By Daniella Byck
As my third semester of college came to a close, I found myself immersed in a new form of stress relief. Pushing aside flashcards and textbooks, I could be found huddled over my phone watching seemingly anonymous hands easily combine pre measured ingredients, throwing together an elaborate dish with ease. With winter rolling in and finals piling up, Buzzfeed’s Tasty videos became my oasis.
Tasty’s Facebook page describes the concept as “food that’ll make you close your eyes, lean back, and whisper ‘yessss.’ Snack-sized videos and recipes you’ll want to try.” The videos are all shot in the same aerial style and set to an upbeat, lyricless soundtrack with an emphatic declaration of deliciousness to end each clip. The entire experience is confined to about one minute.
“Its satisfying to watch a really good meal be prepared in such a short period of time,” said sophomore student Jess Schwartz.
The videos have given birth to a social media empire. The Facebook page was established in July 2015 and has since garnered 74,602,410 followers. Additionally, Tasty can be found on Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and its own mobile application. Beyond the main Tasty page, there are spin-offs such as Proper Tasty’s twist on British recipes or the course specific Tasty Desserts.
“I find tasty videos extremely therapeutic,” said senior student Jacob Weissburg. “They’re always a terse distraction in the middle of a busy day when I’m scrolling through Facebook.”
The aesthetic qualities streamlined across all Tasty videos create a perception of simplicity. Tasty’s world of seemingly concise and convenient cooking provides a welcome respite from hectic exams, conflicting activities and bustle of student life.
”Tasty videos are the meditations of millennials. Immediately gratifying and extremely stimulating,” said junior student Molly Galinson.
The relationship between food media and relaxation is not unexplored territory. The idyllic sets of Food Network shows summon an illusion of organization and order. Instagrams touting slow motion shots of cheese pulling off of pizza invite a satisfying mental reward. Harper Magazine published a piece drawing parallels between food porn and sexual porn – both share a sense of effortlessness while addressing primal human needs. In fact, food videos trigger the same pleasure centers.
“It soothes me to watch videos of people doing easy cooking,” said sophomore student Lindsey Feder. “It takes my mind off of life.”
With exams coming to a close and winter break approaching, I found myself inspired to take on a deceptively simple Tasty recipe. The video titled Cheese Spinach and Artichoke Bread Ring Dip seemed easy enough. Alas, after a mishap with slow to rise bread rolls and a mess of kitchen tools, I produced a dish far more time consuming and complex than advertised. However, my real life experiment did not tarnish the video watching experience. Each new videos still brings with it a welcome opportunity to escape into the fantasy world of the Tasty kitchen.
Photo retrieved from Tasty’s Facebook page.
Video retrieved from Tasty & Yummy’s YouTube Channel.