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Bangalore’s Love For Food Porn

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are,” said Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, the 19th-century French lawyer, politician and gastronome. Thanks to Instagram and an obsession with food, Bangalore seems to be doing just that.

We Bangaloreans love to eat; there’s no doubt about that. But simply savouring the taste of a dish just doesn’t cut it anymore. Because, what’s a nice meal without Instagram? From a five star meal to homemade cake, without a hashtag, it may as well have not happened.

A lawyer by profession, Mrinalini Balachandran (@mrinbala) offers a good opening statement, “I’m a food explorer… and I believe you can’t just eat food. You’ve to talk about it too. And you’ve to talk about it to someone who understands that kind of food.”

But for Subangi Sunder (@ssunder), senior analyst at Grey Digital, it’s as simple as, “Because I’m eating it and it looks good.”

Sharing a meal on Instagram is also a way of telling your buddies what you’ve been drooling over at the dinner table. It could also be a reminder of what not to do, if you’re on a diet, perhaps. Or a record of one’s life from the perspective of a plate.

Like Arpitha Francis (@arpithafrancis), an MSc student of psychology says, “So that I can look back and remember all the awesome food I’ve eaten. Also, so that my friends know what I’m eating. Since they’re all big foodies, it’s like sharing where to get good looking food from.”

Aishwarya Vijay (@aishwaryavijay), a creative producer, thinks along the same lines, “To let others know where to get amazing food and to publicise a place. Food is a big part of my life and social media is all about interaction and getting to know people.”

Being a social media platform, Instagram obviously has its advantages when it comes to reaching out to people.

Shivya Nath, a travel blogger, is on one of her many journeys and passing through Bangalore. Her latest post is a picture of six types of chutneys at Kava Grill & Lounge. ‘Flavours of South India,’ she captioned it. “I Instagram food to share with my followers on Instagram/Twitter a taste of my travels across the world. As a travel blogger and a vegetarian by choice, I want to introduce fellow travellers to vegetarian delights everywhere I go,” she says.

Tarini Nararaj (@tarini_nagaraj), a fashion coordinator at The Students magazine says, “I love food and Instagram helps you capture and share things and people you love,” Her latest post is a picture of Café Mangii’s cheese fondue.

But it doesn’t always have to be fancy food. It could be something as simple as Gunjan Govani’s (@gunjangovani) picture of golgappas, albeit with a shot of vodka. A product consultant at LinkedIn, Govani says, “I am a passionate solo backpacker and I love to travel to new places to learn about people, their lives, food and culture. I love to share my experiences by posting pictures of their day-to-day activities and especially their food.”

For some of us, it’s a medium of self-expression and still others, a serious passion.

Paru Ramesh (@paru311), a freelance graphic designer, says she uses Instagram like a diary. “I take pictures of what I’m doing, eating or making,” she says.

Photographer Dave Remedios (@guppyremedios) believes it’s a matter of showing expertise too. “I see people who share pictures of food and I feel like sharing a better picture,” he says, “It’s like a rat race, right?” His most recent post was a picture of a breakfast spread at Red Fork in Indiranagar.

Of course, not everybody is a photographer. But that’s what the filters on Instagram are for, right?

M.F.K Fisher said, “First we eat, then we do everything else.” But with Instagram dominating our meals, it’s the other way around. Or as one blogger who didn’t want her name revealed said, “The food looks so good you have to take a picture of it. It’s like the porn equivalent of food. And it’s harmless.”