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Photogenic Food

The world’s top 10 ‘instagrammable’ food…

and the foodies making their mark on the app

Compiled by Monita Pesumal

When snapping an image of food, there’s only one golden rule to follow – the photograph should make the food look appetising or appealing… or both. Unfortunately, most smartphone users are in such a hurry to capture that obligatory image of their meal before wolfing it down that the resulting photos often end up looking like a dog’s dinner when posted on social media. But certain dishes and food groups are naturally photogenic, and can make even an amateur photographer’s efforts shine. Here they are in random order.


Pizza is one of those dishes over which most people tend to drool. Let’s face it, you can’t really go wrong with mounds and mounds of melted cheese, can you? Pizza is more than food – it’s an obsession and it photographs well no matter how many toppings you pile on. Instagram is about making photographs fit into lovely squares – and pizza is always delivered in a square box. A coincidence? There’s your reason!


Sushi is an acquired taste. While some can’t have enough of it, others may find it revolting. But no matter how you feel about its taste, one fact is undeniable – sushi photographs beautifully. Why? There are two reasons for the phenomena: it’s primarily because they are bite-sized; and secondly, they look ever so colourful on a plate. Forget for a minute that sushi is seaweed wrapped boiled rice loaded with tuna or crab meat. Lined together on a plate, it looks like only one thing – a piece of art.


Ice cream – it’s ice cold, colourful, affordable and a treat that is not overly indulgent… but satisfies your sugar cravings nonetheless. What’s not to love? While gelato looks lovely in pictures, the only issue when capturing it is that unless you live on the North Pole, your camera work has to be nifty. This means planning the shot in your head well in advance as you’ll have only seconds to experiment with angles. Sorbets, popsicles and lollies also fall into this category. So snap it before you melt it!


Good old-fashioned burgers are also known as the most perfect food in the universe. And why not? They’re loaded with the good stuff – namely meat, cheese, pickles, mayo, sauces and vegetables. That’s why it is not overly complex to capture a great image – even of a bad burger! Then again, there really is no such thing as a ‘bad burger.’ The current crowd favourite that’s breaking the internet is the Mac and Cheese Burger – a meat patty stuffed with macaroni and four varieties of cheese. Buzzfeed terms it ‘the only friend you will ever need.’


If pancakes weren’t special, they wouldn’t have their own day. National Pancake Day is celebrated in February or March each year on the day preceding Ash Wednesday. Known also as hotcakes, flapjacks and sometimes crepes – depending on which region of the world your stomach is in – this breakfast food has a special place on the Instagram menu. Even amateur photographers have no problem snapping a stack of pancakes that’s drizzled with syrup, cream and berries, and placed on a plate with a dusting of icing sugar. The combination of colours and elements makes pancakes one of the easiest social media targets.


Technically more a beverage than a food item, no food feature is complete without mentioning coffee. Whether it be latte, mocha, melange, cappuccino, frappé or flat white, or served in a glass, ceramic cup, porcelain mug or paper cup, coffee always poses for the best pictures. When captured in the right light, it’s almost as if you can smell the caffeine’s aroma (with due apologies to decaf lovers). Currently, there are over 71 million images on insta with the hashtag coffee. And you thought you were popular.


On the list of comfort food, there is none more comforting than a simple panini. A grilled sandwich, a panini can be filled with anything that tickles your fancy. If you’re spoilt for choice, the more popular options include ham and cheese, tuna and cheddar, chicken and mayo, and tomato and mozzarella. And since this food is so simple, it reflects well on camera. Paninis follow the simple principle of less is more.


Think of your favourite milkshake. Now think of your favourite ice cream. Then think of your favourite cookie… and we’re not done yet: you can also add all your favourite toppings, sauces, sprinkles, nuts, honey, whipped cream or berries to such thoughts. Pour everything into a giant mason jar and bingo! You’ve just invented your own freak shake. Don’t forget to name it and post it online.


Not the French president nor the crumbly coconut cookie. Although both are equally delicious, here we’re talking about the French artisan biscuit. Hard crispy shell and smooth, creamy centre. And many beautiful colours. Perfectly instagrammable – is that even a word? And especially so within the confines of its luxurious packaging. The French tearoom Ladurée that specialises in creating signature macaron creations has millions of hashtags on Instagram.


The word cake can be also substituted with doughnut, cupcake, cookie or other similar indulgences in this scenario. Anything made of oreo photographs particularly well because of the texture of the cookie, both whole and when crumbed. Fact: the word oreo is more popular than the cookie monster himself on insta. Don’t believe everything you read? Log in and see for yourself.


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