Matthew Miner

Recipe Websites Are Bananas

Recently I made fudge. The recipe website I found is typical of recipe websites. Scroll past an endless wall of text — recollections from the author’s youth, second-hand reviews of the dish from their children, a lengthy diatribe against the store-bought version — to finally find the instructions.

This recipe website was especially egregious. I scrolled so far that I thought I missed the steps. But no, reaching them required more scrolling yet.

Long recipe website

Why do recipe websites resort to such madness? SEO? Optimism that I’ll click an ad along the way? Or do visitors genuinely enjoy the preamble? Come for the pasta recipe, stay for the long-winded reminiscence about making homemade penne with Grandma Gertie in rural Saskatchewan in the 70s.

But how did my fudge turn out? I’m glad you ask. It didn’t. The recipe calls for a candy thermometer which I don’t own, so I winged it. The outcome was a brown sugar slurry. Delicious, but sellable only at the least reputable farmer’s market. Maybe I should have read the full page after all.