One of the reasons I get so bored with food blogs is that it seems everyone is copying each other.
They are. How many photos have you had to look at featuring a stack of cookies, tied in twine? A cruddy wooden board that the dishes rest on, over a folded bit of floral fabric? The patch of burlap. The little glass milk bottle, with swirly-striped paper straws. The teeny cake stand. Artful sprinklings of fresh leaves, everywhere.
You are copying each other, and I found the online store where you buy all your identical props!
Recipes are copied, too. I recently cooked from a recipe suggested by a fellow blogger, and credited her on my blog. Only to find that the actual, perhaps original, recipe is sourced from somebody else, and it's all over the Internet. Legitimate ethical dilemma here: Was I copying the blogger? I took a picture of my results and did an enthusiastic post. I definitely attributed my food to the blogger whose recipe I used. I wasn't claiming originality. But I did feel a little bad about her not crediting her source.
If you visit Tastespotting much, you'll run across blatant ripoffs, repeats, robberies, and no attribution. Suddenly everybody is creating — originally! — an asparagus tart in puff pastry. Shaved asparagus salad. Boozy blueberry limeade (it's everywhere). Cauliflower crust pizza. No credits anywhere.
I even think I've been copied, though I wouldn't say any of my recipes have been plagiarized. (This is not a recipe blog!) I've come across things that remind me of food I created for this blog, in some cases, YEARS ago. Didn't I invent radishes on tartines? (You know what, I'm not that crazy. I probably didn't invent radish tartines.) Didn't I invent homemade ranch dressing (and this time, I'm pretty sure I've been copied.)
How many food bloggers besides me, amateurs mostly, would dream up buttermilk and fruit juice popsicles? Cucumber juice summer drinks? Watermelon juice summer drinks?
OK, calm me down, people. Thanks. It's not remotely impossible that people might come up with similar ideas, unbeknownst to each other. But the dishes I'm talking about from my blog were posted years ago, and right this minute there's a huge flurry of just those dishes, my dishes, in the foodosphere.
I sound really paranoid, don't I? Nah. Besides, I think I just solved the issue. If my creations were posted years ago, why did it take until now for people to find them? I wasn't copied. Probably. :)
I will leave you with this selfish discovery. I DID invent those dishes (even if tons of cooks already also had, historically). I was original! I thought. So was everybody else.
But you know what? For your own good, everybody, please don't copy that burrito bowl recipe that's proliferating all over cyberspace. What's a burrito bowl? A burrito is supposed to be wrapped in a flour tortilla. No, I get it. They're all copying Chipotle's.