"Food porn" took on a new meaning this week when Zak the Baker's Zak Stern posted a video with internet sensation Bread Face.
The footage, filmed in Stern's Wynwood bakery and posted on Instagram, shows him and the anonymous woman squashing their faces into two loaves of cinnamon babka. The video has garnered more than 43,000 views so far.
According to Stern, the blogger reached out to him a few weeks ago about filming a video in his bakery for her Instagram account, Bread Face Blog. He quickly accepted. Their subsequent meeting resulted in a minute-long video in which they roll their faces across babka.
"I don't really know how to explain it," Stern says. "She has a crazy following. It's just cool and it makes people smile."
Bread Face, also known as "Bread Face Girl" and "Your Bread Queen," usually films videos of herself alone. According to Stern, this is her first collaboration. After he posted it to his Instagram feed, he received a flood of congratulatory comments from fans as well as fellow bakers from across the country.
"It's the kind of thing that if you know, you know," he says. "Everyone gets a different feeling when they see these videos. I really can't tell you what they mean, but it's nice to enjoy the mystery and the unknown around it."
Bread Face Blog's videos have left many viewers confused. Some believe her videos play into a gluten fetish of sorts, while others are mystified by the overwhelming bizarreness of it all. Whatever the reason, she has amassed more than 180,000 followers in two years by smashing her face into virtually any kind of bread.
Last week, the New York Times' T Magazine produced a video that shows Bread Face mashing her face into every item in the magazine's holiday gift guide, from velvet cake to marzipan.
The Brooklyn-based woman, who has maintained anonymity despite her internet fame, has never given a direct explanation for the meaning behind her videos. She does, however, offer a mysterious tag line on her Instagram account: "Giving the people something they didn't ask for."
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Her website, breadfaceblog.com, has a page called "ASMR" — or "autonomous sensory meridian response" — an experience characterized by static-like or tingling sensations felt in one's scalp and spine. The page offers eight videos, in which she can be seen drinking water, chewing gummy worms, and smashing her face into bread. The videos show a microphone near her to capture sounds such as chewing, crunching, and crackling, which allegedly elicit ASMR.
Whatever Bread Face's motive, Stern says he was happy to participate in a video with her.
"Things get really stressful around here, so it's nice to take a break and have fun," he says. "We're not always meant to understand everything. This is one of those things."
Zak the Baker. 295 NW 26th St., Miami; 786-294-0876; zakthebaker.com