We have a visually dominant culture and it’s becoming increasingly more so. Instagram has had a noticeable impact on the food industry. The emphasis is now placed on what we can see before we start eating. Burgers and sandwiches are filled beyond what the bread can comfortably accommodate since the part covered by the bread would not contribute to the marketing of it. Some deliberately use smaller pieces of bread. Cupcakes work well because everything is presented on top. Tacos are served wide open. Pizza has the perfect form factor for Instagram. Steaks are great too since there is nothing inside—what you see is what you get. Croissants now have toppings, even cookies do too. Ramen is photogenic too because the noodles are separated from the meat and vegetables. Sushi has everything that matters on top. These are the foods that we commonly see on Instagram.
Any type of stuffed dishes is problematic in that we can’t see what’s inside and even if we can see, it’s hard to design the inside. Generally, you can only have one item—you cannot layer ingredients as you can with sandwiches.
When Marshall McLuhan said “Medium is the message,” this is what he meant: The real message isn’t the photos or texts we are posting on Instagram but how the medium itself changed the way we perceive and consume food.
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