Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Etiquette of Food Blogging

I am ashamed to say that before I began blogging a couple months ago I rarely read anyone's blog.  Since then, my daily reading rituals have changed dramatically, and I am now addicted to many a food blog.  The list of recipes that I want to attempt is growing exponentially and I find myself talking food with friends and family far more than I used to.  Is that even possible?

As I started writing about food and recipes, I quickly realized that I had no concept of the rules, norms, laws or plain old manners surrounding the use of other people's recipes.  Since I rarely create a dish without the help of a recipe, this is a potential problem for me.

I asked a few blogger-savvy friends about this dilemma.  One friend replied that since so few people are likely to read my blog, I really shouldn't worry about it.  Hmmm...  We need to remember here that a huge part of my daily teaching life is showing youngins how to research, paraphrase and quote correctly, and properly cite their sources.  Not worrying about it wasn't going to cut it.  Another friend suggested that simply giving credit where credit is due would suffice.  This seems a better solution, but what if a given recipe is not yet published outside its cookbook?  Should we see the online reveal as a cookbook teaser or spoiler?

To solve said enigma, I have devoted many hours of painstaking research to tease out the answer (i.e. I'm addicted to food blogs with purty pictures).  Here's what I have deduced.  It seems that referencing the original source of a recipe is an absolute necessity.  From there, one is welcome to quote and/or paraphrase an entire recipe.  It's best if the blogger has somehow modified a dish, but even when keeping true to an original recipe, the blogger's own experiences of making and enjoying the food seem to make the writing their own.  It helps, too, that most bloggers are joyously celebrating a new food moment that they can't help but share.

From here on out I will try to quiet the nagging voice that tells me it is not my recipe.  Instead, I will invite you to partake in these delicious experiences with me.  I hope that's okay...

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