I remember being shown my Nonna’s ravioli recipe – it was handwritten on a piece of lined paper, carefully folded into a small ‘essential recipes’ cookbook from the 1960s that’s tucked away in a non-disclosed location (I’d tell you, but I’d have to kill you). Nowadays, people are posting their Nonna’s recipes (and their own) for all to not only see, but to collect, save and try for themselves. Pinterest is busting open our family treasures, Michelin star kitchens and hidden gems from all over the world, one pin at a time.
All you have to do is type ‘recipes’ in Pinterest and you’ll find pretty much anything – so whether you’re looking for brisket, beignes or baklava, if someone can pin it, you can find it. But what does this mean for our relationship with food? Generations of foodies before us looked to old recipe books and household names for inspiration. No turkey was trimmed without the helping hand of Fanny Cradock. No pavlova placed without Delia Smith and nothing made on a boat was complete without the toast of a wine glass from the late, great Keith Floyd. Nowadays, we and everyone around us has the ability to share their recipes and get inspiration from anywhere – we are introduced to dishes we would have never heard of without the internet thanks to someone, somewhere taking a photo, putting down some details and uploading it online. As a result of this, we’re more open to different types of food and lifestyles than ever – who knew you could make avocado into chocolate pudding? I sure as hell didn’t before Pinterest.
For chefs, Pinterest opens up a huge opportunity to share their expertise – so many great talents are hidden away in kitchens, only peeking through the kitchen door window to see the ‘oohs’, ‘aahs’ and ‘mmms’ in reaction to their masterpieces. Pinterest gives them a platform to get their recipes out there and to build a folio for themselves online – chef’s careers rely so heavily on word of mouth, perhaps this marks a new age for chefs to showcase their work like any creative, so why not on Pinterest?
Typically, when you think about the relationship between food and social, your mind automatically diverts to Instagram – images of food lovers balancing in demi-squat over a near-perfect stack of pancakes with just the right amount of light coming from window. So what makes Pinterest so great for food? Well, first of all, it’s so visual – in fact, there’s very little text on there and recently they introduced video pins which are a great way to showcase even more. On top of that, there’s a reason why people say that an image is ‘Pinterest-worthy’ – typically all of the photography, or at least, the photography within the most popular pins, is of a really high quality, which, as we know, is a match made in heaven for food. For the user, what makes Pinterest great is the ability to create their own boards – gone are the days of heavy ring-binders, now we can categorise everything in our own pocket. What’s not to love?
At the moment, it seems like Pinterest is still a bit of hidden gem for some, with blogs reigning supreme as the go-to place for food inspiration (in our survey, 44% of people looked to blogs, 31% to book and Pinterest sitting last at 25%). Going forward, I think we can expect to see more and more food lovers and food creators heading to Pinterest and taking the platform to a whole new level – they just need to find it first.
Check out Stephanie’s Pinterest here
Words by Stephanie Boyle