How your falafels should NOT look

Have you ever heard people complain about how the news is always so negative? Or perhaps you yourself have lamented the depressing nature of the news? One of the things that I think all of my fellow post-grad journo students knew before being taught it in our course is that bad news sells. Death, destruction, despair, grief, loss. Stories with these elements create strong reactions in people; much stronger, I believe, than reading about someone else’s triumphs.

On Monday night us lucky magazine journalism students had the pleasure of hearing a talk by Kirsten Matthew, editor of Urbis magazine and blogger at Kiwi. Apple. Kiwi. In her talk she mentioned that going by her blog stats, she found that people liked hearing more about her disasters than successes. I found this highly unsurprising.

I’m still undecided about whether that would be the same case with my blog or not, even though I do see the entertainment value for my followers and readers in displaying my cooking failures. Everyone has flaws and I can imagine it getting a bit boring after a while just reading about the good stuff all the time.

But, I also think people follow food blogs because they want to learn from others and to, whether secretly or not, indulge in some food porn now and then. I have to admit that I don’t read every single post that I see from those blogs that I do follow and many times I “like” posts purely because of the photos. I also think that’s the case with many other bloggers.

As you would know if you read one of my previous posts I love falafels and will choose it over any meat dish if I know the place I’m at does them really well. So, I thought, why not make my own? I didn’t actually save the recipe I followed (oops)  but this one looks pretty good and close to the ingredients I used.

Everything went really well up until the frying part. For whatever the reason (oil too hot, fried for too long), the poor falafels turned out like, well, mini cow patties:

Photo: Tao Lin

Photo: Tao Lin

You can’t tell me that those aren’t some super hideous, smirk-inducing falafels.

The outsides were bordering on rock-hard but the insides were still slightly underdone. The taste was, however, very pleasant, although that wasn’t quite enough to detract from the fact that they looked ugly as hell.

Does the concept of bad news sells apply to food blogging too? We shall see after this!

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4 thoughts on “How your falafels should NOT look

  1. There is some thing to this. I love food and cooking so I like to get a feel of how things should be, looking/ tasting wise! but it is fine to know we all make mistakes, helpful really.

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  2. I think it’s helpful (although hard!) to post our failures every now and then. I think we get caught up in all the beauty of food photography and perfect recipes sometimes. I probably don’t post enough of my fails! I need to work on that. 🙂

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    • You’re right, it’s certainly harder to post about the stuff that doesn’t work and it’s so much easier to indulge in beautiful photos. I think I’m okay with writing about my failed cooking but it’s the pictures of ugly food that I often can’t bear to post up. But, I’m going to keep doing it (hopefully not too often as my cooking, hopefully, improves haha)!

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