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FOOD APPS AND BLOGS

The other day I looked at my iPhone and the screen was dull, al­most frosty. As I went to ad­just the bright­ness set­tings, I re­alised the screen was cov­ered in a light dust­ing of flour. Flour! My phone is never far away from me while I’m cook­ing or bak­ing, and some­times it bears the scars of a busy kitchen. On meat-free Mon­days, The

Green Kitchen (¤4.99) is one of my favourite recipe apps, and not just be­cause of its stun­ning pho­tog­ra­phy. Cre­ated by Scan­di­na­vian duo David Frenkiel & Luise Vin­dahl, th­ese Stock­holm-based vege­tar­i­ans cre­ated a web­site ( reenkitchen­sto­ries.com) and app with more than 100 recipes, in­clud­ing shak­shuka, saf­fron and sesame roasted veg­eta­bles and spiced parsnip cake. In terms of con­tent, us­abil­ity and ap­pear­ance, it’s way ahead of other recipe apps on the mar­ket.

When I’m look­ing for recipes on­line, I of­ten head to Amer­i­can blogs such as 101 Cook­books and Smit­ten Kitchen. Cookvert

er is a free con­ver­sion app that helps me fig­ure out how many grams are in a cup, so that I can have a help­ing hand with the math­e­mat­ics of con­ver­sion.

A piece of tech­nol­ogy I’ve cov­eted since its ini­tial re­lease in 2012 is from Drop, a kitchen tech com­pany founded in Dublin and based in San Fran­cisco. What makes Drop (get­drop.com) spe­cial is its Kitchen Scale, a weigh­ing scale con­nected to a recipe app that helps you bake in a more vis­ual way. It re­moves the bar­rier of num­bers and con­ver­sion that can trip up a lot of bud­ding bak­ers. The Kitchen Scale re­tails at $99.95 but the ac­com­pa­ny­ing recipe app is free. It’s full of recipes, mostly for bak­ing but not en­tirely, that work even with­out the scales.

When I don’t feel like cook­ing, my guilty plea­sure is to open the

De­liv­eroo web­site app (de­liv­eroo.ie), the de­liv­ery ser­vice that helps you eat from the res­tau­rants you love in your own home. Just last week, I had Sis­ter Sadie’s honey and lemon roasted chicken wings de­liv­ered to my door, and stuffed my face full of their roasted car­rot, feta and pomegranate salad. Sure, it cost more than a take­away pizza but I felt a lot bet­ter about eat­ing it.

Snap­ping grub

The trend of tak­ing pho­tos of one’s din­ner con­tin­ues to gain mo­men­tum, de­spite the back­lash from peo­ple of sound minds who are baf­fled by our col­lec­tive need to share what we’re putting into our tum­mies. Se­ri­ous ar­ti­cles have been writ­ten about how to style your iPhone food pho­to­graphs. I have read them all. Free pho­tog­ra­phy col­lage apps such as Moldiv and Poster­labs help food lovers cram mul­ti­ple an­gles or dishes into one up­date. Ear­lier this year, Is­raeli restau­rant Catit an­nounced the use of plates with built-in back­drops, to max­imise the In­sta­gram po­ten­tial of the restau­rant’s dishes.

In­sta­gram may not be a food app per se, but it is one of the most pop­u­lar apps for shar­ing pho­to­graphs of food. As our phones get even smarter, it feels like the po­ten­tial for short recipe videos could be fur­ther ex­plored.

Bart Von Olphen (@Bart­sFishTales) ex­plains rudi­men­tary seafood cook­ing skills such as how to fil­let a fish or how to pre­pare mus­sels in fran­tic 15-sec­ond videos. At the mo­ment, th­ese clips act more as a tool to send fol­low­ers to Van Olphen’s YouTube chan­nel, but they are a good ex­am­ple of what could be done on the plat­form.

There is cre­ativ­ity to be found in a stop-mo­tion phone videos such as on I Am A Food Blog (@ia­mafood­blog) who cel­e­brat- ed a To­toro week on her blog last week, cre­at­ing cakes, pan­cakes and snacks that looked like the Miyazaki char­ac­ter. As part of that, she cre­ated a five-sec­ond stop-mo­tion video of how to make a To­toro av­o­cado on toast. Cute over­load.

An in­ter­est­ing de­vel­op­ment in food phone pho­tog­ra­phy is the launch last month of DSCO, the stand­alone plat­form for fil­ter app VSCOCam. The VSCO Cam app be­came as­so­ci­ated with a more discerning pho­tog­ra­pher, one search­ing for a com­mu­nity that wasn’t com­pet­ing with each other for likes. The DSCO plat­form is a di­rect com­peti­tor to In­sta­gram’s Boomerang (which al­lows users to up­load GIFs as op­posed to just pho­tos and videos) and DSCO is also putting its GIF ca­pac­i­ties to the fore­front. This could be the place where we’ll start to see more cre­ativ­ity in cap­tur­ing what we eat for sup­per. Aoife McEl­wain

Tasty tech

Stephanie Le, creator of I Am a Food Blog

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