Here’s the Dish: The Rise of Short Food Videos

You’ve seen them everywhere: in the “Recommended Videos” category of your YouTube feed, on your Facebook newsfeed, and even your Instagram “Explore” page. Short food recipe videos have been taking the internet by storm. Many of these videos are created by sites like Tasty, Tastemade, Buzzfeed Food, and INSIDER food. I, along with a majority of ardent social media enthusiasts, have been glued to this endless stream of food videos whenever they appear on my Facebook newsfeed, which leads me to my main question today: “Why is this unending stream of short videos so popular now?”

On the internet, a plethora of sources are constantly trying to grab our attention—whether it’s someone posting a hilarious Vine, a favorite vlogger posting a new video, or your celebrity crush tweeting about his or her day. These food videos are no exception. The leading contender is without a doubt, Buzzfeed, with its Tasty page platform, as well as the Buzzfeed Food page, which has racked up millions of followers. With one to three videos posted every day, we are constantly entertained with the sight of delicious food being created within a few blinks of the eye. Although many people (myself included), have no intention of making every recipe posted, there are still as many 45 million views on multiple videos, probably because they are so aesthetically pleasing. The aerial shots display a pair of hands performing the recipe, creating a personal feeling that makes you feel like you’re doing the actual cooking.

Although I’m always entranced when I watch these addictive clips, the videos are not perfect. One critique that comes to mind is the recurring theme of “fusion.” It’s been so prevalent that it’s beginning to border on cultural appropriation. A recent video about deep-fried mochi has caught my eye. I was perplexed by the fact that the person behind Tasty simply fried cornstarch and declared it as mochi when mochi is traditionally steamed and made with mochiko (sweet rice flour). Furthermore, I was unimpressed by the cheeseburger wontons. I hate to sound condescending, but growing up eating my mom’s homemade wontons has made me dismiss this concept as shallow and disingenuous. This combination of foods is so bizarre to me because the textures of wontons and cheeseburgers are on completely different sides of the spectrum. Typically, wontons are filled with minced meat, mixed with vegetables, not to mention that adding cheese is uncommon for Chinese dishes.

That said, I have learned to appreciate these videos for what they are: seemingly delicious dishes that seem easy to make. Also, it must be difficult to constantly have to come up with so much content on a daily basis. You win this round, Buzzfeed.

To conclude this post, I have compiled a playlist of my favorite short food videos below. Enjoy!