If anything unites the human race, it’s food and drink. We are all consumers. For some - who are you? - eating and drinking are simply necessary functions. However, for many the whole process of preparing, serving and enjoying food is a luxurious, sensory experience. Some of you may even want to translate this indulgent process into a written form to be shared with fellow foodies.
But where do you start?
Right here, that’s where. If a comprehensive insight into writing content related to a particular aspect of a food specialism is what you seek, you’re probably in the wrong place. But if you’re looking a starting point for food writing, welcome aboard.
So what is food writing?
That’s the beauty of it – food writing can take so many forms that it simply comes down to choosing a format that will suit your own purposes. Cast your eye over the following categories:
- History of food and drink
- Food memoirs
And what about niche?
Again, the angles you can take on food writing are pretty much infinite. You may decide to write about a specific cuisine, food within a particular geographical location, or your content may be driven by audience – for example, meal ideas for students or tasty recipes for those cooking on a tight budget.
Find your format. Find your niche. Your writing will then have direction.
Food for Thought: Choose Meaty Words!
Everything about food is sensory. Doesn’t it make sense that your vocabulary is also sensuous and indulgent? A word of warning, though: avoid yawn-inducing clichés like ‘delicious’ and ‘tasty’, however readily they spring to mind! Some words are so over-used that they lose all nuanced meaning. You want your content to awaken the reader’s taste-buds and engage them in the experience. It is your job to make the texture, aroma and spectacle of the food you are describing tangible.
Stuck for words? The good news is that any synonym search will bring up stacks of options, meaning that it won’t be long until you find exactly the right word to bring food to life.
As an amuse bouche, why not stimulate the appetite by selecting some sensory words from the starter menu of fabulous food adjectives?
Writing a Recipe?
A good place to hone your food-writing skills is by producing recipes. This is what I did. By using ten simple writing rules as a checklist I built up a collection of my favourite recipes. From this you can start a blog, self-publish a recipe collection or simply keep them for your own use (which is what I do).
- Give your recipe a short, simple title.
- Write a brief introduction, containing information such as why you like this recipe, the flavours and textures, and serving suggestions. If you have information about the provenance of the recipe, share this with your readers.
- Check your tone. Who is your audience? Your tone should always resonate with your target audience.
- Make sure you include information about timings and servings, and always be consistent in the way you present these.
- List the ingredients in order of use.
- Make sure you are very specific about measurements, including dish sizes. Make your recipe as user-friendly as possible. Confusion is never a good sign when following a recipe!
- Make the method very clear to follow. Use short, straightforward sentences as far as possible.
- Test the recipe!
- Add photographs. The copy is crucial – but it’s true, we eat with our eyes.
- Don’t forget to give information on storage!
Hopefully, this entrée has whet your appetite for food writing…
Enjoy the feast.
Blog by Amanda Ellison
Photo by Lindsay Cotter on Unsplash