Is food blogging a four letter word in India?

Disclaimer: I was hungry & antsy when I wrote this post. Then I got an SMS from a friend who has gone to Barcelona, visited a place I wrote about & told me how fondly the owner remembers me. Made it all worth it.

With all the negative buzz around the phrase in the Indian social media, it is tough to be a food blogger these days.

There are the chefs who think that food bloggers are not 'qualified' to comment on their food. Especially when bloggers get critical.

It's another matter that the same chefs & their PR repeatedly call food bloggers over to their restaurants to try out the food...and write about it of course.

Which leads to the next problem where readers feel that bloggers have sold out and write for free food and only write sugary things.

Bit of a Hobson's choice.

This of course skirts the fact there are many food bloggers out there who are quietly documenting heirloom recipes and local traditions and culture. Yes, food blogging is not just about restaurant reviewing. Nor do all restaurant bloggers write only about new restaurant openings. I would like to believe that it is bloggers who through their writing have made home cooking, as well as unsung hole in the wall traditional eateries, fashionable enough for mass media to start featuring these again.

Sometime back food blogger, Nandita Iyer, wrote a spirited riposte  to those who questioned bloggers on attending events.

I like attending travel fams/ events the as they help me unravel food stories about restaurants and eateries in the places I visit. Travel writing is what I enjoy the most. Even when in Mumbai I like to see the city as a tourist and make new discoveries in a city which has so much to offer.

I am not too fond of hosted restaurant reviews as I feel that restaurants are on their best behaviour and give an experience which regular customers can't experience. I normally stay away from blogger's tastings/ tables, specially if the intent is not to get feedback but to get a blogpost. How can you give your take on what the average customer can expect through a specially designed experience?

If I do attend them I put a disclaimer about it being a sponsored event and then leave it to the reader's discretion.

I don't want to sound like a spoilt child.  I owe a lot to the world of blogging. Have had great experiences, great meals and met some wonderful meals thanks to blogging.

Perhaps its better to relive those moments rather than vex about the negativity around food blogging.

Talking of food writing this is what Bourdain had to say about discovering cultures through the food. Yes, that's what I enjoy the most. Making connections through food