FYI food bloggers

illustration by mark stivers

Someone recently asked me for some pointers on how to be good food writer. To address that, I offer the following pointers:

1. Be entertaining, timely and useful. Or at least specialize in one of the three really well.

2. Use all the senses to describe your food. For example, pretend to describe a lemon to someone who has never seen one before. What does it look like and smell like? Describe the taste and texture in detail. Don’t tell me you ate a fried egg; tell me how the oil made it glow, describe the cheesy flavor of the yolk and show me the crispy browned edges using your words.

3. Add some personal details. Why are you interacting with or eating this food? Does it conjure any memories? Is there a story surrounding it? These are the things that make your food writing interesting.

4. Be specific and get the details right. Aren’t sure if you taste sumac or juniper berries in the pilaf? Be sure to find out. You lose credibility to readers if they learn or know you got it wrong.