Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Internet's Best Recipes

Are you like me, with a dozen cookbooks on the kitchen shelf. collecting dust? Or worse yet, somewhere above the stove, collecting grease?

If so, check out this labor of love called FoodDownUnder, otherwise known as the greatest compilation of recipes on the Internet.

I haven't had a recipe fail yet, and I've tried at least half a dozen, from bread to desserts. The pages are laid out Google style, totally unfettered by staged pictures, banner ads or superfluous graphics. You search for what you're interested in, a list comes up, click on the most promising link, and there you have it: a simple recipe, laid out on a very straightforward page, with a minimum of irrelevant editorial comment and did I mention, no ads?

At last count, they had over 240,000 recipes from around the world, although South America is a little under-represented.

Their food and culinary categories include:

African · Americas · Appetizers · Asian · Australian · Berries · Chutnies · Citrus · Dairy · Desserts · Dried fruits · Drinks · Eggs · European · Fish · Fruits · Game · Grains · Herbs · Leafveg · Meals · Meats · Methods · Miscellaneous · Nuts · Occasions · Offal · Pastas · Pastries · Poultry · Pulsers · Salads · Seafoods · Smallgoods · Special diets · Spices · Stews · Stonefruits · Tubers · Vegetables · All vegetables · All Fruits · Nations of the World ·

with each category being a clickable link.

In the mood for something hot and spicy? Maybe Moroccan? Click African, and this comes up:

african · armenian · egyptian · ethiopian · ethnic · lebanese · middle+eastern · moroccan · persian · turkish ·

Click on Moroccan and up comes 538 recipes, everything from couscous to moroccan pepper and tomato salad.

Yearning for something Yiddish? How about some Knaidlach (matzo balls)? Or better yet, how about a knaidl (that's just one matzo ball).

Feeling Icelandish? Well, neither was I until I saw this recipe for the quaintly named Icelandic Curly Peters, which is a dessert made with chopped almonds, raisins and cinammon in a pastry shell.

The beauty of this site is its all-encompassing, non-judgmental attempt at organizing in a simple, highly-searchable, printable, and consistent way, popular recipes from every corner of the globe. Speaking of their sophisticated search engine, they have one neat feature that automatically keeps track of the latest 500 searches--in real time! It's fascinating to see what people from around the world are searching for, at any given time. And it changes so quickly that you have to wonder how many daily clicks this site is getting and how long they can resist the temptation to accept advertising.

Check it out once and you'll immediately bookmark it and refer to it often. Then throw away those old cookbooks and use the space for something important, like your tins of ancient grains, for that next great bread recipe (see future posting).

1 comment:

gpb said...

Thanks for the link, Frank. It looks pretty interesting and I've bookmarked it. I have a feeling I may have looked at it before. I find the internet a good resource for recipes, too...but I'm not going to throw away my cookbooks