Five food sites to love
Everybody with even a mild interest in food seems to have discovered food blogging and all the big food magazines and television shows have shown up on the Internet, too. So, thereʼs a lot to choose from.
If youʼre looking for specific recipes or information Google can help, but I like to navigate to a few specific food sites first and then search their archives. Youʼll likely find what you need much quicker and know what youʼre getting. Other sites go beyond recipes and provide product reviews, commentary and their personal foodie experience. Hereʼs five sites I like to visit and get a lot of mileage out of what they offer.
Alaska From Scratch: My favorite Alaska food blog is from the Kenai Peninsula called Alaska From Scratch. Itʼs written by Maya Evoy, a newcomer to Alaska, the mother of three children and wife of a pastor.
Where she gets the time to create such a wonderful blog, I donʼt know. (So I asked and she said, “We had lived an excruciatingly fast-paced life in California for many years, working at a church of 1,000. My husband was a youth pastor then and his travel and speaking schedule were very demanding. Our move to Alaska has been life-changing; our priorities and pace of life have changed dramatically for the better.”)
At the top of each blog post she records the weather and what sheʼs listening to. She writes that, “I note the weather because weather is one of the primary dictators of what we eat.”
Thereʼs always a photo of the dish sheʼs blogging about. Her latest was a sweet potato hummus that looks like a winner. Check out her garlic cheddar pull-apart bread, Iʼm seeing that as a football game-day side dish. (See photo.) The site feels more like a community because Maya speaks directly to her readers. Through her photos you get a glimpse into a family that is loving their new home and lifestyle in Alaska. You can also find Maya on Facebook.
Food Republic: The Food Republic Web site is advertised as being for “men who want to eat and drink well, and to live smart,” but I donʼt know why women wouldnʼt like it too.
The site was started by food guru Marcus Sameulsson who thought men were being underserved in “the food conversation.” I donʼt know about that, either. The site is cool, fresh and hip covering how-to as well as interviews, restaurant reviews, cocktails, homebrew, kitchen tools, to name a few. I like the word of the day feature, too. A recent word was “baconer” which is a pig slaughtered between 140 to 180 pounds for ham or bacon.
Chocolate and Zucchini: This food site is the godmother of food blogging with the archives dating back to 2003. Itʼs written by Clotilde Dusoulier, a 33-year-old Parisian woman who lives in Montmartre and shares her passion for all things food-related. The siteʼs appearance has gotten busier over the years with its ads, links, archives and other features, but still is a good read for her recipes, and to follow her adventures and insight into unusual ingredients.
At last count Foodgawker had 4,825 pages of photos and there are 50 photos per page. I searched for brownies and came up with 58 pages ranging from booze brownies to gluten free. Tastespotting showed 49 pages of brownies. One photo took me to a Web site called “No Kitchen for Old Men, which I could relate to until I realized everything was written in German.
Youʼll find savory dishes in addition to the sweet stuff. I like these sites because of their easy searchability. You could Google the subjects, but end up clicking on sites until your index finger falls off, plus youʼre never sure of what youʼll find. At least these two sites have a photo to help you make a choice. I like to cruise the pages if I canʼt figure out what to cook for dinner.
Food Porn Daily: This is a site of pure food photography decadence. Each day they post a fine photograph of food, some with recipes, most without. Itʼs a way to get your food fix for the day or keep track of food trends. Mostly you visit for the photos, the Playboy of food – without the “articles.” If you look closely youʼll see a faint caption that winds around a portion of the food. These are usually gems of writing like, “Grilled flame crest peaches with vanilla ice cream and cardamom spiced toffee sauce.” That, my friend, is food porn.
A couple of other handy sites. These arenʼt part of my favorite five but they are useful. Epicurious.com is a site that gleans recipes from “Bon Appetit” magazine and “Gourmet” magazine (“Gourmet” no longer is publishing but it still has their recipes). It has a search engine that will match a recipe with the ingredients you have on hand.
Foodandwine.com is a well-designed food site like “Epicurious” and comes from “Food and Wine” magazine. Itʼs less cluttered and easier to read, too. I like the video how-to features of Jacque Pepin that are derived from his great cookbook “Essential Pepin.” Finally I canʼt forget Mark Bittman, longtime food writer for The New York Times. His how-to video series is priceless. Sad to say he does not produce them anymore. The good news is that the videos are archived and you can still find them. Hereʼs a sample with his roast turkey in 45 minutes video. Check it out and explore his other videos from there.
And what are your favorites sites?