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[personal profile] tortoise
This is pretty nifty. I'm wondering if my kitchen is particularly appetizer-centric, or if that's just the way their database is balanced. (I get 118 starters, 32 entrees, and 22 desserts.)

I almost think, though, that this is an instance where the internet search is beside the point. I mean, I would pay a reasonable amount of money for a CD that let me apply that algorithm to The Joy of Cooking or its equivalent. On the one hand, the websites they crawl have more recipes in their databases than The Joy of Cooking; on the other, quality control is useful, as is being able to uniformize the way you deal with ingredients. The site seems to do pretty well with that, but it's not perfect--I'm certainly not going to use my chicken breasts in a "hearts and gizzards" recipe, or an actual orange in a recipe that calls for orange soda.

It also fails pretty gracefully when you're only missing one thing, and the shopping list cloud is a useful tool even if you don't get any actual hits. On some level the thing to wonder about is how much of the additional stuff in a user-submitted database consists of genuinely distinct recipes, and how much of it is trivial variations on a theme (one of which might happen to match your ingredient list, but if you got your database from Joy it would tell you "you have everything you need except canola oil", and you could notice that you had olive oil instead).

[[ETA: Also, there are four ingredients which it doesn't let you type in, because it just assumes that you'll have them. Interestingly, I don't have one of them.]]
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