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Opensource.cooking: A simple, bloat-free cooking site (opensource.cooking)
178 points by locua 13 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 161 comments

So as someone who cooks a lot, and gets frustrated by long blog like posts that lots of recipes have this day, this website is probably even less useful for me. The tagging system isn't being used correctly, Ham Sandwich is tagged with Banana for some reason. Speaking of Ham sandwich some of the recipes are just way too simple, this just tells me how to assemble a sandwich which I don't think anyone really needs. Those are issues that can be solved long term, the other thing that will cause a problem long term is once this site starts getting repeat recipes. The blog like start to recipes may be annoying, but at least it sometimes helps you understand the decisions different people make for their recipes, or suggest substitutions/modifications.

Edit: The Spaghetti Carbonara recipe actually has multiple mistakes. it says the cook time is 0 minutes, it tells you to add the beaten eggs but never tells you to beat them, the recipe includes butter as an ingredient but the recipe tells you to heat the oil, and never says to grate the cheese. If this was a wiki or something I could try to fix those issues, but as it currently is I don't see any way to even flag it. It's also tagged as Banana and Greasy.

I just started moving my recipes all to ... github.

I find it easier to manage a bunch of markdown files than anything else.

Also rewriting them lets me list ingredients as groups as far as what goes together in a bowl or whatever ...the laundry list of ingredients so many sites list drives me crazy.

Outside of America's Test Kitchen... I've never found a blog's exposition on why they did what they did helpful. More often than not their description actually makes me question if they actually cooked the recipe often enough (or at all).

I had so much fun making <food>! I love to recreate recipes for <food>. I’ve been so pleased with the end result! It is the best dish ever! My <relatives> really enjoy it. You will enjoy it too. If you're planning to have just one half, you may want to reconsider, because once you start, you won't be able to stop. This is really the best one I've found! Please see my other recipes and visit the links below. I really like making this with my <equipment>. Read on to find out the secret to making totally awesome <food>. There are so many different side dishes to pair with <food>. Here are a few of my favorites: <side 1>, <side 2>.

What is <food>? (1 paragraph explanation) What is the best way to make <food>? (1 paragraph, mentioning <food> by name at least 8 times) What are benefits of <food>?

The aggressive SEO tactics, more than anything, are what drives me crazy.

I blame google more than anything. Unfortunately, stuffing the content to hit minimum word counts is what ranks in google, and google obviously has a monopoly on search. Without this annoying blah blah, these websites would never rank and it wouldn’t be worth the authors time to make a recipe website. Maybe google should make a blog post on a “recipes” algo update that punishes filler content (of course they will never do that, they have all the arrogance befitting a monopoly provider). Readers, SEOs, cooks and even google themselves would benefit /rant over

I mainly use BBC Good Food. Being taxpayer funded and having unlimited google juice means they don’t need to play this game.

BBC Good Food is actually a commercial company rather than being publicly funded. It comes from the commercial arm of the BBC (BBC Worldwide).

BBC Food was the publicly funded website, but I think that was shut down a few years ago.

You mean this website has been shutdown? https://www.bbc.co.uk/food

I upvoted, but I really wanted to down vote you.

I have a system based on Markdown-formatted (along with some custom markup for metadata) recipes on Dropbox, and some Python code that generates a formatted (as in, nice looking, like a proper cookbook) PDF cookbook. I then print the cookbook, make my notes in it, and once it gets too greasy/scribbled on, I consolidate the notes into the Markdown files and re-print. Every time I add a new recipe to my regular 'rotation', I add it to this cookbook (along with some tweaks for my ingredient availability and equipment), to not let it become just a random stack of disjoint recipes. This way I grow a proper 'family cookbook' that I hope I can pass on to my kids when they move out. It's also somewhat integrated with a broader meal-planning system, think GTD for keeping yourself fed.

I think the main problem with 'recipe websites' is that people don't want 'recipe websites'. They want 'cookbook websites', i.e. some editorial oversight over recipe quality, some standardization in units, style of directions, have a picture with each recipe, etc. What am I going to do with 100k crappy half-asses notes on everything someone somewhere ever threw together in a kitchen somewhere? I'd much rather have 2000 quality recipes that I know I can rely on.

Would you be willing to share your cookbook? It sounds like an absolutely interesting idea, and I'm really curious to see what it looks like.

> I find it easier to manage a bunch of markdown files

Org counterpart (single file), but similar story. Static html export is handy also.

> Also rewriting them lets me list ingredients as groups as far as what goes together in a bowl or whatever

Lol. Ingredient grouping. Nice to hear it’s not just me.

https://xenodium.com/cheese-cake-recipe-no-crust https://xenodium.com/oatmeal-cookie-recipe https://xenodium.com/dal-makhani-black-lentils-recipe

If you want to go into the why of cooking, try Cooking for Geeks. It's the best explanation of cooking I've seen.

The long blog format is for SEO purposes

That and to make the visitor scroll past 8 banner ads before getting to the recipe.

> The Spaghetti Carbonara recipe actually has multiple mistakes

One of them being that it's called "Spahetti Carbonara".

Separately, the recipe calls for whole eggs rather than egg yolks. This is a somewhat contentious issue, and many chefs have opinions one way or another. This recipe appears like it's The Definitive Spa(g)hetti Carbonara, but doesn't acknowledge that many consider it to be incorrect.

For me this is an issue with all recipe sites – my level of cooking ability, my ingredient preferences, how "authentic" I want to be, opinions I've formed on particular dishes – these are all very personal to me and unlikely to be fully represented in recipe sites.

I've started keeping my own recipe collection comprised of recipes I've made and enjoyed, I make no attempt to make them publishable, and I edit them as much as I feel necessary.

I think it is a bit less of an issue for normal cooking site, where it may say “Bob’s Spahetti Carbonara”. Whether it is authentic or not doesn’t really matter.

Whereas a site like this I reckon would aim for having definite versions of recipes, which is a) I think impossible for any dish and b) pretty much useless if you don’t happen to live in the exact region where it is from.

E.g. I have 3 different versions of the recipe for a Finnish blueberry pie. The original (well nothing original about it, just how my mother learned to make it), a Swiss version and a Colombian one. Because for the latter two I need different substitutes for the filling and slightly different measurements and baking time over all.

For me, recipe sites are just a starting point and inspiration for the personal collection. And I prefer having many different versions, some traditional, some sacrilegious available to compare and try rather than trying to get them into a single lowest common denominator version.

I'm building a search engine for this exact issue - there's 10000 recipes for every dish but they have to be contextualized: Do I want mac and cheese in the next 30 minutes or am I serving this for Thanksgiving? Those are 2 different experiences and recipes.

Even the base issue of at least ranking recipe blogs by quality isn't solved by other aggregators such as Google / Yummly which are more of a recipe dump.

If you or anyone else is interested I'm planning to release a version in the coming weeks - email is in profile.

My unsolicited advice: try to split up basics, common-recipes and specialties.

Basics are "how to bind soup", "choosing and cooking pasta", or "frying onions". Common recipes are then "bound vegetable soup" or "maccharoni with tomatosause (and fried onions)". Specialities would be those recipes you try for christmas, or when the in-laws come over next month.

It's highly frustrating to find a recipe that says "bind the soup with starch" without going into how to do this (or even worse: what ingredients this needs!). But for someone more experienced, it is highly frustrating to have to read through five lines explaining how to fry the onions.

As with most education, cooking is layered: you build on top of existing knowledge, without repeating it each and every time. I presume this is partly a classification issue and organisation challenge. You don't want "how to bind soup without milk or eggs" to turn up when someone is searching "vegan tomato-soup". The web has hyperlinks, which would probably be a very good way to organize recipes.

Buy a few good cooking books. Far better and more useful than hunting on the internet.

And most importantly start your own recipe book.

Yeah, I'm not sure why people are so averse to just buying one or two cookbooks.

You can buy The Essential New York Times Cookbook for $2.99 right now which has 1,000+ recipes from decades of The New York Times.

And even without special pricing you can get something like The Joy of Cooking or How to Cook Everything for $20. Just one of those books is, realistically, all you need for a lifetime of cooking and will give you far more recipes and far better instruction than the website in the OP.

If my old cooking book had as much fluff as SEO recipe sites, it’d take more space than a Brittanica set.

I cook constantly 2-3 meals/day for my partner and myself these days, and it's not just COVID. We live in a US smallish high mountain west city and frankly, with notably rare exceptions, the eating out or takeaway experience is just abysmal. But it has been on this trajectory from when we moved here a quarter century ago. All my fault. However, now I know a trifle about cooking. The following is a biased view of a very many country traveler who loves many cuisines, not necessarily expensive.

So I cook. I have good equipment. I'm pretty darn good. I don't do "modern techniques" such as sous vide, tho David Chang might convince me yet. The partner manages the kitchen garden (tonight was the final batch of 2020 eggplants). But the real intellectual property for the various cuisines is to buy the good cookbooks, and READ them. I'm not kidding. Read through entire sections over time. The really good ones have a theme, often not explicit. And cook out of them! Make mistakes. Make glorious successes.

I will not elaborate here, but I find these these English Language authors essential:

"Chinese": Fuchsia Dunlop, for Hunan and Sichuan. I have 6 more for mostly other regional cuisines but none so uniformly excellent.

"Mexican": Diana Kennedy, Rick Bayless, and some Sante Fe, NM, US authors whose books are annoying because errors, though pretty awesome overall.

"Indian": Maya Kaimal, utterly essential. But I dip into Neelam Batra slightly less often. I have to because she is encyclopediac.

"Southern/Eastern Mediterranean": Claudia Roden (Oh you really should try out her felafel recipe, but be sure to dry out the surface of the beans after soaking. And um I made absolutely killer moussaka tonight mostly based on her recipe)

"Italian": Marcella Hazan. There are many others. Keep it simple and honest.

"French": Well I am sorry, I am going to go with the classics by Richard Olney and Julia, but I note that I only usually use "Mastering... V1" and "Simple French Cooking".

"American/Anglo": Oh this is too annoying for too many. I use the "The Joy of Cooking" as a starter. My version is copyright 1980, given to me as a going away to college gift that same year. In there is wisdom, that I have only appreciated as I have grown older and more experienced. "The Meat Book". You wonder how an Englishman could have cross cultural accuracy on Anglo sourced materials... and he does! Uhh, sure, Fuschia. Anyway, I love Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. For vegetarian dishes, my goto author is Deborah Madison. She is perfect. Right in the tradition that is implicit in the authors I reference above, but for vegetarians. And now, I want to emphasize two authors: Michael Rhulman & Brian Polcyn, who changed the way I think about food by introducing me to real charcuterie. But I had to read it through and make a bunch of things to understand it, and then, I began to understand how a lot of other cuisines work.

Do I have my own recipe book? I do! But it is not so essential to me as the above authors.

I think crowd sourced recipes never work. Apart from obvious mistakes, a recipe is a very personal thing: how you describe steps, what ingredients, your cooking setup/hardware, what instruction you need, what ingredients are available etc. I recently did a Show HN[0] for a different approach: a private kitchen notebook to accommodate exactly this, your recipes.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26609394

Yes it really does need some work. There is a need for a simple well curated recipe site though, there is always lots of interest.

"There is a need for a simple well curated recipe site though, there is always lots of interest"

Does BBC Food count? It's ad-free if you are in the UK (possibly not if you're outside the UK). It has a wealth of recipes and food-related content:


Honestly this is what I use most of the time because it's hit the mark nearly 99% of the time. Quite a variety of recipies, and actually the comment section is genuinely full of useful information!

It is my usual go to, thought a crowd-sauced job might be nice :P

I do use them from time to time, one of the better sites.

Honest question: What is your problem with traditional cookbooks like "Le guide culinaire"[0]? They are a curated source of recipes which stood the test of time.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_guide_culinaire

Not OP, but I’ve got no problem with them. In fact given how bad most recipe websites are, I’ve largely returned to them.

I just bought three really thick cookbooks from a public library sale.

I’ve found nothing better than the NYT Cooking site. High quality recipes well indexed, well formatted. Not ridiculously overwhelmed with ads.

Alas, not free -- but for my money, well worth it.

Honestly, just using a straight up wiki (with good moderation of course) sounds way more useful than anything proprietary.

Good point. Why is there no cooking wiki?

You could send an email. That recipe was a dud added for testing it has now been removed...

The carborana recipe also includes garlic which I'm not saying is wrong, but it's not standard. Also carbonara has neither butter nor oil.

Just curious .. when YouTube has it all . Why text recipes ? Personally I feel when you know recipe visually it’s better .

I like to check the recipes when cooking

Also looking at step-by-step instructions allows me to quickly understand the recipe if i know most techniques involved. This way i sometimes just need a few seconds to absorb a new recipe or put it into mental cache while constructing my own based of multiple ones from the internet.

Banana ham sandwiches are pretty good if you give them a try

Ahhh HN spirit at it's finest. Made my hard/depressive day with a good laugh, ty BananaSandwich.

it's not a bug it's a feature, let's pivot

Well, they added a donation feature to make money. Hacker style!

Well when we have 2TB of recipes someone will have to pay for server costs... ;)

I'm pretty good at telling the future. I'm going to say that ... you will have to pay.

People go to recipe sites for the content, they read it, and then they leave. They don't click on adverts or engage in any monetizable way. People build recipe sites because getting a database of recipes is easy and they're trivial to build so you can throw a site with lots of pages (and lots of ads) up on the web fast. That doesn't mean they generate any revenue.

Definitely looks like it.

Probably literally using their source code, but not linking back to it?



Their github with their fork of that repo.


Yes inspired by based.cooking, but wanted a simpler interface than git, so anyone could submit, will add users, editing and comments when i have a mo...

>SoyDevs DESTROYED Epic Style by Based Cooking

Sounds like a great guy to have a conversation with

In general I've given up on recipe aggregate sites. I have to be half-familiar with the dish just to fix all the things wrong with the recipes I find. In my opinion, divorcing the recipe from the curator is a huge mistake and no amount of user reviews overcomes this. What I really want to see are the recipes that some specific person actually makes in their daily life. Not icons who publish more recipes under their name than a single person could make in a lifetime, or test kitchens obsessed with creating the scientifically proven ideal form of a chocolate chip cookie, and definitely not bloggers churning out stories to grow an audience. I want John, who likes to cook, to let me leaf around in his recipe box (the one he actually uses), and if I make a dish and like it I want to be able to go back and dig around for more. I know this authenticity exists online, but I don't know how to find it. I imagine it as a big list of personal recipe box websites.

Shameless plug but I tried to do that at https://www.sammakesfood.com. I made videos for the recipes too, but you do not have to watch those. It was a hobby project (not monetized) so no garbage. If somebody did this with maybe 30-75 mainstays and added search, is that kinda what you’re looking for? I stopped because I wasn’t sure if it would help anybody. My family enjoyed the videos during the pandemic as an alternate way to see me though, so, still worth it :D

Actually I enjoyed the videos I watched. I'd say your site is spot on: one person's collection of recipes they like to make.

My suggestion is to add a concise index. I didn't like browsing the paginated images.

Unrelated to your site, what I find most difficult with my own collection is resisting the urge to add new recipes. I want to be able to pick any recipe from my box and know that I think it's absolutely delicious. Of course everyone has different goals, that's part of the charm of personal collections.

Thanks for the feedback! When I get back to the project I’ll look into an index. That “feels” better than search to me, for a collection < 100 recipes.

Watched one video, and the recipes are good and the video production values are really high, and yet the views are really low. I have no great advice on how to fix that, all the ingredients (ha) seem to be there. I guess having watched a bunch of other food videos it seems like the gimmicks come first and the basics come second? Like babish with the TV food reproduction and emmy with the vintage MRE's. In the great war with the search machines there are few winners.

This is basically the reason I stopped, I psychologically cared too much about attention, but was completely uninterested in learning how to game the system for views or market it, because in comes the garbage. It was a fault of my own imagination but still felt bad. Posting here has rekindled my love for the project itself though, so that makes me happy. Thanks for your kind words!

This seems like something I absolutely need, especially as a college student. I don't know how to cook good healthy meals, but I want to learn how (especially cheaply if I can).

If it helps at all, my advice is to pick one approachable dish you love to eat and learn to cook it. Do it again and again and get good at that one dish, adjusting it each time as you eat it and think “oh this part could be better I’ll focus on that next time”

By the time you are good at that dish you will have invariably learned skills that transfer to related dishes, as well as how to taste and adjust. So you pick the next to learn. To make a product analogy, it’s vaguely like “Crossing the Chasm”.

Learning to cook this way is wonderful because you begin to see how dishes come together and start to imagine your own recipes! Whereas if you cook a new dish every time, you get spread a little thin and lots of cooking remains frustratingly “magical.”

Yes, that is absolutely helpful! Thank you so much.

Great content man! Love the home made "bon appetit" vibe

Much thanks!

I love the simplicity of this. So readable.

Thanks! I was going for no frills so I’m glad it came out that way for you.

Here's another one https://based.cooking/ who's also open soruce. You can submit recipes with PRs https://github.com/lukesmithxyz/based.cooking

Thanks, that's an awesome site. Or as the young people say these days: based.

I’ve always wanted to make a GitHub for recipes. You can fork recipes. Submit pull requests. Public and private repositories. Versioning and commit history. Share with friends, Etc.

I have a little pet project from a long time ago that I tried to start with this, it lets me describe recipes like this:

    Recipe|Turkey Stuffing
    I|4 C==French bread hand torn into small pieces (about 1/4 inch pieces)
    I|3/4 C==Butter
    I|3/4 C==Onion (minced)
    I|1 C==Celery
    I|1 Tbsp==Salt (less if bird is butterball or self basting)
    I|2 Tbsp==Sage, thyme, and marjoram mixture
    D|Melt butter in large skillet over low heat
    D|Add onion and celery & spices, stirring often until it all smells great.
    D|Pour 1/3 of the hot mixture over all the bread, then toss, then 1/3 more, toss, then last 1/3 and toss.
From there it can produce a pretty webpage to view the recipe, or produce an ingredient list for shopping (and it has some basic concept of combining shopping lists sanely), and lets me search by ingredient.

I always debate fleshing it out. 99% of the time spent with something like this is curating the recipes themselves, which I'm far from an expert in, and I don't want it to become a big time waster.

I used Markdown for recipes for more than a decade, where UL were ingredients, OL were steps, and you could use as many sets of both as needed. With some CSS and JS it worked pretty well, but wasn't super accessible for family members to add recipes to (but was great for me).

You may be in luck:

- https://www.cinc.kitchen/

- https://github.com/lukesmithxyz/based.cooking/ (which the submitted site may be derived from?)

That looks like a recipe site inside GitHub. What I wanted to make is a standalone website with git like branching and such. Everyone has their own little twist on recipes. I think it would be fun! I just need the time!

Try the first link :)

That sounds like something I’d use. Especially if it could convert between American and metric units.

Sounds like just github.

Maybe 6 months ago a previous discussion here led me to Paprika, an Android/iOS app, and I've been loving it. It is a paid app, $5, IIRC.

The killer feature is that you can be on a recipe in the browser and do "Share", pick Paprika, and it'll grab, almost without fail, the recipe from within the pages and pages of prose that most recipes have these days.

I also use the sharing so my wife has access to the same recipe set, though she doesn't use it as much as I do. I use the Photos feature, and also take notes about how it comes out if I want to make changes.

I've been loving paprika. I like to cook from recipes to keep trying new things and with paprika I have:

  * a list of things I've cooked, with notes if I like
  * a list of things I'd like to cook
  * an easy way to build a grocery list from a set of recipes
It's great. And it syncs between my laptop and my phone. 10/10

I've been using paprika for a while but switched to whisk.

Can you tell our listeners why? :-)

https://based.cooking is also a similar site

Very neat!

I've recently taken a stab at something like this, too – the result is a Pandoc-and-Bash-script-based static site generator for my personal recipe collection. Recipes are written in a format based on Markdown (with ingredients listed separately for each step, which comes in real handy while cooking), and the end result is a lightweight, responsive, searchable website. I've received very positive feedback when I shared it as a "Show HN" a week and a half ago.

It's available as open source here: https://github.com/doersino/nyum

There's also a demo: https://doersino.github.io/nyum/_site/index.html

Finally, here's what the Markdown source for an example recipe looks like: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/doersino/nyum/main/_recipe...

I love the open source model, and there's some good looking recipes here!

Along similar lines, with similar goals, my wife and her dad have been building this as a pandemic project: https://www.recipereform.com/ -- I (who am admittedly biased) think it's pretty great. She inherited this style of recipe organization from her grandmother, and I love the formatting it of it, how clean the recipes end up looking and how fast / ad-free the site is.

I've been trying to get her hooked on HN for years. I showed her this thread and maybe this will convince her to make it open-source. Any feedback would be appreciated and helpful!

Love the recipe presentation! Years ago I remember seeing a table layout on CookingForEngineers--but this is a significant improvement.

One suggestion: Add iconography to indicate cooking apparatus. The gestalt of your nested layout gave me a quick sense of the prep and cooking phases, but it would be nice to see if I need to preheat the oven or pull out the backyard grill.

That's great feedback. Thanks! I agree, icons would be helpful and could fit nicely into the aesthetic.

I love that CookingForEngineers site. The original name I had suggested to her was Recipes for Engineers, since that was the vibe the table/nested flow layout gave me, it's cool to see someone else doing a similar thing.

This reminds me that there's also recipes in Wikibooks. https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook:Table_of_Contents https://en.m.wikibooks.org/wiki/Category:Recipes

I also usually get good results with recipes from Serious Eats[1], I also find that the in depth articles go into reasons behind the recipes, really help with knowing the "why", not only the "how".

1. https://www.seriouseats.com/

Yeah Serious Eats is great. Usually very high quality recipes.

Is this not a clone of based.cooking?

Tangentially related, but if I were to run for president I'd run on a single issue platform: Imprison anyone involved with the current state of online recipes. Want to write your 10 page life story for baked mac & cheese? Boom, 5 years in the slammer. Want to put 12 different ads on your recipe for baked Alaska Char? 10 year minimum sentence.

Involved in encouraging this behavior from the inside of Google? Sorry bub, that's gonna be three consecutive life sentences.

Weirdly recipes aren’t copyrightable..

But personal stories are, And descriptive text is too. Probably why they’re added.

I’ll agree about the ads. Thus we signed up for platejoy (YC 2017?)

Platejoy sounded like what I want but they don't even list the price of their service on their site which seems sketch.

The price isn't even that bad, but it produces so much more packaging waste than cooking from scratch. We enjoyed the recipes, the price was good enough, but our recycling load doubled or more.

I think you may have this mistaken for another meal kit company.

Platejoy just gives recipes. You buy your own groceries(or at least that’s how we use it)

It’s mainly about meal planning.

I made https://thisfoodblogdoesnotexist.com because I think the life stories on those recipe sites are hilarious. My site uses GPT2 to generate blog content. I could pepper it with obnoxious fake ads...

Ohhh my God that is amazing.

> Hi everyone! Today I am going to show you my recipe for 1-Dish Taco Bake. The recipe you see here is actually the recipe from my 4-week-old daughter, and it is a pretty simple one. When you get to the part where you have your dish in the oven, make sure it is not too hot. That's because the most important thing is to bake the dish as light as possible.

Now you just need to make the stories 25x as long and pepper it with ads!

I'd vote for this, this is truly the most pressing issue of our time.

Well you have h my vote ( and my axe)

Please, Mr. President, carve out an exception for folks like the serious eats crew, who write genuinely useful culinary info in the introduction of their recipes.

E.g.: This classic béchamel-based mac and cheese is loaded to the hilt with cheese. Not only do we pack as much cheese as we can into the sauce itself, but we then mix the cooked pasta and cheese sauce with additional grated cheese, for tiny pockets of stretchy, melty bits throughout. One of the benefits of this method is that you can get enhanced browning in the oven, especially on the bottom and sides of the baking dish, thanks to the flour and butter in the sauce. (it goes on)


I will keep coming back to check this out, and maybe add some recipes because I love cooking. But I’m not sure that “bloat” is a problem. For one, almost every recipe page has a “Jump to Recipe” option near the top. More so, with a new recipe I’m prone to start with a blogger who’s recipes I’ve already had great success with. I imagine “success” varies with taste buds, but it’s going to hard to convert me away. Finally, the best thing about cooking frequently (4-6x per week) is experimentation and learning and calibrating to your kitchen (different outcomes for different appliances). At this point, a recipe (or collection of recipes for the same dish) is like a reference point to build upon. I imagine this site would’ve been awesome for me 5 years ago when I felt comfortable only cooking 5 dishes (now around 50), and even then I’d need some consistent outcomes to keep coming back.

What is needed are cooking methods and a general sense of what combines well with what and in what proportions. Once you learn those, you can apply them to anything. Recipes are maybe useful for baking, where precise portions matter somewhat more (but you can get away with a lot there too), or for people who want to reproduce some particular food.

But, it's not like you're trying to create a restaurant that may need good reproducibility of outcomes. Most home based cooks just want to feed themselves and their families and have some variability, and for the food to taste reasonably well.

Buying ingredients also gets less frustrating, because you don't need a precise list, just a general idea of what you want to make that day.

There are even books that help you discover taste affinities for ingredients.

I'd like a recipe site that included techniques at the same level as ingredients, and steps of preparation expressed as functions of techniques, utensils, and ingredients. Functional cooking.

If I don't have the technique or the pans, I don't need the recipe to come up in a search.

Is is the code, formatting, etc, that we're supposed to be looking at? Or the data itself?

The data catches my eye because there seems to be quite a lot of bad data. Recipes with cooking time of 0, when it's clear that's not true. Typos like "Spahetti Carbonara". "Ham Sandwich" tagged as "Fruit".

If we're supposed to ignore all that and just evaluate the CMS bit, it looks fine. But it doesn't seem very specific to cooking. Just tag organized text.

Very nice!

Most recipe websites these days are horrible (poor layout, annoying popups/popovers, crazy amounts of content that have little or nothing to do with the recipe....). The minimalism of this website is refreshing. I only wish the website itself was also open source. It would be pretty cool to be able to collaborate on and enhance the site (and a SCM hosting platform like GitHub or GitLab would provide a built-in way for maintainers to evaluate new recipe submissions, etc.)

I have been thinking about how to solve this problem a lot lately. With the pandemic, I have been learning more recipes at home. I too share the frustration of browsing a recipe website and then getting a 7 paragraph story behind it. Just give me the recipe!

started uploading some personal recipes to https://benjaminclauss.github.io/minimalchef/ with Hugo (PR's welcome) but this definitely will not scale

I would definitely use a Strava for Cooking.

open source ++

This is clearly just a lower quality clone of https://based.cooking/

No fucking stories about how grandma used to make this dish before Poland was invaded and the entire history thereafter before we even get to the ingredients!

I'm am down!

Haha adding garlic to carbonara. That'll get you some angry Italian comments.

As I mentioned before[1], I'm skeptical of this premise. Recipes are hard to get right, hence the use of cross testers and standardized language in professional test kitchens.

[1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26420783

A recipe site that anyone can contribute to has no aesthetic by definition. Having an aesthetic or point of view is one of the most desirable properties of recipe collection — it gives the unifying reason for why the collection is what it is, and who curated it. This isn’t the same thing as global knowledge, because cooking is more akin to art than science of facts.

I've been a "Copy Me That" user for years and years. It's delightful.

The meal-planner/shopping list feature is well worth the subscription: Add your meals for the week, then make a shopping list. The shopping list collects like items, joins their volumes/counts (if it can), and makes one big shopping list organized by category.

It makes shopping so much nicer.

I think the ideal recipe website starts from well known dishes where each recipe is associated as a variant of a famous dish. There is no true Swedish meatballs recipe, so the heading "Swedish meatballs" should not have a recipe, it should have several. And then some kind of rating system should bubble the best ones to top.

Recipes are not copyright-able.. so technically the Wordpress recipe site I made my mother is also open-source. The website uses zero custom code and was very quick to assemble from open-source components.

I installed Delicious Recipes on it, a solid Wordpress plugin.

I only have a couple recipes on it, but you get the idea: gramybee.com

I have been working on https://pancakes.cloud for the same reasons. No prose, strong sense of community and the recipes being just plaintext in the end. However, without good contributions, I don't think any such site can thrive.

Don’t mean to threadjack, but this has been an incredible addition to my cooking: perhaps these projects could share some data: https://recipe-search.typesense.org/index.html

I recently built a recipe search site that lets you filter by ingredients: https://recipe-search.typesense.org/

OP - if you have a JSON export of the data, I’d love to include it in the index.

The evergreen Internet website idea.

Using the joy of cooking instead of google for finding recipes was a funny revelation for me. The index of a book is so much better than web search for this scenario:

- Only one recipe.

- Vetted to be high quality.

- Gets straight to the point.

The internet is amazing but for a lot of domains books are way better.

I see some other open source recipe attempts but I could not find the source of this site. Am I getting it wrong?


Cool! Looks fun. What exactly is open source on the site? Is it the recipes? If so, then what license do they use? Is there any disclaimer of that on submission?

I'm not dissing, just making sure your ducks are in a row. It's a fun idea!

Recipes cannot be copyrighted.

Wrong. Lists of ingredients cannot be copyrighted. But the accompanying explanation can be copyrighted if it is substantial enough:


Beyond the recipes themselves, the collection may be copyrighted.

The photos accompanying the recipes are also copyrighted.

The basic directions (beat egg, stir in vanilla, etc) are part of the recipe. The courts have ruled that there's need to be substantial content to make it copyrightable. That, along with ads and the need to "drive engagement" is why most recipe sites have long articles around the list of ingredients.

"A recipe is a statement of the ingredients and procedure required for making a dish of food. A mere listing of ingredients or contents, or a simple set of directions, is uncopyrightable. As a result, the Office cannot register recipes consisting of a set of ingredients and a process for preparing a dish." https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ33.pdf

The recipe itself can't be, but you can't just copy and paste recipe text from one website to another.

The basic directions (beat egg, stir in vanilla, etc) are part of the recipe. The courts have ruled that there must be substantial content to make it copyrightable. That, along with ads and the need to "drive engagement" is why most recipe sites have long articles around the list of ingredients.

Thank you for the effort! You might consider using the recipe schema [0] for better interoperability with other recipe managers.

[0] https://schema.org/Recipe


I think it needs some way for users to rate the recipes, otherwise I have no way of knowing which recipes are worth trying out. Trouble is you then are in the realm of having registered users, and life becomes no fun anymore.

Source here: https://github.com/locua/oscooking.

Removed the dodgy test recipes for all you pedants...

I use my Google home to get recipes. Its pretty sweet because it cuts the cruft completely. Someone needs to build a nice recipe web scraper for Wordpress :)

People love to slag on recipe sites, and most of them are terrible, but the platonic ideal of the recipe site already exists. It's AllRecipes, provided you have UBlock Origin enabled. Even if you don't, the printer version of their recipes is perfect, and exactly what I would want.

Example: -> https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/242040/egg-salad-with-chop...

This page has some empty-square glyphs and some crossed-square glyphs. What do I have to install for it to be rendered as intended?


(Semi related: I maintain plainoldrecipe.com, which makes it easy to create printable plain text versions of recipes online)

A fruit banana ham sandwich. Maybe add a upvote/downvote functionality so that such things can be send to the bottom.

I really wish a curated site existed with the intent of the author, but there is more to this than just putting up a database and letting everyone pile on.

This site, started in 1999, attempted OP's goals:


... it was probably one of my fave sites for years that was actively curated, but it took a LOT of time to keep healthy.

I appreciate the effort, but this isn't as easy as it looks.

Just playing really. This one looks nice.

hmm someone is messing it up already, I think. Spaghetti carbonara is under the tag 'banana'

Would be nice to be able to tag vote to be able to fix something like this

And Spaghetti carbonara apparently involves no cook time at all.

And submitting recipes is throwing an nginx error

I still use the old Berkeley SOAR archive (which is now at recipesource.com).

Banana and lime salad... please tell me no one is actually eating this.

I think something like this could be really cool as a Gemini site

There's been a load of these on HN over the last few months.

While I applaud the efforts (truly!), I hope the community can get behind one.

Where I sit, I don't want to sit and type out my wife's recipes on a site that'll be gone in a year. So I'll wait.

What is Open Source about it? Could not find license or anything.

If you're talking about the recipes, it's open source in that it's public domain. Or it's not open source, because it can't be copyrighted and therefore all the frameworks that allow for open source don't apply. [1]

This is actually _really, really interesting_ and could spur some really great discussion, so I was ready to check out the HN comments only to find... griping about recipe sites. Ctrl+F 'Open Source' to find this comment. Man, HN sucks.

[1] https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-protect.html#:~:text=...

I see a ham sandwich under fruit?

Content is king..

1996 called...


It's a false cognate for the Spanish 'frijoles refritos'.

Frito = fried, but re is an "intensifier" that can mean "done again" but may also mean "done thoroughly" or even "in excess". Thus, they are beans that have been fried thoroughly.

TIL, Thanks!

I would like to point out a minor detail: "re-" as an intensifier is characteristic of the dialects of Argentina, Chile, and Mexico: https://www.fundeu.es/recomendacion/recontra-re-rete-requete... (article in Spanish)

In most other dialects it just means "to do again", same as English. Your confusion is understandable, because even for me as a native Spanish speaker, using it as an intensifier sounds funny.

And even there, a bit contextual.

Comida recalentada is probably microwaved left-overs, not burnt scraps.

From Wikipedia:

> As described by Rick Bayless, "they're refritos—not fried again, as you might assume, but "well fried" or "intensely fried," as that re translates from Spanish.

TIL, Thanks!

Open source is nice but these recipes need to be stored on the blockchain

Wanna buy the NFT for my chocolate chip cookies?

You laugh, but I've heard that NFTs taste better than the actual cookies they vaguely represent in JSON form.

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