What Makes A Good Food Writer

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What makes good writing good? Context, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, grammar, well, the list just goes on and on. I personally consider writings good when the author includes me and makes me feel like I’m part of the endless conversation. I consider writings good when humor is induced in the piece in subtle ways. Most importantly, I consider writing good when I feel like the author is trying to connect with me personally and communicates with me in a non-overwhelming way.

Food blogs and journals are not familiar territory to me because I never thought I would be fascinated with food recipes. However, the blogs and the articles I dreaded reading is surprisingly intriguing. I especially appreciated the humorous piece “How To Make Potato Salad” by Steve Himmer because of its impersonal tone. Himmer’s candid language and word choices reflects his personality and I feel he is someone that I would want to have a beer with on a Saturday afternoon, well when I am reach the legal of age to consume alcohol of course. He induces everyday comedy to entertain his audience as demonstrated in the seventh step of the recipe quoted as following, “7. Remove onions, garlic, and sausages from heat. Decide that if you ever open a restaurant, you will also name it after a hooker. Forget that the pan is still hot and pick it up without a side towel. Blister.” From Himmer’s simple words and mild language, we feel more connected with him because we can understand him better.

Himmer’s humor was seen throughout the steps his recipe but the article “Bacon-Wrapped Trout with Corn Cakes”  takes a different approach on writing a good recipe. When I first saw the title of this recipe, I was extremely curious and my mouth started to water at the word “bacon”. I thought I was going to read about the recipe right away but instead, I find myself reading a background story of Ernest Hemingway. I was slowly reeled in by the use of a background story and that made the recipe more than about food. The author brought out one of the distinctive qualities about food and that is food can be used as a symbol. With the combine techniques of humor and a back ground story, these blogs effectively pulled me into the reading of a recipe and they made food that much more relevant to me.

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5 thoughts on “What Makes A Good Food Writer

  1. I agree with your points on what makes writing strong. Particularly, we both mentioned that the use of humor is very effective in writing, as it effectively compels the readers. I also agree with you on your perspective on Steve Himmer’s “How To Make A Potato Salad” and how his writing technique of humor can surely grasp the attention of readers. One technique that you mentioned that I didn’t think of before was how you admire when the author tries to connect with you personally. I certainly agree with this because when authors in general write to connect with the audience, it shows that they really invest in their readers and know what they find intriguing.

  2. Hi the comment that was left from “anonymous” was from me, Charleen. Sorry, I wasn’t logged in when I left the comment.

  3. I really enjoyed reading both of your posts! Ver descriptive and with your honest opinions. It was interesting the way that you like essays that incorporate humor and yourself. That is a fantastic technique that not many writers have, but that you could surely continue. From the second post, I really enjoyed reading a different type of essay other than going to a cafe you creatively decided to go to a food court! Wow! Your article describes it perfectly!

  4. I like that you mentioned writing styles that included the reader. I also believe this is a great way to communicate with the audience, as well as to pass the information on in a more effective way. The added personality in the writing makes it all the more interesting for the reader, allowing the writer to include background information such as in your experience with the article about bacon-wrapped trout and Ernest Hemingway.

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