Food Blog Analysis
This assignment asks you to apply the perspectives of the course to critiquing and analyzing how food is discussed in contemporary food blogs. It’s quite similar to the early cookbook analysis we did in Week 2. (remember then?!)
This assignment is not merely an exercise in description! I’m interested in your ANALYSIS. I want you to use the course to identify what’s important to the authors, how they try to achieve that, and what it says (or doesn’t) about the idea of American food.
- ~800 words. But quality is more important than quantity.
- At the top of your essay, put a functional hyperlink to the blogs you reference
- Be sure you’re well acquainted with the Method and Questions sections below.
- Remind yourself what we did with the early cookbook analysis. You’re basically doing the same thing here with a slight twist.
- Identify at least THREE food blogs that you want to skim through (I think the assignment is more fun if you skim through a few more, since you’ll have more to draw from).
- If you are already familiar with some blogs, feel free to use them.
- If you don’t know of any blogs right now, you can find collections of food blog links here and here and here. You’ll notice there is a lot of overlap on these. The particular sites you use are of no consequence, but it’s best to avoid super specialized ones for the purposes of this exercise.
- Click through the blogs (especially the “about” pages, a handful of recipes, photography, etc) to get a sense of what each is trying to do. Think about tone, style, assumptions about food, cooking, etc.
- Make sure you’re addressing the questions below!
Questions to keep in mind while reading and writing
- Who is the intended audience? (For instance: What do they (the audience) know? Are they intimidated by cooking? Are they already proficient cooks?)
- What kind of assumptions does the author(s) make about cooking/cuisine/food?
- What kind of larger themes do the blogs appeal to (exotic, health, comfort, economy, speed, etc)?
- What are the various “national” or “ethnic” influences of the recipes or instructions?
- How much does tradition or originality or authenticity matter to the author?
- Do you think your blogs help construct an American identity or a sense of “American food”?
- Just like we looked at cookbooks from ~150 years ago to learn about food at the time, what would a historian 150 years from now think American food if looking at your blogs?
- REMEMBER: You’re READING BETWEEN THE LINES to learn about American culture and cuisine.
Writing is hard enough, and virtually impossible when you’re not sure what you’re trying to do. Please get in touch!