Food Blog Analysis

This assignment encourages you to bring what we’ve learned in class in critiquing and analyzing food writing in general. It’s quite similar to the early cookbook analysis we did in Week 2. (remember then?!)

Basics

  • ~800 words
  • Same thing you’ve been doing all month, so keep it up.

What to do (YOUR CHOICE)

  • Remind yourself what we did with the early cookbook analysis. You’re basically doing the modern version of that. Think about how the blog can and can’t tell us about American Food.
  • Find a food blog. It can be one you already read or use regularly, or it can be something totally random that you’ve never seen before.
  • Click through the about page, the recipes, read the descriptions, read the comments, etc. Get familiar with the whole thing so that you have a solid impression of what it’s like.

OR

  • Remind yourself what we did with the early cookbook analysis. You’re basically doing the modern version of that. Think about how the blog can and can’t tell us about American Food.
  • Identify several food blogs that you want to skim through. These can be ones you already know or ones that you’ve never seen before.
  • Click through the blogs to get a sense of what each is trying to do. Think about tone, style, assumptions. Since you’re looking at several blogs, you’ll do more of a comparison between them rather than a deeper analysis.

Questions to ask your blog and write about

  • What kind of assumptions does the author(s) make about cooking/cuisine/food?
  • Who is the intended audience? What do they know? What do they care about? (as implied from the blog)
  • What kind of larger themes do the essays appeal to (exotic, health, comfort, regional, national, hipster, classic, etc)?
  • How are the ideas of “national” or “ethnic” or “authentic” used?
  • Do you get a sense of where the recipes came from?
  • How much does history or tradition matter to the recipes?

MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION(s) TO ADDRESS

  • How does your food blog reflect contemporary American Food Culture? How does it NOT?

Don’t forget your learning assessment (1-8 scale)

At the end of your food blog analysis, evaluate your own effort. You know the drill.

  • 1-2: Marginal. Skimmed the blog quickly and your analysis provides a coherent but rather simplistic description of its contents.
  • 3-4: Fine. Read the blog unevenly, but your analysis shows that you’re starting to think critically about the questions above.
  • 5-6: Very good. Read the blog thoroughly, with partial answers to the above questions.
  • 7-8: Excellent. Spent significant time with your blog, and wrote up an original, expressive, and sophisticated analysis of what we can learn about American food from it.

Questions

You are ALWAYS welcome to use email or better yet Slack for questions or clarifications. Writing is hard enough, and virtually impossible when you’re not sure what you’re trying to do. Please get in touch!