The recipe for salad dressing is a secret

Let's Eat by Kitty Kaufman, photo by Dilusha De Tissera

Georgetown cupcakes Last Wednesday there was an exciting feature in the New York Times food section. It's all about people who are taking pictures of what they eat. You can't see online but in print it covered nearly the whole front page, with art, and it was the second most emailed feature for two days. I'm telling you right now; don't look at it if you're the least bit hungry: "First Camera, Then Fork."

Kate Murphy, the writer, found lots of people who before they take a single bite of anything, take a picture. They post them in photographic food diaries. And it's not just one amazing dinner. Some albums run to thousands of meals.

Obviously they aren't hungry and apparently their friends are patient and no one cares if the food is hot when they get to the eating part. Ms. Murphy thinks the photos provide "a strangely intimate and unedited view" of someone's life. One of the people she interviewed, who is 28 and a neuroscientist, has fans "from as far away as Ecuador." He lives in California. A 36 year-old Texas woman says her husband "is resigned" to her hobby that began when she wanted to show her mother what she ate on vacation. I wonder if her mother thought this was too much information.

I never thought something I'm about to eat belongs online forever but I do now. Those Boston salads I make get raves at the table but no one says, "Hey, this looks so good, let's take a picture and throw it up on your website." And if someone said that what I would say is, "Who cares what I'm eating?" or "Yes, roast chicken looks great but it's going to get cold while we fiddle with the lighting." Besides, the recipe for the salad dressing is a secret.

If you follow me on Twitter I will not be sending photos of what I'm eating. My marketing colleague and ace photographer, Dilusha De Tissera Dilusha on Twitter says I need to use Twitter. She insists people will follow me. I took a walk last night and when I got to the corner I turned around. No one was there so she has lots of work ahead of her.
P. S. Times change. Dilusha and I are now taking pictures of everything we eat too.

© April 12, 2010 Kitty Kaufman is a New Yorker living in Boston.
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