Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Google the Ingredients?

I liked this article in today's NYT Food Section:

Can Recipe Search Engines Make You a Better Cook? by Julia Moskin.

Like most internet addicts who cook, I often find recipes by web searching. I have been worried because Google's techno-preference for big high-tech food sites became an issue when they released a specialized recipe search a few months ago. So I can't rely on googling as I used to.

Moskin's article suggests somewhat indirectly that cookbooks of known quality are probably a better bet than web searches. Probably true, though what's the fun in that? When Epicurious was new (was that 10 years ago?) it always seemed to be easier and more entertaining to see what those cooking mags had been publishing than to start pulling books off the shelf.

The article points out "Google and Bing searches give preference to big sites because the algorithms are designed by programmers who are not cooks" -- though I seriously wonder if artificial intelligence could be developed that would identify good recipes. The comments in blogged recipes or on Epicurious seem a more likely source of useful info to me. And of course I'm unhappy that the competition for eyeballs is so corrupting -- but I knew that anyway.

So here I am in California and I'm not making anything from a recipe!

1 comment:

Jeanie said...

Interesting. Rick goes to the web (but he has a lousy cookbook collection!) I go to the books, unless I have seen something on TV or am looking for something in particular -- then I go to food network. Hmmm.

But like you -- winging it with no recipe is what I do most! And it's such fun!