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14 Cooking Infographics

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The charts for converting weight based measurement of dry ingredients to volume measurements are inaccurate and give people a false sense of security about using, say, cups to measure flour. One of the first things I do in basic baking classes is have everyone measure out a cup of AP flour and a cup of sugar then weigh them each on a scale, then, do it again. Everyone gets two different numbers for each product and no one's numbers match anyone else's. These disinformation-graphics just reinforce Americans' false sense of superiority and security while using a highly flawed, sloppy system of so-called 'measurement.'

Yes, they have deceptively slick appearances -that doesn't excuse shoddy workmanship. It just means that we'll wind up having to deal with the thousands of poorly educated people who unquestioningly buy into these things as being actually factual. One more step backwards for American cooking, blech.

Get a scale; adopting 20th century technology isn't all THAT scary, really. -My English grandmother was using one in the aughts -over a hundred years ago.

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The charts don't even agree agree with each other - in one, a cup is 250ml; in another, four cups is 950ml (so one cup = 237.5ml. There's an original measure!). i'll stick with my scales, thanks!

Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

eGullet Ethics Code signatory

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Considering that the charts are all by different people (who are rounding differently) that's no real surprise. I agree that any of the various charts out there that attempt to provide simple conversions from weight to volume are fundamentally flawed, but there are still some great charts in the list ChrisZ posted (I only noticed one of the fourteen that really focused on that aspect). I particularly liked the Five-second rule chart at the bottom, and the knife charts are also nice. The meat-cuts chart is nothing out of the ordinary, though it's a visually-attractive representation.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations

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Following on from the original infographic collection posted above, the same site has published another batch that attempts to depict recipes in a visual form only.

Following on some of the responses above, I'll add that I find these interesting and worth sharing (or worth discussing), but that doesn't mean I think they're all good. The people who create these things are designers - possibly students - who may not have any experience or expertise with food.

This second collection is more interesting, because I think they're a lot less successful than the first lot. I generally enjoyed the first collection and found several of them (such as the knife ones) genuinely informative.

This second collection highlights the fact that recipes have been presented in pretty much the same way for so long we don't think about it, and that it's pretty hard to come up with something better. Certainly every cooking book that I've got, and that my mother has, and that her mother had, all present recipes in the same way - a list of ingredients at the top, followed by step-by-step instructions.

The format that the Modernist Cuisine team use is the first innovation in publishing recipes that I've seen, and this collection of largely unsuccessful infographic recipes suggests that developing a new recipe format was a bigger accomplishment for the MC team than it may appear.

Generally, I don't think these infographics have been very successful, but it does make you think how a well presented visual recipe would negate literacy and language issues.

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I tend to write my recipes down a little like a flowchart. group the items that are used together with the actions for them, then connect the groups with lines and description fo the action for combining... I think it reads easier, but maybe that's because I see a lot of flow charts in my job.

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