The 7 Best Ways to Ingest Food Virtually

Posted by on Thursday Nov 17th, 2011 | Print

It would be impossible for our bodies to keep up with our minds when it comes to ingesting food. As hungry kids by nature and profession, we find that food occupies a permanent track in our brains. Whether we’re brainstorming new ways to use pumpkin, daydreaming about crazy combinations for never-been-seen-before pasta dishes, or wondering what new guides our readers would find useful, we’re constantly thinking about food. Still, three meals a day tends to be enough for our stomachs, and the foods we end up consuming in real life are often closer to this kale salad than the glazed donuts of our imaginations.

When we need more–that’s when we go online and turn to virtual food, both for inspiration and for vicarious satisfaction. There is no shortage of “food porn” on this fine Internet, and we profit from what everyone in the world is cooking and sharing. Of course “food porn” has connotations of, er, indulgence that we’d like to ignore. When it comes to virtual eating, gorgeous pictures and brilliant ideas are highly prized. Sometimes, you’ve just got to turn off your oven and turn on your laptop. Here’s how to get your fill–virtually! (Serving size: unlimited.)

**The 7 Best Ways to Ingest Food Virtually**

1. Pinterest. Ever made an inspiration board? No? Us neither. Until this gorgeous, useful site came along, our bookmarks were disorderly, and, truth be told, we rarely went back and clicked on pages we marked. Not so since the advent of Pinterest. Pin delicious-looking breakfasts, lunches, appetizers, drinks, dinners, and desserts as you go about your everyday browsing. Then, go back to your boards when you’re hungry for grilled cheese or fall favorites or want inspiration for the age-old problem of packing a creative brown bag lunch.

2. FoodGawker and TasteSpotting. This pair of ready-to-eat image collections posts user submissions of their most beautifully prepared and shot foods. Plating is perfect, exposure is excellent, and hunger naturally abounds. Jealousy, too–”How do all these bloggers take such perfect photos?” you’ll wonder…

3. Food photographers’ portfolios. A lesser-known resource, since foodie photogs are not necessarily as involved in social media or blogging as us amateurs, and much of what they take is proprietary–meant for cookbooks and commercial use. But they sure can take great pictures! Check out the food portfolios on Very Natural Photo (which includes the photography from In the Small Kitchen) and delicious scenes from the talented Michael Harlan Turkell, whose photos grace the New Brooklyn Cookbook and both Edible Manahattan and Edible Brooklyn magazines. Quentin Bacon, Ina Garten’s (and others’) photographer also has quite the drool-worthy selection on his site.

4. Search-by-craving sites. Sometimes it’s not enough to hungrily browse what bloggers just happen to be making. Foodily, Gojee, and Punchfork all let you search by what you’re craving–and you can even exclude foods from your search that you’re 100% absolutely not in the mood to ingest, even virtually.

5. FoodSpotting. While many of the above sources come from home cooks, FoodSpotting highlights mouthwatering dishes from restaurants. Use it at home or on the go to find out not just where to eat, but exactly what to order when you arrive.

6. YouTube food fun. You don’t need cable to enjoy amazingly entertaining cooking shows. If it can be cooked, YouTube has got it. Economy Bites is fabulous for quarter life-friendly comfort food. My Drunk Kitchen is full of tipsy, do-not-try-this-at-home kitchen hilarity. Vegan Black Metal Chef is weird, angry, and incredibly funny. (In case you’ve missed it, BGSK also happens to have an informative, entertaining YouTube channel!)

7. There’s a blog for that. The Internet runs on enthusiasm (OK…let’s call it what it is: obsession). If you’re imagining an awesome food niche, chances are some obsessive soul has created it. Want breakfast all day long? BKFST is the tumblr for you. How about healthful, mainly gluten-free, vegetarian food? The beautiful, thoughtful Green Kitchen Stories will float your boat. F*** Yeah Pho is your 24/7 source of pho noodle bowls. Scanwiches is an old meme but a goodie–delicious sandwiches are scanned instead of photographed! If a search doesn’t unearth the foodie trope you’re looking for, there’s another solution: start that site yourself.

This post was brought to you in partnership with Intel® who are all about making our lives better (and faster) with technology – today and tomorrow. Since we’re co-dependent with our laptops at every waking moment –that’s how we keep up to date on our food writing, photography, twitter streams, and facebook posts – we appreciate what Intel is doing.



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  • barb

    tastespotting and pinterest never cease to make my mouth water

  • Raj

    You should  check out Velvet Aroma (http://www.velvetaroma.com). A great way to find awesome food blogs that other users follow. Plus the blog posts are organized by diet etc.