Here are a list of places on the Web that I like to visit, mostly food related, but also other interesting places to browse. Enjoy!
Probably the earliest launched and most well known of compilation sites, Tastespotting is a great site for just browsing gorgeous food pictures from around the web. Clickable, captioned photographs lead you to food blogs of other people, which then leads to browsing THEIR recipes and on to THEIR links… You get the idea. There’s also a search box if you’re looking for something to inspire you.
We likey: Gorgeous photos, search option, clicking a photo opens a new tab (or window, depending what your browser does). You can filter the pictures that you browse by category and also by popularity – seeing what posts are popular last week, last month or all-time.
Likey not so much: The search engine is a bit simple – you CAN put in multiple terms to search for, but it will then look for that specific phrase, rather than something that contains those words in random order. It also doesn’t like UK English spelling, so you need to know your US equivalents! The ‘view by category/popularity’ options aren’t immediately obvious (they’re at the top under the heading and easy to overlook). Also, when one of the numerous cooking groups out there (Tuesdays With Dorie, Daring Bakers, etc) publish their recipe of the week/month, there’s a deluge of pictures (15, 20, more!) of the same recipe posted one after the other, which can be a bit monotonous.
Back in 2009 when Tastespotting had some technical glitches (legal issues eventually resulting in the site being sold) that removed it from the Web for a few days, Foodgawker was quick to step in and feed the need to look at great food photography. Very similar to Tastespotting in concept, layout and design, there are subtle differences that, for me, edge it slightly ahead.
We likey: All the likes for Tastespotting apply here, but with an improved search engine – it will search for all terms used, not just a phrase, you can also search by submitter, if you have a favourite [though if you did, you'd probably just go to their website I would have thought]. Categories and tags are displayed at the bottom of the front page for quick searches, together with how many links are in each category. I particularly love their ‘No desserts’ category, which presumably kindly removes temptation by banishing all sweet delights from the selection displayed, although items such as muffins and chocolate spread do tend to sneak through, so you can’t afford to relax completely…
The third of my featured foodie sites is because I love an underdog. Even though the food photography on the two previous sites is spectacular, they needs must have strict image standards in order to maintain their quality. Nevertheless, I am a firm believer in taste being paramount when enthusing about food, and so to penalise people who are passionate about food but maybe not so skilled in photography, is a little blinkered. This is where TasteStopping comes to the rescue – because this site is specifically for people to submit items whose pictures have been rejected by other food photography sites.
We likey: The submission guidelines first and foremost encourage you to try to get your pictures onto TasteSpotting and Foodgawker. Also that each picture also includes the reasons for rejection from the above sites- sometimes a picture is accepted by one and not the other (Odd). Other fun features include The Drive-Thru, Declined-Rewind and Judge-Jury-Execution.
ChowHound Great community for answering your food queries.
PhotoGrazing More delicious pictures and recipes
Serious Eats Recipes, tips, menus, articles
Saveur The best of the foodie web
Epicurious Articles, tips, menus, recipes rated by users
WayBack Machine – This is amazingly useful for retrieving lost bookmarks. It’s an online archive of the web where you can request to be taken “way back when…” and see an earlier version of a particular web page. If you find that a favourite website has expired or moved, this feature of the Internet Archive can help retrieve a previous version of the page you’re looking for. Sometimes, even the Way Back machine doesn’t have a record of the page you want, but more often than not its successful. I’ve lost count of the number of times it’s helped me. Just paste the URL you’re after into the text box provided and click “Take Me Back”.
Cook’s Thesaurus - A cooking encyclopedia that covers thousands of ingredients and kitchen tools. Entries include pictures, descriptions, synonyms, pronunciations, and suggested substitutions. Invaluable if you’re not sure what a particular ingredient is, or to find out what you can substitute with, if you’re missing a single item. Has saved me a multitude of shopping trips to buy just one ingredient!
Joe Pastry When I need to know a technique, a method, or even just to find out what something is in the world of baking, Joe Pastry is the place I go. His clear, and informal writing style, together with his wonderfully illustrative photos makes everything seem incredibly straightforward and achievable. His whole blog is a wealth of useful information and I personally learned a huge amount from him in the months before The Great British Bake Off: How to construct an Opera Cake, French buttercream icing, Italian Meringue, crispy pie pastry, choux pastry, croissant dough, Danish dough to name but a few. There’s delicious recipes, techniques, step-by-step tutorials and more – as well as numerous insider tips and tricks from the world of patisserie and baking that can make all the difference in achieving a successful bake. If you don’t know, then go to Joe! Go visit today and tell him I sentcha!