Digital Cooking: An iTunes for Recipes

Like the MP3 or ACC format used in music, a recipe needs to become a standardized digital good, one that can be bought, sold, shared, edited and annotated, says foody and techi Richard Fitchard.

What's the Latest Development?

Everyone must eat and most of us have little time to cook so how can the digital age help? Several apps already aggregate recipes but because there is no standard digital recipe format, only big food websites get combed and food blogs, where most of the experimenting happens, are easily passed over. Foody and techi Richard Fitchard wants standardization: "Like the MP3 or ACC format used in music, a recipe needs to become a standardized digital good, one that can be bought, sold, shared, edited and annotated," he says.

What's the Big Idea?

Fitchard wants to see an iTunes for recipes so that entire albums (cookbooks) can be marketed while giving customers the freedom to purchase individuals songs (recipes). Just like an album, the whole of a cookbook can often be more than the sum of its parts. Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, for example, is an exhaustive collection of recipes but it is also "an expression of the philosophical and culinary conviction of its principle author." Technology should organize recipes while preserving larger ideas.

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