Recipe Sites Killed the Cookbook Star

Since the digital takeover, print media has been left with no foot to stand on and no wall to hide behind. As magazines transition from paper to iPad, books are adopted to e-reader formats and entire newspaper factories are being shut down altogether, it is hard to predict the future of our print media.

            One form of print media that is no exception to this pressure to re-formulate in the new millennium is an ancient yet rarely discussed medium, cookbooks. Ah yes- cookbooks, the textbook-esque how-to food guide that got your mother through those tricky yet delicious meals that you were just happy weren’t meatloaf again.

The medium that got its start more than 600 years ago has definitely seen better days. Nowadays the stained book sits in an old cupboard, and the saying “out of sight, out of mind” is holding true. Many digital aspects are eager to fill the void cookbooks once filled for the family home. In this blog I explore how recipe websites, Skype cooking classes, food bloggers and e-reader cookbooks are changing how people learn to cook.

Websites such as allrecipes, myrecipes and make exploring new recipes easier than ever. The inclusion of the search box is what makes websites such as this so incredible, and at the same time completely demolishing cookbooks single handedly. If you have one particular ingredient you’d like to use just type that into the little white box, decide the time you want to commit to the meal and the difficultly level you are comfortable with. Unlike cookbooks where you would need multiple volumes, now you are boundless to explore any chef or style of cooking. You can access Chinese, Italian or Spanish all on the same website. Other user reviews also give you a look into how the food actually turned out for real people.

Epicurious is bringing the mobility and efficiency of these websites right into your kitchen with the iPod and iPad application. “These sites, particularly Epicurious with its app, are a great way for the digital generation to create a collection and have that at-the-fingertips resource that allows searching for a recipe for dinner while on the train to work or at the grocery store” (Yorio).

A new innovation that has been growing in popularity that I find most interesting are cooking classes via Skype. Now expanding the community to encompass anyone in the world, people could learn how to cook Italian food from a real live Italian chef…who’s located in, say… Italy. This also allows you to interact, ask questions and meet people who are also learning with you. The simple instructions on the cooking with C.A.R.E. website are the following, “Online cooking classes are simple. We send you the recipe, you purchase the ingredients and at the appointed time we will Skype you into the group call”.

Food bloggers are also providing invaluable information on new creative ideas, recipe reviews and personal cooking stories. Food bloggers themselves have gotten so big that they deserve a blog all their own and will be explored further next week!

Hopefully, instead of leaving your old family cookbooks to collect dust on the kitchen shelf, you give them new vitality by sharing your favorite recipes with the blogosphere!


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