04 December 2015

Ingredientia - a new wiki from Steenbergs

Ingredientia - a new wiki from Steenbergs

Ingredientia Logo Ingredientia Logo

Ingredientia the cook's encylopedia is a simple idea – to build a free, food and drink related encyclopaedia that is open to all to use and all to contribute to.

The concept is to build Ingredientia from the base up.  And to develop it collectively as a wiki, rather than by any one person or organisation.  So it’s ultimately up to the contributors to decide how this idea progresses.

My starting thoughts on its Ingredientia's outline structure have been to start with ingredients (hence ingredientia), moving on to techniques and then to recipes.

For the recipes, the idea is not to include every version of everything, but rather the most representative of key recipes,.  So for example, one lasagne recipe and not every version from every family or chef.

Finally, there is an area to discuss other aspects of food and drink – whether cultural, historical or ethical aspects.  Why? Because food and drink is not only existential, but also cultural and often controversial.  That's the place to thrash out contested ideas, e.g. meat vs plant-based diets, organic vs conventional farming, processed vs raw etc. etc.

How do I see Ingredientia as differing from other wikis or websites on food and drink:

  • Most are commercially-driven whereas there is no intention to commercialise the wiki core, so if practical it may be moved to some form of self-financing state at some point in the future and/or a premium service for food technicians might be developed
  • Most food and drink related resources are recipe-driven, either to market particular chefs, cookery shows and brands or to collect every single version of every single recipe that exists, whereas most cooking in the home comes from what ingredients we have and then whipping up a meal from the techniques and core ideas we have in our repertoire
  • Many other resources, e.g. Wikipedia, tend to be academically-driven but Ingredientia is more culturally-driven, while still being underpinned by written resources where appropriate
  • Finally, it’s a wiki so, like Wikipedia, it’s a collective project not a commercial sensible proposition

If anyone's interested, all are welcome to visit the wiki.  If you have questions, you can look at Ingredientia's FAQs section, add comments to the blog, or contact us by email: axel@steenbergs.co.uk, and I will try and answer any queries.  However, bear with us, because this is early stage and is a concept that needs developing collectively.