Bad Recipes: Have You Ever Been Burned?

Bad Recipes: Have You Ever Been Burned?

Anjali Prasertong
Sep 28, 2011

It's probably happened to you before: you buy all the ingredients for a new recipe and follow the instructions exactly, but what you end up with is just...not right. It's possible you made a mistake in the cooking, but sometimes you're just dealing with a bad recipe. Have you ever made a recipe you know is wrong?

The Guardian UK recently wrote about recipe typos, from the harmless (the forgotten inclusion of sugar) to the potentially deadly (calling for the poisonous weed "henbane" instead of the harmless green called "fat hen"). Online recipes are easily fixed once the mistake is noticed, but published cookbooks face a bigger challenge.

I usually glance through the reviews of an online recipe, to make sure there are no errors other cooks have caught, and I try to avoid making new recipes for guests, in case they don't turn out as planned. But more than anything, I rely on instinct when following an unknown recipe, particularly when it comes from a source I haven't yet come to trust. According to the article, making changes to the recipe just might make it my own, for better or for worse:

Most dishes are robust enough to withstand a little light tweaking of course, providing you know what you're doing - hell, I've built an entire column out of it - but unless you've followed the instructions to the letter, I take the view that any ensuing disaster (or triumph!) is entirely your own.

Read more: Cookbook errors: recipes for disaster at the Guardian UK

Have you ever been burned by a bad recipe?

Related: Expert Errors: The Mistakes TV Chefs Make

(Image: Flickr member whitneyinchicago licensed under Creative Commons)

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