Foodies by Mike Verano

My wife and I are in a shrinking minority when it comes to living in the digital age. Despite invitations from friends, family members, strangers, strange family members, and even stranger friends, we have resisted creating a Facebook account. This is by no means an act of defiance, or resistance to the inevitable evolution of the e-world; it’s simply that we don’t think our lives are exciting enough to warrant a running visual commentary. We have, however, found one particular area of our lives that does meet the “We’ve got to share this right now” criteria. It should come as no surprise to anyone who reads these blogs that Kathy and I have taken more pictures of food than any other single subject.

This behavior is not new to us, and easily predates Al Gore’s creation of the internet. A look through dusty old photo albums in the Verano library is as much a gastronomical adventure of meals long since past, as it is a historical romp through people and places gone by. We are more likely to look at each with the knowing smile of, “I remember when we ate that” than we are able to recall, “Who’s that sitting next to you?”

With the digital camera shrinking in size and conveniently located on ones’ phone, the ability to capture, for all time, the meals of our lives has become so easy as to be almost obligatory. Succumbing to the times, and joining Instagram, Kathy and I are now able to instantly share our photo-culinary delights with the world. While the rest of the known universe seems captivated with taking selfies, Kathy and I are into foodies. Taking pictures of our mealtime avdentures has become such a standard practice that we’ve developed some rules to regulate its practice. They are as follows:

1. Foodies must be taken within one minute of the dish being placed in serving position in order to avoid the, “Well, it was hot when I took the picture” apology.

2. The food is primary and the person getting ready to eat it should only be included if needed for perspective, as in, “Here’s a picture of Mike holding up a plate of Rigatoni Bolognese that’s bigger than his head.”

3. You are allowed only 2 retakes to get the lighting right. After that, the person waiting to eat has the right to call out, “You’re being obsessive!”

4. If one person feels that the dish does not meet the requirements for being immortalized, he or she can state his or her case, but must do so in less time than it would take to eat said dish.

5. When dining out, foodies are not allowed once the meal has begun. People who want to take pictures of half-eaten food are just weird.

6. When posting a foodie, naming the dish is optional. The short and concise, “Look what I’m about to eat” is sufficient.

7. When dining apart, foodies can be a two-way process only if one of the two is not eating at a fast food restaurant. I have personally broken this rule on a number of occasions while dining out at 5 Guys. To my credit, this is done, in part, so that Kathy can find me should I suddenly experience a heart attack.

8. Foodies of home cooked meals must run with the comment, “Look what we made.”

9. Foodies taken while eating at a fine dining establishment may never, ever, be sent with the above comment. The only exception to this rule is if the foodie is being sent to someone who has previously tried to pass off a crown roast of lamb, with tiny chefs caps on top of each bone, as their own.

10. Foodies must only be sent with loving intention and the unstated promise that, “If this looks good to you we will make it/take you out for it, in the future.

Unlike the selfie craze, foodies are guaranteed to survive well into the future. Let’s be honest, even the people who love us the most will eventually get tired of seeing us admiring ourselves. Looking at pictures of what we’re going to eat, timeless. We need only consult the historical record to verify the staying power of this art form. Those ancient cave paintings of a yak with a spear sticking in its side? You guessed it, the first foodie.

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