If you’ve been on social media recently—let’s be honest, you’re probably browsing Facebook right now—then chances are you have seen the short and sweet cooking videos demonstrating how to make the latest and greatest food dishes in a matter of seconds. They are easy to watch, they are enticing (and appetizing for that matter), they are fun, they make it look easy, and they will make you so SO hungry. These little food videos are taking the online world by storm and changing the way you cook, eat, share, and enjoy your meals. And the best part is, they are really short, which is a good thing considering our shrinking attention spans. As Time reports, according to a recent study from Microsoft Corporation, “people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds, highlighting the affects of an increasingly digitalized lifestyle on the brain.” The report continues to argue that “heavy multi-screeners find it difficult to filter out irrelevant stimuli—they’re more easily distracted by multiple streams of media.” Where as once upon a time people could focus for an extended period of time, now we lose interest quickly if something doesn’t instantly appeal to our curiosity.
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Enter the hyper-lapsed cooking videos to solve our kitchen dilemmas and inspire our mealtime planning. The idea is simple: piece together short clips and photos that show how to prepare a recipe in a few short steps and with minimal instruction. You can learn how to make everything from peach pie to garlic knots to pad thai and beyond. These videos cover every occasion, every cuisine and every cooking technique. And somehow, despite the dish you are making or how complicated you thought that process might be, these short tutorials manage to get the job done in under a minute.
The recipe videos are incredibly easy to watch because all you are seeing are the essentials; you see the ingredients (pre-measured and quickly dumped into the appropriate bowl), you see what the recipe should look like each step of the way (after a snap of the finger and a forward jump so you don’t have to watch the work), you see the necessary cooking requirements like oven temperature and time, and you see the finished dish looking oh-so-edible. You don’t have to sit through the forced commentary from a chef or through the daunting prep-work, which is often boring and slow. It’s instant gratification for those who love food porn and who want to be inspired in the kitchen.
And these recipe videos are becoming increasingly common and increasingly popular, and it’s not because of a famous face or well-known chef. In fact, there is no chef or famous face, or face at all, in these videos. All you see are the hands of the person preparing the dish, which allows you to focus all of your attention on the food alone, not the person working in the kitchen. No distractions, just really appetizing food to make your stomach do somersaults in anticipation.
Another major reason we love these videos is that they truly make it seem like you can cook anything. Even if you are a total delinquent in the kitchen and you have trouble boiling water, these videos make it seem as if even the most complicated dish is feasible in 45 seconds or less. You don’t have to be an expert, your dish may not look flawless, you’ll probably spill some flour in the process, and that is all OK. What matters is the finished product, and when these recipes are broken down into a few simple steps, and demonstrated in a matter of seconds, you’ll feel ready to tackle any and all recipes you see. And if your stomach has any say in the matter, you’ll want to prepare those dishes as soon as possible.
So where can you find these amazing videos that will change your culinary life (no, we’re not exaggerating)? There are a bunch of options, but the top pages are Buzz Feed Food, which you can access online, on Facebook or on Instagram. Over 19 million people follow this page on Facebook and nearly 2 million on Instagram, so yeah, I guess you could say it’s a big deal. Tasty are up there too, also with millions of fans and followers. If you want to see what all the food fuss is about, join the food porn club and prepare to have your entire menu for the week planned in just a matter of minutes.