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If you’ve heard of the Food & Wine magazine, you may already have an idea of what you can expect from their website. More than just a source of recipes and cooking tips, Food & Wine delivers the complete culinary package of beverage reviews and pairings, an entertainment section, travel guides and restaurant reviews and listings. As part of a group including MyRecipes and Cooking Light, Food & Wine is marketed towards connoisseurs and foodies, however its attractive and engaging style and content make it accessible to all.
Let’s start with the fundamentals; the recipes. We were immediately impressed with the amount, quality and accessibility of recipes on Foodandwine.com. The homepage features topical, new and featured recipes for those simply browsing for inspiration while their recipe database is sufficient in providing a range of possible recipes according to your specifications. Foodandwine.com boast one of the most advanced search engines in this category allowing users to narrow down their search according to a set of perceptive criteria. Finding your recipe is easy as is following it; instructions are well written and the website comes with a range of how-to guides and beginners cooking resources. One draw back may be that Food & Wine’s selection may be a bit to “gourmet” for those of us looking for a quick and easy dinner. However, Food & Wine market themselves in this direction and do not pretend to do otherwise. Finally, all recipes are kitchen tested and formulated by professionals so you can be ensured of their quality.
Aside from an excellent array of high quality, accessible recipes, Food & Wine really shine when it comes to their travel and drinks section. While beverages are usually just a side note on other sites, Food & Wine boasts a detailed wine guide, pairings advice and even covers other drinks such as cocktails and beer. As with the recipes, each wine is categorized and accessible through an advanced search engine; perfect for wine lovers. We can safely say that Food & Wine is the top site in this category when it comes to beverages. The same can be said for their travel section where you will find extensive and detailed restaurant listings and reviews, a global “foodie” travel guide and articles on international cuisine. Food being an intimate and delicious way to experience other cultures, this section is perfect for those simply wanting to check out the local cuisine on their next holiday or who actually travel in order to sample the local delicacies.
Blogs and an informative yet entertaining style make Foodandwine.com approachable and engaging. One slight setback may be that there is no community feature so you have to put all your trust in the hands of the experts at food and wine. With no forum it may take quite an experienced chef to translate the recipes into something they can successfully apply to their ingredients, kitchen and tastes. However, there is the option to leave user reviews which can be very helpful in meeting these ends. There is no option to save recipes and although this can be achieved using Food & Wine’s sister site, Myrecipes, constantly jumping between the two pages can be a bit of an effort. For us, lack of community features can easily be forgiven in light of the Food & Wines recipe and beverage selection, additional articles and practical features. Anyway, a passion for cuisine of such high quality is probably best shared in the real world.
In conclusion, we would recommend Foodandwine.com to those of us with a real passion for food. The rest of us will probably find it too “gourmet” and simply not practical enough. Most of the recipes will take a long time to cook, will cost a lot and are not particularly healthy. If the aforementioned variables do not factor into your culinary requirements then we would recommend Food & Wine as your number one source of reference, information and inspiration. Bonne appétit!
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