Recipe: A series of step-by-step instructions for preparing ingredients you forgot to buy, in utensils you don’t own, to make a dish the dog wouldn’t eat.
I recently read a New York Times article about recipe search engines. The article specifically mentions the new Google recipe search and the Bing recipe search functions. It also mentions specific recipe search sites Foodily and Cookzillas.
The title of the article is “Can Recipe Search Engines Make You a Better Cook?”That’s a bit misleading. It is really about the quality of the recipes you can find using these sites. The article didn’t give great marks to any of these search engines. They all had flaws such as wrong or misleading nutrition information, cooking times or ingredient lists. The article implies that some food sites intentionally post incorrect information so that their recipes rank higher in the search engine results.
Google Recipe Search:
Google’s recipe search function allows to specify what ingredients you want or don’t want to use. You can also specify cooking time and calories.
One thing I don’t like is that here in Canada, the Google recipe search doesn’t appear by default.
Bing Recipe Search:
If you haven’t heard of Bing, it is Microsoft’s search engine. Initially, I had a lot of trouble even finding the recipe search function. It turns out that if you perform a search with the word recipe, you may have the option to select the recipe search tab. I say may because Bing won’t always show the recipe tab. Try searching for Half Hour Pudding, and then try searching for Cheese cake. You’ll see what I mean.
I had never heard of this site before I read the article. The premise is interesting in that it integrates with Facebook so that you can refine your search results based on recipes that your friends like.
It looks like this site is actually using Google’s search engine. It also shows Google ads. The big difference here is that the thumbnail pictures of the recipes are quite big. I like this because I like to see pictures of the end result when I’m looking for a recipe.
I’ve tried all of the mentioned sites, and I don’t think they are really that bad. Like any search (especially with Google these days), you do need to filter out the noise. I also think that anyone who has a food blog should consider formatting their recipe posts so they get indexed by these search engines. I’m currently in the process of doing this my self, and I’m planning a post with all of the details.
Normally though, I have a long list of Food blogs that I follow. Since I’ve subscribed to the RSS feed for these blogs, I can search them all at once using Google Reader.
From time to time I will also search sites like Foodbuzz. This is a great way to find new blogs to follow.
Of course, I do enjoy flipping through magazines and real cookbooks when I’m trying to decide what to cook.
Now, please tell me how you search for new and interesting recipes. Do you used any of these search engines? Do you think they are a good idea?