Thursday, May 21, 2009
OK, folks, I'm going to let you in on my million-dollar idea, mostly because I can't figure out why this service doesn't already exist. (If it's already out there and I've somehow missed it, please leave a link in the comments.)
Here's the deal: Recipes are big business. It's fun to page through cookbooks and cooking magazines to see the delicious-looking pictures and get ideas for new dishes that you might (theoretically) prepare at home. And there are billions and billions of recipes on the Internet! If you know what you want to cook, the procedure for finding the recipe is pretty much instantaneous. But the Internet hasn't really improved the procedure for getting recipe ideas. You still pick whichever recipe sites you like, and you get to see whichever recipes they've decided to post and feature that week. There's no advantage over just getting a subscription to a cooking magazine (except, perhaps, conserving paper).
So my dream service is the following: A little widget (that can go on a homepage or facebook page or whatever) that randomly finds me a recipe -- with a picture -- every day, according to my personalized parameters. For my personalized parameters, I'd like be able to enter a range of criteria, for example vegetarian or kosher, or, say, no strawberries (for people who are allergic to strawberries), or no broccoli (for people who hate broccoli), etc. And I'd like to be able to enter general preferences like the fact that I'm more interested in appetizers than desserts, I like Greek but not Thai, I prefer recipes that are easy, etc.
I'm illustrating this post with the pictures from the one-and-only recipe I've ever posted: delicious stuffed grape leaves!
And -- as a bonus -- I want it to use my locality information to pick recipes that feature foods that are in season in my area. Because, like every city-slicker liberal, I'd like to favor local, seasonal foods, but how the hell do I know what's in season? Sure, I can look around, and when I see that every grocery store has a million bunches of asparagus, all on sale, then that's a clue. But I'd like some more detail, and especially ideas for items that may not be familiar to me. I don't have that info, but I know there are databases that do!
Now, I'm sure there's a business model in there somewhere, for example a deal with some existing recipe databases to bring people to their site. Logically, the widget would just show the photo, the title, and the beginning of the recipe, and you have to click through to the real site for the rest.
What do you think? Does this exist already? If not, why not?? (I've done a number of searches, and I can't find it...)