Finding the perfect recipe for a dish can be an arduous and time-consuming task, especially if you want to do a search of multiple recipe sites like Epicurious, Gourmet, and the Food Network for the recipe that best fits your needs. Scripps Network, parent company of the Food Network, has soft launched the beta version of its vast recipe search site Food.com in an effort to solve the problem that most cooks face when they sit down at their computers to find a recipe. Food.com basically searches every reputable recipe site, including Food and Wine, Gourmet, the Food Network, Epicurious, Cooking Light, Martha Stewart, Chow.com and more, and gives you a comprehensive list of possible recipes.
The site provides requisite information from the original site (photos, ingredients, prep time, serving info) but it also lets you filter choices by types of meal, type of cuisine, main ingredient, cooking technique, publication, prep time and diet. It makes searching for recipes similar to searching for flights on Kayak.com. In order to see the full recipe, you are taken to the site where the recipe is originally hosted. The other feature which is worth noting is the ability to drag a recipe that you like into an “online recipe box.” Food.com also allows you to download a toolbar that allows you to drag recipes from all over the Web into your recipe box. And Food.com saves all of your recent searches and activity in a recipe stream. Another cool feature is the ability to upload a recipe and then share it with Food.com’s database.
I did a search for Chicken Marsala on Food.com, Food Network, Epicurious, and Foodista (a Wikipedia for recipes) and Food.com gave me the highest number of choices in recipes, from a variety of sources, and easily allowed me to narrow my search down through its detailed filters. Food.com came up with 368 results, Food Network showed 53 results, Epicurious showed 37 results and Foodista showed 2 results (although, to be fair, Foodista attempts to present the one best recipe)
With the breadth and capabilities of its search capacity and its innovative interface, Food.com is sure to gain a following as a centralized place to not only find recipes but also to store them. One feature that I thought was missing was the ability to filter recipes by chef, which is something that Food Network allows you to do. Epicurious creates a shopping list for the items in the recipes in your recipe box, which is another useful tool when planning a meal. Food.com is currently in beta, so I assume that Scripps will add more features down the line but for an initial trial, the site appears to be a strong addition to the online recipe search space.