Life Beyond Leo's
Published: Friday, September 21, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012 17:09
For all you iPhone-toting, wannabe hipsters or yuppies like most of us here at Georgetown, you have definitely experienced the sociocultural phenomenon I am about to describe. You’ve seen it or probably done it yourself: taking pictures of your food. These photos find their way into the social network via Facebook or, more commonly, through the ubiquitous app Instagram.
The concept is fun and easy: Take a picture, pick a cool retro-inspired filter, add a caption and some hashtags and you’re on your way to achieving Internet stardom like Rebecca Black or Honey Boo Boo. Instagram speaks to us because it’s a matter of science: Your life looks much more interesting through shades of Valencia or Walden. We, in the 21st century, discovered a way to make our photos look like they were taken in 1978 without the hassle of procuring outdated technology. Nevertheless, with the rise of Instagram also came the rise of a new artistic subject, one that’s commonly left to still-life painters: food. Suddenly, our lives were overcome with images of cool, interesting and sophisticated meals, tinted like old photographs. I never really concerned myself with someone else’s fantastic meal, but now, if that meal is Instagrammed, I Insta-like it. Sepia-colored spaghetti or Hudson-tinted hamburgers have never looked so delicious.
Why all the commotion? We’ve all seen pretty food before, so why do we feel the need to display it like we’re on “Top Chef”? For me, at least, seeing all the cooking my friends are doing makes me want to cook as well, primarily so that I can make a more Instagram-worthy meal and electronically one-up them. Gone are the days of “digging in” as soon as food is placed in front of you. Nowadays, you must patiently wait while your friend Instagrams your sweetgreen salad with some caption like “Salad Saturdays #healthy #food #dc #photooftheday #winning #love #tasty #salad” with six emojis thrown in for good measure. You may roll your eyes at this occurrence, but deep down, you’re smiling because only the trendiest of lunches receive Insta-attention. It’s merely a prerequisite of the modern age; we not only compete for internships, grad schools and “real” jobs, but we duke it out for the most “likes” on a picture of lasagna.
With this in mind, this week I give you an easy and delicious salad that you can make before that photo of Healy clock tower finishes uploading. Toss it together and enjoy! But don’t forget: You must Instagram it.
3 dinner rolls (or any bread, really)
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
5 Tbsp. olive oil
1 grilled chicken breast
1 ball mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper
Garlic powder (recommended)
1. Cut or break the rolls into small pieces and place them in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the vinegar and olive oil and stir frequently for about five minutes.
2. Dice the chicken, tomato, mozzarella and onion.
3. Combine diced ingredients with the mixture in the bowl. Season the salad to taste with salt, pepper and garlic powder if so desired.
4. Finely chop the scallion and sprinkle on top of the salad before serving.
Brendan Quinn is a junior in the College, his column LIFE BEYOND LEO’S appears every Friday in the guide.