I don’t know about you, but I’m always frustrated when I’m looking for a recipe for something specific and come across literally dozens of variations that all seem pretty decent. So along comes Foodista.com, the first collaborative cooking website of its kind. Essentially this is a fully editable Wikipedia for recipes, tips and techniques. The duo behind the site gathered some 2 million recipes from around the web and then edited and combined them down to an initial compendium of about 1,500. In their words, “Foodista is a collaborative project to build the world’s largest, highest quality cooking encyclopedia. With your contributions, we can create a free resource that helps millions of people learn how to cook everything and anything”.
Sounds pretty good, right? Searching terms like “chicken” or “stir-fry” produced a plethora of recipes with nice pictures and easy-to-follow directions. Furthermore, there were links to information on techniques and equipment involved. All together, it was a pretty sweet package for someone who hasn’t been to culinary school but wants to try completely new things and cook delicious food.
I can foresee a few problems, though. I know that if I were to submit one of my personal recipes only to find it completely altered the next day I would be pretty angry. Furthermore, the editing is incredibly easy to do; all you have to do is click the little “edit” tab on the recipe’s page. I can see someone having a lot of sadistic fun going through recipes and making tiny (or massive) adjustments that would make the entire thing disgusting. Hopefully the folks at Foodista will be moderating changes vigilantly. Also, some changes could change the dish entirely. For example, I just made Chicken Scallopini the other night and added capers to the cream sauce, an ingredient that seriously changed the entire dish. They should be a little clearer about what recipe edits are simply edits and which ones make the dish an entirely new recipe.
So to try it out, I signed up and added my recently posted Spiced Sweet Potato Fries recipe. So if you’ve tried the recipe and want to change it, do your worst! Just click on the little widget, and click the edit tab. Let’s see how long it takes for someone to edit it (or if it’s edited at all).