a little bit just by osmosis through your eyeballs, and fight the temptation to lick the screen.” 

    Exactly. 

  • Daniel

    I grew up with Emril BAM-ing things to perfection like most of us, so I definitely see your point. However, as I’ve gotten older (in my late 20’s), I’ve discovered that it is much more enjoyable to attempt to make, and subsequently eat, all the delicious foods you have pictures of saved on your hard drive. It takes a lot of trial and error and that ever elusive thing they call patience, but dont be fooled, it is totally doable.

    I really enjoyed this article, but dont be afraid to take a few stabs at cheffin’ it up yourself.

  • http://messed-up-hottness.tumblr.com/ Mac Allison

    Nigella is gorgeous!

  • finxy

    i know we don’t know each-other, but i’m pretty sure we’re soul mates.

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