Social media — be it Facebook, blogs, Twitter, or even LinkedIn — has made its mark on many an industry. When I look back at how I spend my day, I realize how my mundane daily chores have turned simple thanks to my hyper- connectivity.
One industry, hobby, passion — whatever — that lives strong, loud, and all over the Internet is food. We eat it, we read about it, we serve it, and thanks to the great and seemingly endless connections made online, we can make all of the above happen, one mouse click at a time (no, I’m not talking about edible printer ink).
As a fan of lists, I’ve compiled my top five list of online resources that have made being an amateur in the kitchen (it should come as no surprise that my level of culinary skill falls short of Bittman-excellence) easier to deal with. These resources have bridged the gap to allow skills, tips, and tricks to be more attainable without spending bank-breaking funds on cookbooks, lessons, and the like.
Foodie Fun for Everyone
- Food Gawker – Aggregates are amazing. We know this because of great sites that aggregate news (think Google or Yahoo), and Food Gawker is no exception. Click through to culinary inspiration. You’ll find a wide variety of recipes, hunger-inducing foodie photography, and ads that are appropriately (instead of annoyingly) targeted toward your kitchen needs.
- Fresh Direct – While this doesn’t apply to all of our cyber passersby, the convenience behind the concept of shopping for groceries online is pretty hard to dispute. Besides how inexpensive these types of services can be compared to in-store shopping, like other online retail experiences, Fresh Direct recommends items based on what customers have added to their carts. Another plus? Fresh Direct has amazing customer service. With a strong Twitter presence, and incredibly responsive automated phone system, this service has made grocery shopping easier, and even enjoyable.
- Yelp – An eater but not a cook? Love to read menus, not recipes? No worries. For foodies who delight in food prepared by others, peer review sites like Yelp are a hit. Yelp is a site where users gather to review businesses of all sorts, but it has an especially strong database of restaurant reviews. The best part of Yelp? Its mobile application (available on several different mobile phones) implements GPS and provides recommendations based on user location.
- iPhone applications (and other smart phones, too!) – As an iPhone geek, I’m not sure where I’d be without my apps, especially not Mark Bittman’s, How to Cook Everything, or Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg’s, What to Drink with What You Eat. Both are less expensive than the actual books by the talented kitchen natives, and are equally as useful.
- Foodista – I only recently learned of Foodista from an older Mashable post from 2009. This truly is the food site for all. While it reminds me of Cookstr because of its layout, Foodista is much more user-friendly. Between the blog of the day, latest activity feed, and super categorized tabs like tools, techniques, and recipes, this site is perfect for new cyber foodies.