20 Food Blog Trends That Need to Die in 2015

2 years ago

Food blog trends that need to die

Zesty Santorum is the drag name of the two-headed beast that is Kristina McLean and Sean Timberlake. As purveyors of past food blog trend pieces, we put our mighty brains together for this year's installation.

Honestly, people, we don't know why we even bother. We do the very hard work of reading all the blogs and spotting all the hackneyed trends, and report them back to you as a public service. And for what? We've officially lost the war on stripey straws, baker's twine, mason jars, quinoa, pumpkin spice and so much more.

But we're still delusional enough to think we're fighting the good fight, so we've rounded up a whopping 20 food blog trends that got so tired that we can't even. (And you shouldn't either. Or maybe you should. Whatever. Be that way. )

Note: Though you can find far too many examples of each of these trends in the blogosphere, we've chosen the path of least embarrassment and either used stock images to illustrate our points, or took our own photos. (That's right: These trends are so played they have their own stock photos. Think about it.)

1. DESIGN SPOOGE


Fresh peach cobbler served with vanilla ice cream

, Shutterstock

Enough with the superfluous dripping. You know what we mean. Dribbles of sauce, soup, or gravy drooling over the lip of a pitcher or edge of a bowl. If that got served to you in a restaurant, you'd Yelp all over their butts. Wipe it up.

2. RECIPES WITH MORE THAN 15 FLAVORS (AND/OR WORDS IN THE TITLE

With 8 trillion food bloggers on the web, we understand the importance of standing out. You want to be unique, and we get that. But let's all take a deep breath and slow down a minute. It's true: No one else has posted a recipe for "Salty Potato Chip Cheesecake Topped with a Manchego Caramel Sauce and Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Wasabi Pickles." You've got the only "Peppered Meat Brownies Stuffed with Brown Butter Hot Dogs and Topped with a Kale Avocado Pesto Icing" recipe out there.

There's a reason for that. It's disgusting. Here's a hint: If your recipe title looks like it was created from a mad-lib recipe generator, don't. Just don't.

3. DEPRESSED FOOD ON INSTAGRAM

We all love Instagram. When we're having a bad day, there's no better way to cheer ourselves up than by looking at all the amazing food we can't eat and vacations we're not on. Posting our 11th cat picture of the day fills us with such joy after viewing pics of your luxury vacation to the Virgin Islands.

However, it's been a lot harder to peruse our Instagram feeds lately. Why? Depressed food. There is nothing like the Earlybird filter to make a stripey straw look morose. Festive bundles of baker's twine-bondaged cookies done in Nashville tones? Sad trombone. A sprightly bunch of kale filtered through Kelvin? It makes us want to self-harm. Keep spreading the joy, folks.

4. NON-MUFFINS COOKED IN MUFFIN PANS

First, you all posted the mini baked oatmeals, and we didn't speak out. Then you posted the muffin tin salads, and we didn't say anything. Then you posted the muffin tin corn dogs, and our souls cried out in agony but we still kept silent. Then you posted the muffin tin egg rolls, and we crammed a fist in our mouths to keep us from screaming. Then you posted the muffin tin kale cups, and we yelled, "Stop the madness!"

Muffin tin kale cups? Oh, honey. No. Muffins are the best. But a muffin pan was created for one reason: muffins. Let's give the muffin tins a break and just make muffins. Muffin pies are not included in this prohibition. Pies in any form are awesome.

5. SUPERFOODS


Chia seed pudding

, Shutterstock

Blueberry-goji green tea salmon, anyone? We don't care how many antioxidants it has, or how deep into the primal jungle some poor indentured indigenous person had to delve to retrieve it, the only thing super about these foods is usually their price once they get tagged with this pointless moniker. Do you even know what an antioxidant is? Of course you don't. It's like saying your dish is high in molecules. Food has no heroes or villains, and that goji berry won't save you from a house fire.

6. CHIA

Speaking of so-called superfoods, this is one of the greatest offenders. We're not even sure it really is a food, as it more closely resembles alien sperm. Mixed with any liquid, it turns into a gooey, eyebally mess that is in no way appetizing on any planet. At best you can call it pudding, like tapioca gone horribly, horribly wrong, but please stop mixing it with fruit and calling it jam. This stuff is best left on growing on the terra cotta sheep.

7. CLEAN EATING

Eating is dirty business. We don't care if you make raw kale-quinoa cakes with paleo vegan non-mayonnaise, there's nothing clean about it. It all ends up the same slurry of digested goo in the gut, and all comes out the same in the end. Maybe it's less fattening, maybe it's higher in fiber, but clean it ain't. We're not saying you shouldn't eat as healthily as possible, but don't pretend that kale is giving your colon a facial on the way through. (And juice cleanses don't cleanse anything. They just leave you hungry and bitchy.)

8. DIY CHAIN RESTAURANT RECIPES

We understand the desire to recreate your favorite fast food at home, but what started out as a cool niche has exploded into an overblown fad. If you want the KFC slaw, just hop in your car, go to KFC and spend a buck. We mean, literally, it's like a buck. You'd spend more on the ingredients, and it won't have the same perfume of rancid frying grease that makes all KFC foods sublime.

9. CITRUS SHINGLES


Cheesecake decorated with orange slices

, Shutterstock

Stop covering baked goods with entire slices of citrus, rind and all. It's pretty, but how on earth do you eat that? Have you ever eaten citrus rind? It's gross. Candied rind is less gross, but there's a reason it appears as tiny flecks in sensible desserts. Biting into a whole slice of citrus is like using Pledge as breath freshener.

10. BRACKETS {SIGH}

These are the blogger equivalent of slamming a kitchen cabinet door while yelling "I'm not mad!" {smile} And it's not just food bloggers that do this {wink}. It's a blogging capital crime committed by many bloggers, especially mommy bloggers {giggle}. But we'd like for food bloggers to take a stand. Lead by example, and quit this shit {ugh}. It's passive aggressive and lazy writing at best {omg}, and full of bitchery or assholery at worst. {fuck this noise} {thanks} {swoon}

11. THE WORD "SWOON"

Stop. Just stop. You're not fooling anyone. If your recipe made you swoon, you should buy a fainting couch and call 911. Don't post it on your blog. Unless you're passive-aggressively trying to harm someone. {tee hee}

12. SRIRACHA

It's the new bacon. And, like bacon, we admit that it's genuinely delicious and makes everything—EVERYTHING—better. But, like bacon, shut up about it already. Did you know there are approximately 12,572 other hot sauces on the market? It's true! Try one!

13. INAPPROPRIATE PICTURES OF YOU TOSSING SALAD (AND OTHER THINGS)


Image: Kristina McLean

Yes, taking pictures of yourself tossing salad on your food blog is always inappropriate. But some of these pictures of you tossing other foods make us wish Google had a safe search just for food bloggers. Look, we have no issue with people eating with their fingers. We've been known to wear rigatoni like knuckle rings. But please quit taking pictures of yourself flinging salad into the air with your hands.

Or worse: pasta with sauce. Joyfully tossing spaghetti with your hands doesn't make you look quirky and carefree. It's weird. And if you have scabs or bandages covering your fingers? Maybe not the best time to bust out the macro lens and take closeups of yourself cutting onions.

14. "CAPTAIN OF THE OBVIOUS" RECIPES

Unless you write a cooking 101 blog, please resist posting recipes with your amazingly interesting new take on baked potatoes. Unless it involves roasting them on an artisanal fire tended by dyslexic gnomes, we can figure it out. We know how to make croutons. Spaghetti should be al dente. Thomas Keller has already taught us how to roast a chicken. We've got this.

15. "CAPTAIN OF THE OBVIOUS," PART DEUX

Stop calling out the gluten-freeness of things that obviously don't have gluten. Like water. Or Brussels sprouts. Or chicken. If you've got an awesome recipe for cookies, cakes, pastas or anything else that routinely uses wheat-based flour, then go for it. Otherwise, we'll just continue to assume that your glass of water has not recently come into contact with a loaf of bread.

16. INAPPROPRIATE FLEUR DE SEL USAGE

Fleur de sel is a wonderful ingredient, and food bloggers know using it makes us feel FANCY! We're not saying don't use it, but it's a delicate ingredient, and it's not going to shine in a dessert that uses instant pudding. You can put a pound of fleur de sel on a pineapple poke cake, and it's not going to class it up. Own your cake mix, and save the fancy salt for other dishes.

17. TECHNICOLOR DESSERTS


Rainbow cake, Shutterstock

Sure, the rainbow layer cake is goshdarn cute, but unless you're making it for a 7-year-old girl's birthday party or a big gay Pride brunch, we are so over the rainbow. And that tie-dye cake? Done correctly, it's cool, but for the most part it looks like Jerry Garcia and My Pretty Pony went on a bender and had the hangover barfs. Plus, that much food coloring can't be healthy.

18. MISGUIDED HYPERBOLE

Don't say that a given food is "like crack," unless you are actually a recovering crack addict. Otherwise you don't know what you're talking about, and Whitney Houston will shame you from the grave. And if you think your recipe is actually better than sex, then you need to spend less time cooking and more time upping your game in the sack.

19. SLUTTY DESSERTS

Trust us, we understand that decadent brownies, rich caramel bars, and gooey cupcakes should be their own food group, but it's time to stop slut shaming desserts. A brownie is not a "floozy" because it's got cookie dough in it. A caramel bar wasn't "asking for it" because it has 800 grams of fat. A cake is not "a skank" just because it was wearing Nutella. It's time to take a stand and just say no because we're almost at the point where "slutty" desserts are going to start having Take Back the Night rallies. (We're not including cake pops here. They're total whores.)

20. POSTING RECIPES WITHOUT ATTRIBUTION

We're going to get all serious on you and tell you to quit this shit. We all know how to use the Google, and we all know you're blogging dirty. When you post a cookie recipe that is exactly like a Cook's Illustrated recipe, but yours calls for 1 teaspoon of vanilla instead of 2 teaspoons, it's not your original recipe. When another blogger has posted a really cool take on a recipe, and you not only copy it (and maybe make little changes), but also copy their photo styling? People notice. We would also like to note that changing three tiny things in the recipe doesn't make it yours. Knock it off and cite your sources.

This is an article written by one of the incredible members of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.
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