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Niche Blogs: Focused on Food

Among the gazillions of food blogs are some that always feature a subject you know and love -as long as you know and love what the blogger has chosen to write about. When a blogger has a passion for a specific subject, they have no trouble finding enough material, no matter how narrow the chosen subject. Even if it's only one particular dish.

"Bento" is Japanese for lunchbox, and "Kyaraben" or "Charaben" means character bento, or lunches that look like works of art. Anna the Red's Bento Factory showcases the finely-crafted box lunches Anna makes for her family. There are now quite a few bento blogs you can use for inspiration.

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Feasting on Art combines food and art in a most unusual way. Famous paintings that feature food are deconstructed so that the recipes of the food depicted can be reproduced. Pictured is Diego Rivera's Woman Grinding Maize, which is accompanied by a recipe for Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas.

500whyyourfat

There's no shortage of excessive foods, and the recent trend of combining rich foods into a overindulgent culinary orgy is a sure way to get attention on the internet (remember the Luther burger?). This is Why You're Fat collects those incidences of outrageous calorie consumption for your amusement. At least it's supposed to be for amusement, but some folks go to this blog for dinner ideas. Shown are Bacon Cheese Turtleburgers, a combination of ground beef, cheese, and bacon with hot dog limbs.

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Suicide Food is the term used for the peculiar food advertising trope that incorporates the animal about to be eaten in a way that suggests they are joyous at the prospect. You know, like a pig enticing you to eat more bacon or sausage. Or a duck serving a platter of duck.

500cupcakes

Cupcakes Take the Cake limits itself to the subject of cupcakes, but has no shortage of material, like recipes, decorating ideas and instructions, cupcake news, and submissions from bakers. Shown are Cheerwine Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, dark chocolate drizzle and maraschino cherries by Flickr user weege.

550_wafflizer We looked at The Pancake Project last week during Pancake Day. A somewhat related blog takes on waffles, whatever they are made of. Waffleizer asks the question, "Will it waffle?" meaning "Can you prepare it in a waffle iron?" Cookies? Eggs? Sure, and plenty of other foods you never considered cooking with a waffle iron.

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Michael Ohlsson is a former vegan who took on a project to try foods from other cultures, including exotic meats. That was over five years ago, and the blog Weird Meat continues to record and review his culinary adventures. Shown is a turtle served in Beijing.

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The blog Black Iron Dude has recipes and food news, but it's mainly about cast iron skillets. In case you didn't know, there is a lot to learn about cast iron cooking, including how to buy a good skillet (new or old), how to season it properly, how to care for your cookware, and best of all, how to cook with it!

400hospitalfood

Hospital Food is a photo blog that shows you what hospital patients are eating all over the world, mostly submitted by readers The pancakes shown were served at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital in Michigan. What's for School Lunch? is a similar blog with some information about each meal. Both blogs will make you consider moving to France. Fed Up: School Lunch Project is from an anonymous teacher who is eating a school cafeteria lunch every day this school year to showcase the food served and raise awareness of school food before budgets are cut further.

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Bacon Unwrapped is about everything and anything to do with bacon. It's only one food, but the internet offers plenty of material, from recipes and reviews to music and fashion, all about bacon. Believe it or not, the breakfast from the blog pictured here was purchased in Japan and is made of plastic! The Bacon Show features a bacon recipe, every day, forever. See more bacon resources in the mental_floss post Internet Bacon.

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The highly successful Cake Wrecks was created to highlight the rare but often hilarious miscommunications or misspellings on professionally-made cakes (see at least three in this picture). You'll also find decorated cakes in which good intentions went horribly, horribly wrong. And then occasionally there are some really awesome cakes.

See also: A Sampling of Niche Blogs and Niche Blogs: Found Photos Edition.

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CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/Getty Images
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Animals
India Now Has a Private Ambulance Service Just for Cows
CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/Getty Images
CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/Getty Images

In India, where the majority of residents are Hindu, the cow is sacred. Just how sacred? So sacred that one state recently launched a private ambulance service for injured cattle.

According to The Guardian, the ambulance service in Uttar Pradesh was launched by Keshav Prasad, the state’s deputy chief minister. While it has the support of the government, it’s not a state-funded enterprise. It’s paid for by an NGO called the Gau Vansh Raksha trust, which operates several gaushalas, or animal shelters specifically aimed at housing old and unwanted cows to protect them from slaughter. (The Indian government also runs its own gaushalas, paying for the cows’ upkeep through state funds.)

The trust launched five ambulances in May 2017, and received hundreds of calls within the first week of operation. The ambulances are equipped with sirens and basic surgery supplies and are run by volunteers.

Though India has a secular government, more than a dozen Indian states have banned the slaughter of cattle out of deference to the Hindu majority. The laws are controversial for the country's beef-eating Christian and Muslim populations (who also make up the bulk of the country's large cattle-export industry), however. The same month the service launched, the Indian government instituted a full ban on selling cows for slaughter. The ban is currently on hold while India’s Supreme Court rules on whether or not it is constitutional.

[h/t The Guardian]

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Hieronymus Bosch / Hieronymus Bosch Work Memes
6 Niche Blogs You Should Read
Hieronymus Bosch / Hieronymus Bosch Work Memes
Hieronymus Bosch / Hieronymus Bosch Work Memes

We know you have a few blogs you go to every day for general information, news, and entertainment, and we’re glad that mental_floss is one of them. But every once in a while, you want to branch out to something new and different, something really crazy and good for a laugh. These single-subject blogs with a very narrow focus just might be what you’re looking for.

1. DEPRESSING FRIDGE POEMS

Rusty Epstein has a set of refrigerator word magnets, and he’s not afraid to use them. His word combinations are not the cheery, uplifting phrases your mom puts up for everyone to see; they are Depressing Fridge Poems. They are so sad, they will most likely make you laugh, at least a little. Then you’ll feel bad about laughing.

2. THE SETUP WIZARD

Here’s a blog that tech workers and Harry Potter fans alike will enjoy. The Setup Wizard puts those workers in the world of Harry Potter by giving us a first-person account of a Muggle IT guy named Jonathan Dart who works at Hogwarts. "It took them until 2016," he writes, "but both students and staff alike have finally caved and demanded that their cell phones work on school grounds, and with that request they had to find a 'muggle' (a term I’m quickly learning to detest) to install wifi and maintain any technology that functions on school grounds." He rolls his eyes at the students and professors who think a little magic will make everything all right, when the magic actually tends to make things worse. You can read the saga so far in chronological order, and then keep up with new entries in blog order.

3. EATS LIKE A DUCK

There’s been a lot of food featured on The Simpsons in its more than two decades on the air. Eats Like a Duck features those foods one at a time, with references to the episode a particular food appeared in and recipes that will allow a reader to make it. For example, in the episode “Homerpalooza” (season 7), Homer tries to sneak homemade Kahlua into a concert. (It's not the best idea—as the blogger behind Eats Like a Duck notes, "The stifling heat of an outdoor concert just doesn’t really pair well with the sweet coffee flavor of Kahlua, homemade or store bought.") Other recipes on the site include Bart’s Grilled Twizzlers, A Cool Glass of Turnip Juice, Blandoori, Clove Tom Collins Pie, and, of course, The Flaming Homer.

4. BOWIEBRANCHIA

Nudibranchs are ocean mollusks that come in a huge variety of shapes and colors. David Bowie was a music and art icon who, over the course of his career, flaunted a lot of colorful and creative looks. The Tumblr blog Bowiebranchia matches Bowie’s looks with a nudibranch.

5. HIERONYMUS BOSCH WORK MEMES

Do you ever feel that being at work is like one of the gory, torturous details in a Hieronymus Bosch painting? You know, like The Garden of Earthly Delights? The blog Hieronymus Bosch Work Memes knows that feeling, and will come up with an image macro that puts those feelings into words. (Note: Some images may be NSFW.) You’ll find an archive of older posts at the blog’s previous address.

6. HRH MARVIN, #THEROYALHAMSTER

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte, have a hamster named Marvin. That inspired Christine Frazier to imagine Marvin leading the wonderful life of a royal hamster. She posts her illustrations at her new blog called HRH Marvin, #TheRoyalHamster. It contains pictures of the royal family in the news, and then Frazier's drawings of Marvin living out that image with a little narration, often wearing the same fashions as in the news image. Above, you see Marvin playing polo in the style of the Princes William and Harry, although you will more often see him in Kate Middleton’s newsworthy fashions.

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