Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Humor in Food Writing


Recommended Posts

I am against humor in food writing.

Had you going there, didn't I? I'm such a card.

Seriously, Michael Ruhlman is a great writer, but if whoever mentioned him was implying that he's not funny, I disagree--I remember laughing at his books several times. If we have to nominate someone who is a talented and well-informed food writer but not funny, I'd say Ed Behr. Now someone will probably prove me wrong.

It's obviously a bad idea to use humor to cover for ignorance. At the same time, I'm very deliberate about working humor into every column I write. I'd like people to keep reading my stuff; if they come back for the recipes and food info, that's great, and if they come back for the jokes, that's great too.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

Link to post
Share on other sites
At the same time, I'm very deliberate about working humor into every column I write.

Oh. They were meant to be funny. :rolleyes:

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to post
Share on other sites
To me the big category is stilted just there to mask complete fucking lack of knowledge humor.

To me, the even bigger category is stilted just there to mask complete lack of knowledge of research humor. Yes, I'm getting nitpicky here, but many writers start off knowing very little about their assigned subject. There are times I knew just enough to get the assignment, but I knew where and how to research the rest of the information so that I could write a comprehensive piece. Many new writers feel completely intimidated because they're not walking encyclopedias of food knowledge -- not all of us are Alan Davidsons -- and therefore shilly-shally about querying pubs. Or they rely upon gee-ain't-I-funny humor, which gets tired quickly. You can even write a piece about not knowing your subject, as long as it’s well done…and well researched. :laugh:

David Leite

Leite's Culinaria

Link to post
Share on other sites
I am against humor in food writing.

Had you going there, didn't I?  I'm such a card.

Seriously, Michael Ruhlman is a great writer, but if whoever mentioned him was implying that he's not funny, I disagree--I remember laughing at his books several times.  If we have to nominate someone who is a talented and well-informed food writer but not funny, I'd say Ed Behr.  Now someone will probably prove me wrong.

It's obviously a bad idea to use humor to cover for ignorance.  At the same time, I'm very deliberate about working humor into every column I write.  I'd like people to keep reading my stuff;  if they come back for the recipes and food info, that's great, and if they come back for the jokes, that's great too.

Rhulman, instead of being outright funny (which his just isn't) paints that picture for the reader so they can do the laughing. In otherwords, we're laughing at the asethetic he's remarking on instead of his own wit. I like that. That's a true sign that the guy is a scholar of the arts rather than a pretentious punk like myself.

Show don't tell. He lives it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The interesting thing is that, in person, Ed is outgoing, sarcastic, young, energetic and, yes, funny. He only writes like he's 120 years old.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading google translations of Italian recipes is funny;A land where white flour can become he who has come from the mountains,cake is always cakey,and other mundane ingredients assume bizarre mythical names.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...