Friday, 11 December 2015

You are what you eat... Ouch that's my face!

It may just be me, but I can't help but notice a troubling and slightly bizarre trend that seems to be entering our culinary lives without any form of protest or eyebrows being raised.

Forget salted caramel, chipotle added to anything and everything,  meats that are 'pulled' in some way or another (all of which I have embraced with loving arms!) or even stuffing pizzas with hot dogs or individual mini-burgers (which still horrifies me) - the latest trend before the year is up is... drumroll, very exciting....


Oh. Ah. Ew?

You may think I've gone a little mad, to which I retort 'have you read any of my prior entries?!?'

Earlier in the week I watched an advert on tv in absolute horror. The basic premise was instead of giving your loved ones a "boring" present for Christmas, you can instead buy them some unique marshmallows with your face on it to remember you by. Because obviously that is a better alternative to some dodgy socks. Initially I thought the whole idea of printing a photo on a marshmallow was pretty cool and an awesome show of how the up and coming printing technology is feeding itself into mainstream society...  but then it dawned on me - I would literally be eating a picture of my face.  The fact the company even go out to describe the marshmallows as 'multi-sensory' brings a slightly sour taste to my mouth.
These puns... much like your face is alarmingly easy to get my teeth into!
The next day I came across a BBC article about a company that will print a 3D, chocolate version of a customer's head - all ready for eating.

Perhaps there is something more to these chocolate lollipops. I'm sure if you took a psychoanalytic approach to these patterns I have picked up you could really make something out of this trend I seemed to have picked up. 

The chocolate could quite easily act as a metaphoric representation of our anxieties/insecurities that, as part of a comfort-eating binge, we are able to rationalise and take full dominating (albeit sometimes temporary!) control of through the act of eating. Nothing particularly new there, I've just defined my interpretation of comfort eating - a term which has had a lot of use in the last decade or so. 

However, the addition of a face to these sweet treats add a slightly more interesting dimension. The connection between the act of eating and issue resolution is one becomes somewhat ironic, as you are quite literally 'eating your problems'. Bit of a headache? Gnaw on your temple. Feel a little tired? Have a good ole' nibble of an ear see if that perks you up. Delicious! 

To me anyway it just feels all a tad perverse and rather amusing. 

Maybe it is the other side of the spectrum, where in this modern society dominated by selfies and the surge of body positivity that has struck a chord with many of my generation, the modern ego has become so expansive we now feel the need to create a consumable duplicate of
ourselves. Bearing this in mind with the context of where we are in the year, with Christmas and the festive spirit and excess and bingo you have yourself a marketable USP to create a start-up business.

Now comes in fleshy pink for that human authenticity!
My final anecdotal evidence comes through social media today, which was the inspiration for adding this to my poor neglected food blog. It was a friends birthday earlier in the week, this morning she said thank you for the messages and uploaded a picture of one of her presents: a  popular branded chocolate-based confectionary... wish her face printed on some of them. Pretty cool... but equally a tad creepy?

Unlike the marshmallows where you are chomping on your friends frontal lobe, you are having a munch on your own mouth. WHAT? 
Without realising, these treats sort of enter the territory of Vorarephilia (which comes from the Greek "vorare" - to "swallow" or "devour" and philia  or "love") which again adds a strange twist to a Christmas present.

As I said at the start it may well just be my brain whirring into overdrive, but please do let me know of any more examples or interpretations! 

References (accessed 11/12/15) (accessed 11/12/15)