App of the Week: Epi

Accidental Locavore App EpiOMG, the Accidental Locavore actually used an app before reviewing it! I was looking for something to make with crab meat other than crab cake, so I whipped out my phone and the Epi app. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s the app version of Epicurious (Bon Appetite, the late Gourmet and…who knew…Self magazines). I put in crabmeat and the first thing that came up was a crabmeat risotto with peas…cool.

Every recipe has a little + sign in the corner which brings up a menu. One of the options on the menu is to create a shopping list. It’s pretty easy and divided into produce, seafood, etc. The more murky part is that it’s not entirely clear whether you’re supposed to check off what you need or what you have and it doesn’t seem to remove things (checked or unchecked) from the list. You can then email the entire list (again no editing), but I just kept it on the app.

Other good features, you can access reviews of the recipes. Because of that, I opted for seafood stock for my risotto instead of veggie stock. You can also save recipes to “Favorites” but if you want to sync them it will cost you $1.99. And of course, you can tweet all about it…

A couple of complaints (come on, you didn’t think this was perfect, did you?): there doesn’t seem to be a way to keep the list version as a default, so whenever go back to the homepage or search, you have to reset the list view. There are two categories on the home page “I Can Barely Cook” and “I Cook Like a Pro” where you could nit-pick about the levels involved in making a dish. Granted you have to cook like a pro to (successfully) make a Christmas Croquembouche, a very carefully constructed tower of 55 cream puffs with a cage of spun sugar over it, in this case Americanized with chocolate sauce and (so sorry Julia) M&M’s. Then, the next recipe on the list is for mashed potatoes, not a pro-level dish…and no matter what your level of cooking is, do you really want to make Steamed Soy Milk Custard ?

While some of the recipes are very recent, there are also a couple of typos, and for the non-cook some specialized ingredients, techniques or equipment that might not be considered basic.

The crabmeat risotto was a success, but you’ll have to stay tuned for the full report!

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Good recipe selection, some flaws)


Developer/Seller: CondeNet

Cost: free ($1.99 to sync favorites)

Compatible with: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch






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