Com 546 Winter, 2010 Helen Pitlick
Oral Tradition
Rise of Cookbooks
Supervening social necessities
Bon Appétit! Television
Recipe Sites
Food Blogs and other social media
iPhones covered in butter?
The future?
Helen Pitlick is a student in the Master of Communication in Digital Media Program at the University of Washington.  She l...
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Evolution of the Recipe


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Final presentation for Evolutions and Trends in Digital Media

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  • How many of you cook regularly? Where do you look for a recipe when you know what you want to cook? Where do you look for a recipe when you do not know where to cook?
  • Recipes were shared orally in the 17 th and 18 th centuries for a variety of reasons. -most women literate (to read the bible) but value placed on home instead of learning Cookbooks were expensive: avg person couldn’t afford Value not placed on expertise: Americans were self reliant (changed after Civil War with Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act) Sharing orally=community, which is valued in rural areas People would exchange recipes with friends, which isn’t oral exactly but reflects community. One’s recipe book was a reflection of social circle.
  • Cookbooks have been around since the Roman times, but intended for professionals. First cookbook published in America in 1742, and first “American” cookbook published in 1796. -The early cookbooks left many cooking assumptions up to the chef Rise of cookbook occurred with rise of industrialization. -women moved to cities and were separated from their mothers: lost the connection to cooking -the same with women immigrating to America -Fannie Farmer was first popular cookbook to use specific measurements (though others had before): reflected women’s loss of connection to cooking
  • Late 18 th and early to mid 19 th century great time of change: social and technological changes influenced how peopled cooked and viewed cooking -changes in technology made cooking easier; Rural electrification act in 1930’s brought electricity into many homes -RR introduced new foods: concept of seasonality gone -processed foods made cooking easier, and included recipes of their own on the packaging or their own cookbooks advertising made processed foods really popular -WWII: women went to work, which changed their view towards housework, making processed foods more desireable
  • TV rose to popularity in the mid 19 th century: Julia child was not the first cooking show, but she was the most influential -taught women how to cook: a return to the oral recipe. Women learned from Julia instead of cookbooks or their mom -Cooking shows had moderate popularity, but not on commercial networks until the early 90’s -Food network in 1993 changed this: Pres of CNN realized the incredible advertising potential of food. At first just cooking shows, but these not popular. Changed it to “lifestyle” shows
  • The rise of the internet has coincided with the rise of cooking sites -AllRecipes began in 1998, and is the most popular
  • Food blogs are another way that people can get cooking information: -these mirror earlier methods in many ways: -comments and links on the sites are endorsements YouTube: -a way for people to learn how to cook through observation; yet another return to the oral recipe Twitter: -A way to share links to recipes, but also a few people tweet entire recipes (@cookbook or @tinyrecipes)
  • Gadgets: an example of adaption- iPhones weren’t developed for cooking -gadgets are popular for mobility, though they aren’t great for the kitchen. Their mobility makes them better suited to buying ingredients while shopping -Kindle: there are cookbooks for the kindle, but the page breaks don’t naturally fit with the flow of the recipe generally -Demy Digital Recipe Gadget: a device specifically made for the kitchen
  • In the future, people may not cook. There are movements to get people back in the kitchen, and professionals like Jamie Oliver and Michael Pollan are encouraging people to get back into the kitchen but folks are cooking less and less. Why cook when processed food/takeout is so easy? -Researchers at Carnegie Mellon are developing cooking robots, and a few restaurants in Japan are trying them out. Their cost is prohibitive ($100,000), but we all know that prices of innovations fall over time. In the future, we may all have robot chefs accessing recipes for us.
  • Evolution of the Recipe

    1. 1. Com 546 Winter, 2010 Helen Pitlick
    2. 2. Oral Tradition
    3. 3. Rise of Cookbooks
    4. 4. Supervening social necessities
    5. 5. Bon Appétit! Television
    6. 6. Recipe Sites
    7. 7. Food Blogs and other social media
    8. 8. iPhones covered in butter?
    9. 9. The future?
    10. 10. Helen Pitlick is a student in the Master of Communication in Digital Media Program at the University of Washington. She likes to cook. You are free to use this slide show as you like. All images, unless noted below, are screenshots or the author's. Image Credits Child and grandmother: Jan St. Peter Fannie Farmer: Julia Child: Robot: Thanks for viewing!