Is food and cooking becoming screamingly pretentious and unrealistic?


Please don’t continue reading if you don’t want to be infected by discontentment, restlessness, or just plain grey, moody March and April.

I’m feeling disgruntled, hostile, filled with discord and just plain incompatible with life at the moment. WTF? I’m usually annoyingly happy.Someone once compared me with the continuously happy nun on Sister Act. You know the one with a fat round face and a happy smile. I was so pissed off with the boy who told me that, that I’ve refused his friendship on facebook twice.

But what I want to discuss today is the latest Food and Home I bought and read this morning.

Is food and cooking becoming screamingly pretentious and unrealistic?

Let me paint a picture. I live on a farm about 110kms away from the nearest city. I bought the mag coz the cover looked delicious. It had a picture of a Plum and Apple crumble, in a bowl, displayed  on a piece of hessian.

The piece of hessian, I presume, is to create a sort of homely look and give one a feeling of using local, farm ingredients. Now, I live on a farm, and not a fuck would I EVER use a piece of Hessian ANYWHERE in my kitchen. It absorbs dust and dirt and continuously sheds little bits of fluff and hessian. I see that Plum and Apple Crumble resting ever so gently on that piece of hessian and I can unfortunately imagine tasting little pieces of hessian and fluff.

So the tasty looking crumble is discredited by the pretentious piece of hessian.

Also some of the recipes use ingredients like:

  • galangal
  • arborio rice
  • asian mushrooms
  • panko breadcrumbs
  • chestnuts

Okay there aren’t to many unknown ingredients, but still, I’m in a critical, slightly bitchy mood. But in all honesty, the recipes seem a tad pretentious and make use of expensive nuts, pomegranate seeds and other expensive ingredients. Ingredients, that I, wouldn’t even be able to locate in the greater Eastern Cape region. So that leaves only those living in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town able to cook these recipes. Nice one Food and Home!

So let me ask you again:

Do you think cooking has become a tad pretentious?

on page 40 of the Food and Home there’s a picture of a blonde girl in trendy (spotlessly clean) gumboots touching a little calf. Her white, short, anglaise dress spotless and gleaming in the sunlight. Highly unlikely in real life. Next to her in another photo is a wire crate of glass milk bottles filled with milk. There are NO lids on the milk. HUh? Also highly unlikely.


6 responses »

  1. You can’t let facts and common sense get in the way of a good photo shoot! Trust me on this, I know since I’m guilty of this.

    Pretentious food? Too much Masterchef! What’s wrong with good old treacle tart anyway? No fancy ingredients, just good old fashioned comfort food.

    • good old fashioned honesty please…(however as much as I dislike Top Billing for its pretentiousness, I enjoy the odd cooking programme on the Food Networks.) Especially Rosemary on the Road and Rick Stein. Pure honesty.

  2. LOL! You may be feeling disgruntled and moody but your post still made me laugh – thank you.

    I don’t buy those magazines because they just make me feel inadequate. I prefer to google recipes with the key words ‘easy’, ‘quick’ and ‘children’s favourite’ and the only ingredients I have in the house.

    I can’t afford a second mortgage on my home to buy ingredients from specialist food emporiums. If an ingredient doesn’t grow in my garden and is not readily available in Pick ‘n Pay or Woolies, it’s not going into my food. I also don’t fancy using galangal – it sounds like a symptom of a dreadful fungal infection not something I want to eat. How does the saying go? Life is too short to stuff an Asian mushroom with arborio rice, panko breadcrumbs and chestnuts!

  3. I agree. And besides, if it takes longer than 30 minutes to make or has more ingredients than I can count on my one hand chances are above average that I won’t be making it anyway.

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