Writer: Lila W.
Editor: Joaquin P.
Visual: Caleb L.
Fluffy Japanese cheesecakes jiggling at the slightest touch; croquembouche towers stacking majestically, decorated with threads of caramel; colossal recreations of food mesmerizing individuals far and wide. Today, YouTube cooking videos and channels have taken the world by storm. Countless videos, illustrating beautifully crafted dishes, mesmerizing desserts, and mouthwatering recipes, garner the attention of millions of viewers. From Hida Mari’s ASMR cooking to Tasty’s Making It Big, this article will explore why Youtube cooking has gained such popularity.
First of all, it is important to note that many of these YouTubers never had prior film or broadcasting experience. This inexperience, therefore, created a sense of intimacy for audience members, allowing them to identify with the on screen Youtubers, which may explain why YouTube is considerably more popular than cooking TV shows. TV shows typically focus on a plot and are created for entertainment purposes; on the contrary, YouTube cooking videos focus more on the recipe and the food itself. Additionally, in YouTube videos, making mistakes is a part of its appeal. One example of this is Bon Appetit’s Gourmet Makes series, a show in which Claire, the chef, attempts to recreate popular snacks such as Krispy Kreme or Pringles. The audience watches Claire fail multiple times before successfully recreating the gourmet potato crisp or jellybean. Her multiple trials add a layer of reality to the series and make the final product even more satisfying to view. Meanwhile, overly curated television shows mistakenly portray cooking as effortless. However, this is in fact the opposite with many obstacles along the way. The audience can relate to the trial and error aspect of these Youtube shows, making these videos so appealing.
One can also see how YouTube truly serves the audience’s interest and need, providing them with thousands of recipes and tips on a particular food with just a click of a button. Anyone can learn to cook anything, anytime they want. The platform is truly interactive, effective, and immediate. Junior Catherine S. states that a particular Youtube channel, Tasty, “has allowed [her] to easily find recipes for many of [her] favorite desserts” and mentions how each video’s simplistic and direct style appeals to many people, including [herself].”
Moreover, many cooking videos provide a feast to the audience’s eyes and brains. A large portion of viewers are too lazy to start cooking and simply watch ‘food porn’ to stimulate a sensory experience. ‘Food porn’ refers to the carefully plated visual presentation of enthralling meals through multiple media platforms. Research indicates that food acts as an ‘external stimuli’ where, according to psychiatrist Deirdre Barrett, “the exaggerated imitation can cause a stronger pull than the real thing.” Unfortunately, there is still no clear explanation for this phenomenon. The chicken sandwiches that we see in videos provoke human hunger and desires which work in complex ways. However, one can certainly realize how watching videos to satisfy visual cues has become mainstream, as evident with the rising popularity of YouTube cooking videos.
With these points in mind, it is evident that YouTube cooking will most likely be in the big business. This is already evident with the ISM community with _ out of _ watching cooking videos during their time in YouTube.