I hate when people rate and review recipes when they’ve changed some ingredients and/or some methods. Then, you are rating and reviewing a different recipe. I see it all the time. It comes up in conversation and I read it all over the web. For example, on allrecipes.com you’ll see that someone rated a recipe 2 stars, which is low. When you read the review, it reads something like “I used whole wheat instead of AP flour and I only used 1/2 cup milk (recipe called for 1 cup) because that’s all I had left and it came out gross.”Well frankly, you have no right to review the recipe since you’ve changed it. You didn’t make that recipe. This is especially poignant for baking recipes. Slight changes can alter the effectiveness drastically. If you can’t measure accurately, you’ve already messed up.

Some people are notorious recipe changers. You never follow a recipe, ever. You know who you are. I have no problem with that. Just don’t review a cookbook. Get it?

I understand that sometimes, there is value. So, I do allow for some exceptions.

1. This may not be fair but there are certain people who really understand cooking and baking. So when a professional chef says something to me like, I used dried cranberries instead of raisins or pecans instead of walnuts in a cookie recipe, I understand. Those changes do not change any baking properties but will alter flavor a bit. It is not the same as using pastry flour instead of bread flour to make bagels. So, that may piss some people off that I am allowing rights to some people and not to others but, I guess I’m saying that some people’s comments are just more credible than others and when you make wild changes to recipes and then try to rate them, you’ve lost all credibility.

2. It would be legitimate if you made the original recipe and rated it, then made changes the second time and you comment on changes that you think helped the recipe. For example, something like, rating the original recipe 4 stars and saying it was a bit too oily (and you followed the recipe exactly) and adding in the comments that you made it with x amount of oil the second time and you find that to be perfect.

3. So this blog started because of a conversation I had with my friend Sara because she had posted on her Flickr page about a recipe/method. She made changes and I don’t mind so much because in a posting on Flickr or a blog, it is an account of your own experiences. So, I think that it is ok when you’re not rating or implying a rating of a recipe. I would disagree if she rated the recipe where the recipe was posted.

So PLEASE, stop rating recipes that you have butchered!

posted by jessica at 10:11 AM Filed under Miscellaneous. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.