Readers, we have a confession to make. This past weekend, we went out, like the giant nerds that we are, and got ourselves an iPad. And, after spending some time with it, we had a chance to write down both our good words and gripes with the device
. But we're starting to rethink the way we ought to critique this "magical and revolutionary" product. Yes, we've had netbooks and tablet PCs and e-readers around for awhile, and, yes, many of them can do more than the iPad, but the iPad is really a media-consumption device, especially suitable for print.
And we submit to you the Epicurious app
(iTunes link) as evidence for our argument that the iPad is an entirely new kind of gadget. We're not shilling for Epicurious, or anything. We're simply bloggers who love food. (And we also love tech! Which is why you're here in the first place.) While some of us
are better cooks than others
, we can all stand to learn a thing or two from this gorgeous piece of software, which suggests a future where cookbooks are interactive and help us to get from meal planning to shopping to cooking. Read on, and we will give you four reasons that the Epicurious app is tops.
A beautifully crisp interface with big, bright navigation greets you immediately as you fire up the app. Three days after the iPad's launch, you wouldn't really want to get doughy hands all over your brand-new and mightily expensive toy, but the iPad does have legs in the kitchen. Big buttons and a richly saturated interface are great for reading behind the counter, and a sliding placeholder prevents you from forgetting to steam the cockles before adding the parsley. (And adjustable display text, much like that of the Kindle, helps both the near-sighted chef and the cook who has the iPad placed an arm's length away.)
This is part of the big beautiful display, but the search function is intuitive and gorgeous. Chunky icons let you choose your main ingredients, type of cuisine, nutrition restrictions and more. And, behold! Your filtered results pop up almost instantaneously. Oh, did we mention how fast
this app is? If you really want to see an app take full advantage of Apple's frequently-touted A4 chip, use Epicurious. Fly through recipes and images with almost no Wi-Fi lag (even when home-tested on a terrible
It was probably a cinch for the programmers, but the shopping list experience was incredible. Shopping list functionality is nothing new, but, with the iPad, you have a much larger display than you do on your smartphone; which you're probably not using to shop for groceries, anyway. And on a regular computer, you must save your ingredients to a digital shopping list, print it out and take it to the store. So many steps, and a waste of paper to boot. Here's where the iPad has advantage with its size. Take your iPad to go, and pull it out when you're not sure whether to get serrano or scotch bonnet peppers. Never again will you forget the scallions for garnish.
Huge Selection at The Most Perfect Price
The sheer volume of content already available on the Epicurious Web site
single-handedly makes the app worthwhile. Years and years of Gourmet and Bon Apetit issues, plus the mammoth 'Gourmet' cookbook by Ruth Reichl, and still more, are all at your disposal. Oh, did we mention that this app is 100-percent free? And by "free," we mean that the Epicurious app will never ask you for money -- not for more features, and not in the way of inline ads. (There are none!)
So, do we really need to sell you on this? We may be drinking the iPad Kool-Aid, but we can tell you that, with apps like Epicurious, it is a mighty fine-tasting elixir, indeed.