If you are lucky enough to own a smart phone or tablet, you’ve probably been using a few food apps or at least browsed the net for a recipe. Jamie Oliver has his own app, updated now for your iPad. But what does the app actually give you?
First of all, the app looks really neat! The pictures are mouth-watering – and yes, I was going to provide some snapshots here, but after reading the copyright warning, I decided to stay on the safe side. You are not allowed to reproduce anything – images or content – without permission. Sigh.
Second, the app comes with a set of 10 free recipes (Jamie’s Taste Pack), neatly accompanied by detailed step-by-step photos and even videos. I found the step-by-step photos really informative, and there’s plenty of detailed info on how to chop, store etc. The recipes are interesting, and I have already tried two of them . In theory, the ‘free lunch’ you get should entice you to buy other recipe packs, priced at $1.99 (BBQ, date night, crowd pleasers, etc.).
I feel a bit ambivalent here. I really like Jamie Oliver and I support his efforts to change eating practices, particularly in North America. The recipes are very appealing to me. But… 1. I support free information, and I believe cooking practices cannot and should not be copyrighted because they rest upon a traditional pool of knowledge and skills shared across generations and cultures. 2. The two recipes I tried were not as tasty as they looked. Now, in this case, I am almost sure that it’s either my fault or the fault of imported ingredients that simply do not have much flavor to them. OK, and I confess to not using fresh spices…
I have tried a vegetarian dish with roasted eggplants, zucchinis, and quinoa-stuffed bell peppers stuffed (although original recipe required couscous). I expected a flavorful taste, but the dish was merely ok. I did use dry spices however, so maybe I set myself up for disappointment. The second recipe was a dessert with fresh pineapple and yogurt. It turned out ok, but again noting to fall in love with.
The app also allows you to build a shopping list. In theory, this could be an useful add-on, but I prefer a stand-alone app for that.