Why short cooking videos hypnotize us and what to do to disengage from them


"Hi, my name is B. and I've been hooked on short cooking videos in random mode." Now is when someone to whom the same thing happens can greet with a: "Hello B."

I admit that I don't even by chance put these audiovisual recipes into practice because I have enough with writing. But even out of the corner of my eye ... I look. After a quick consultation between foodies friends, chefs and other fans of good food, they all agree on the same thing: if on social networks you cross your path, even accidentally, one of these videos, they stop in their tracks and they stay to see it. Although they know that it is not feasible to carry out that recipe in the record time it presents. Why is this happening to us? Is it the death of the traditional cookbook?

Simplicity, simplicity ... fiction

Well, we know that you have stayed like us contemplating this super-simple stir-fry of meat with vegetables and pesto sauce. (Someone stop looking at the GIF and read on, please ...)

According to this Coca-Cola research, around one-minute video recipes there is a whole "thumbstopper" machinery, which would translate something like "stopping our habit of frantically swiping our thumbs on the phone, from one content to another ". And we only stop when something catches our attention.

This wonderful video from Huella Digital explains in a comic key how BuzzFeed's "Tasty" style videos are made that have us as junkies of short recipes that go viral.

It does not consist of placing a simple camera with an overhead shot on our hands on the table, not even with a couple of post-production touches. Although the logistics of multicamera, several characters in the image, changes of plane and others are avoided, in these videos there is no stitch without thread. Even the choice of music, hands and the colors of the ingredients are measured. The BuzzFeed production team is capable of churros producing an average of 14 videos per week. Ingredients, hands, timelapse, colorful, cuqui music, viralize, next recipe.

According to BuzzFeed Motion Pictures Producer Tiffany Lo, her hit "just" is about the "universal appeal of food and cooking."

"There are very few key questions we ask ourselves every day: 'What am I going to eat today?' is one of them. It's something everyone has to think about. Who doesn't like food, regardless of whether or not we like to cook? With the rise of smartphones, the ability to watch videos while cooking has become made more accessible. It also visually shows each step, how the consistency, color, or texture is supposed to look like it. This is something that cookbooks lack, "says Tiffany Lo.

Is the cookbook dead?

All of the above is true. But there is something that those videos lack: PRO-FUN-DI-DAD. Even if you watch the same one minute video ten times, if you have not understood a step, you are lost. You will not find context, nor detail, nor explanation, as the old cookbooks provide.

For Kathleen Purvis, author of the book Pecans: A Savor the South Cookbook ("pecans" are a type of American nut) and food editor at The Charlotte Observer, the era of paper in the kitchen cannot yet be said to be dead.

"Despite warnings that the digital revolution would end cookbooks, more cookbooks are being published today than ever. Unlike other areas in the publishing world, cooking is still the area where readers seek advice from authors and cooks with a long history and wants to have a physical record in their hands ", says the writer.

(Another day we can analyze the "cookbook boom" and if we are calling any bound set of sheets with wonderful photos and recipes that are not even signed by the authors a "book". But that's another story).

According to Kathleen Purvis, one of the advantages of the viralization of these short video recipes is the democratization of the kitchen, which in this way reaches a young generation, used to "instagramming" dinner rather than preparing it. It also serves as a defense of certain healthy foods against junk food.

This would lead to another debate: are the dishes they propose really that healthy or am I the one who always finds the juiciest, salty, sugary and hypercaloric proposals? Nor is it that it matters too much: virals - luckily - are designed to observe, entertain and forget until we see the next video-recipe. Whoever wants to learn to cook for a little more than a minute, we recommend that they always go to the cookbooks.

Images | Tasty on BuzzFeed | Goodful on BuzzFeed | Pexels
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