Foodpickle Revamp

February 18, 2011

As you might have noticed, we've made some exciting changes to foodpickle (or as its devotees are calling it, The Magic Pickle). Here's the lowdown -- let us know what you think and if you have any tips for how to make these upgrades even better. Thanks and, as always, happy pickling!

Foodpickle Revamp

Tags are the new categories

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The old category distinctions weren't terribly useful, so we did away with them. Now you can add up to 5 relevant tags -- like, say "baking soda" -- then you can click on that tag to see any question that's ever been asked (and tagged) about baking soda.

And any food52 member can add or edit the tags on any question (so go on, get tagging!).

2-part questions are easier to read

When asking a question on food52, you'll now see a title field -- to (briefly) get to the meat of the question -- plus a field where you can fill in any background info, descriptions, rants. This should make questions easier to digest and answer quickly, both on Twitter and on food52, especially now that they're showing up on the homepage (!).

Tap foodpickle directly from any step of a recipe

On food52's recipe pages (see below), you'll now see that you can tap into foodpickle more directly -- either with general questions (at the bottom of the recipe) or about any specific step (you'll see the link as you mouse over each one).

And don't worry -- any time a question is asked about a recipe, we send an email to the author so they have a chance to weigh in.

Foodpickle Revamp

Enjoy!  - from the people behind The Magic Pickle. 

Foodpickle Logo





See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Blissful Baker
    Blissful Baker
  • cookinginvictoria
  • bella s.f.
    bella s.f.
  • AntoniaJames
  • innoabrd
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


Blissful B. March 15, 2011
Another foodpickle suggestion. Right now, you have the "Popular Pickle" box set to include questions that get the most views, rather than the most comments. For this reason, they never change (because new people to the site are always going to click on the popular pickles.) Can you reverse that, so the Popular Pickles are the ones with the most comments? That way, they would change more often & be a nice way for Food52 members to catch up on interesting threads.
AntoniaJames March 15, 2011
BB, I've been meaning to make this suggestion for weeks, now. Thanks for posting these great ideas. I'd actually go a bit further, and recommend that the most comments in the past week appear at the top (perhaps the top two slots), and the most comments in the past three months go in the bottom slots. That way, they'll change all the time. There's a feedback loop that results from showing the most popular over time, because those displayed on the home page have such a greater probability of being viewed and the subject of comments. Now of course, if you want Anthony Bourdain's name to catch the end user's eye, and draw him or her to foodpickle, I suppose that having it appear "above the fold" permanently is not a bad idea. Frankly, though, the "Popular Pickle" box has become invisible to me, due to its irrelevance, with the ordering method used currently. Many thanks. ;o)
cookinginvictoria February 28, 2011
Love all of the things that you are doing with the site. I have just one request, and it's about the site in general, not just FoodPickle. I like the social media interfaces with Twitter and FB, but is it possible to give users some options when Food52 is posting status updates on our FB pages? For example, I like to have my status updated when I submit a recipe, but I might not want my status updated every time I comment on a recipe or a blog or contribute to FoodPickle or vote for a recipe. Is that possible?
Amanda H. February 28, 2011
Totally possible, and is on our list of things to fix. Lots of people want this -- including us! Stay tuned.
Blissful B. February 21, 2011
Are you sick of us yet? I have one more request for the new Foodpickle. Since the first box now has a limited number of characters, please set it to stop typing & post a warning when the questioner exceeds those characters. Right now, it lets you type away, but cuts the question off when you post.
innoabrd February 21, 2011
An investment forum I belong too has a similar function on comments to posts. They have a little box that shows you how many characters remain. Handy that. I have noticed a few pickles this morning where the balance of the question has gone missing!
Food52 February 22, 2011
Agreed -- working on it!
bella S. February 21, 2011
Is it possible for you to give an example of how to best use this new version of pickle? eg. Write out a pickle question, using all of its parts. I feel a bit confused as to how to best use all of the categories. I find myself asking questions as I did before, in the first box. I would also like to see how the tags can be used. It would be helpful for me to see all of the parts of the pickle used as you were hoping they would be used. THANKS!
Food52 February 22, 2011
Here's an example of how Amanda used this new functionality when we first implemented it: Hope this helps!
AntoniaJames February 21, 2011
One more. . . not about foodpickle, but on my wish list for quite awhile . . . . how about a database where people can identify the recipes they've actually tried, perhaps including a field for how many times have the cook made it (to figure out which are the real "keepers" made by cooks with similar sensibilities to one's own) with a box for specific comments relating to variations, tips, suggestions. There would be a link on the recipe page to any such comments that are entered. It would also be tremendously fun for there to be a tally of which recipes were made the most times (number of cooks x the number of times each actually cooked it) and which were made by the greatest number of different cooks. You could display the tally by time period . . . . e.g., most new entries in the past seven days and most ever, similar to the buzz tallies. All of the "Great recipe!" and "Congrats" comments make it difficult to figure out what people out there are actually making.Thank you. ;o)
Sadassa_Ulna February 21, 2011
I'd like to add that I appreciate the "like" function for recipes, but it seems that people can "like" smething without trying/testing the recipe out. It would helpful to know if people have tried making smething and liked the recipe "as is," without all the tweaking (that we all like to do).
Food52 February 22, 2011
Thanks for your suggestions -- this is on the list of features we're considering. In the meantime, the recipes' comments sections are typically great indicators of who's tried a recipe and the results they've had. You can also filter any recipe search by "Editors' Picks" which are all tested (for at least the past 9 months or so), either by the community or us.
innoabrd February 21, 2011
The other item on my food52 wish list is better management of my saved recipes. More and more I'm using food 52 as an on-line recipe box in a move to make redundant the piles of printed recipes I seem to accumulate. I'd love to be able to search within my saved recipes, maybe even sort them according to my own criteria?

My dream is that somehow food52 works a deal with the NYTimes so I can save NYTimes recipes to my profile here and consolidate it all...

Oh, and how about a save recipe function on blog entry recipes?

Are you sorry you got me started?
Food52 February 21, 2011
These are both really high on our 'to-fix' list -- you're reading our minds!
innoabrd February 21, 2011
Am I the only one who's having an issue with the font sizes increasing through the page on pickle questions that are questions from recipes? by the time I get to the bottom of the page, I think I'm answering in 72pt type!
betteirene February 21, 2011
Me, too.
Food52 February 21, 2011
Thanks for letting us know -- we looked into this and it appears to be an issue with Internet Explorer. While we work on fixing it, you might want to switch to Firefox or Chrome (both are free to download and, who knows, you might never go back!)
innoabrd February 21, 2011
cool, thanks. I use firefox for some things, IE for others. Food52 is on my IE list!
Food52 February 21, 2011
Okay, we think we've fixed this in Internet Explorer -- please let us know if it's still happening. Thanks!
innoabrd February 22, 2011
fixed for me, thanks!
jenmmcd February 20, 2011
This is great! Thanks so much... I'd like to add one wish list item if ever you have time. I'd love to be able to see my questions under my profile. Sometimes people answer questions after I've looked for responses (I do it all through the Web site) or if I'd like to go back and see if anyone has added an answer I have to do a search or wade through the questions. I'd love a list of my questions under my profile so I can easily access them later to see responses.
Blissful B. February 20, 2011
It would also be nice to be able to see recipe comments under our profiles, as well as pickle Q&A's, and if we're listing all our wishes, I would like that section to be visible to all Food52 members. That way, if we're gone from the website for a while, when we return, we could view our Food52 friends' profile pages, to see what they've been cookin'.
AntoniaJames February 21, 2011
BB, I agree! Though not a foodpickle point per se, it does relate to a feature that I'd so appreciate seeing, which is to see a log, with links, of each cook . . . . within the profile is the right place, of course. It would indicate the type of activity (comment on a recipe / comment on blog post / ask or respond to foodpickle question) with links directly to the action. I would also really like, as someone else has suggested, the ability to turn on and off the flow of notifications when an activity has occurred on an item on which I've previously commented or answered. Between the Ginger Torte and the Caramels alone last fall, I must have received 300 emails. Until more detail is included in the subject line (which would allow more effective filtering on my end), the unmanageable number of messages will remain a real deterrent to commenting, which is not a good thing, for any of us.;o)
Food52 February 21, 2011
Thanks for all your suggestions, everyone. Profile pages will be getting some major upgrades in the near future -- stay tuned!
susan G. February 19, 2011
Also on my wish list, can you get the question page to refresh itself when a new question arrives?
Amanda H. February 20, 2011
That's on our list, too -- and will definitely come in handy when the pace of questions picks up. Thanks!
susan G. February 19, 2011
"Tickle the pickle" t-shirt?
Amanda H. February 20, 2011
Love it.
mcs3000 February 19, 2011
Usually I can find my answer looking through past questions. These improvements are awesome! The magic pickle has saved my bacon many times.
Amanda H. February 20, 2011
Glad you're happy with them. More to come soon!
hardlikearmour February 19, 2011
I agree with mrslarkin and blissfullbaker. It is annoying in the recipe section, and it's nice to have the follow-up in the comments for later on.
Amanda H. February 20, 2011
Please see my response to BlissfulBaker, and let us know your thoughts.
mrslarkin February 19, 2011
I like most of the upgrades, but the one slightly annoying (okay, very annoying) thing for me is how when you're looking at a recipe and you're moving your mouse over the directions, the "ask a question" thingies keep popping up, and the recipe shimmies up and down. I wonder if it's just my monitor? Also, it seems to be worse on 2-part recipes, and I don't see the "ask a question" option on the second part of the 2-part recipes.
betteirene February 19, 2011
I'm so glad you mentioned the "shimmies." It's nice to know that it's not just me. It makes me dizzy.
Amanda H. February 20, 2011
This is something we struggled with because we want people to know that they can ask and get answers for specific steps but we didn't want to add a static and visually intrusive "Ask a question about this step." to every step of every recipe on the site. So we did it on the rollover. The problem is that when those few extra words make the line run over, the text jumps down a line -- thus the shimmies. We haven't thought of a better solution yet. If you have any ideas, send them our way please.
Blissful B. February 19, 2011
Love the tags & the new homepage addition, but don't like the recipe-pickle links. A lot of cooks don't follow foodpickle, but do respond to questions written on their recipes. So, if it's a question for the cook, it often won't get seen. Also, by taking the question away from the recipe itself, that clarification is lost to future cooks who want to try the recipe & would find both the question & answer helpful.
Amanda H. February 20, 2011
The reason we did this is because people do ask questions on in the recipe comments section, and unless someone sees it or the person who wrote the recipe has enabled email notifications for comments on his/her recipes, then the question could go unanswered. And since recipe questions are often time-sensitive, we thought it would help to bring in the real-time help of foodpickle. It does re-direct some of the conversation, but -- and I'm not sure if you noticed this detail yet -- if a question about a recipe is asked on foodpickle, this is noted on the recipe itself. See here: It has the added effect of showing some foodpickle users the recipes we have on the site. I hope our logic makes sense -- and if you can think of a better way to streamline it, please let us know!
Blissful B. February 20, 2011
I didn't know that. That helps a lot!
phyllis February 20, 2011
I think the implementation makes sense. I think questions go unanswered because a user has not enabled email responses and/or the question is buried in the comments, and users miss it.
Blissful B. February 26, 2011
I thought of one more way to connect the recipes & foodpickle questions. Can the cook automatically get an email when someone asks a question about their recipe (in case they don't follow foodpickle)? I've seen that other people can often jump in with the answer on Foodpickle (which is great), but sometimes it's a question only the cook can answer.
Amanda H. February 28, 2011
BlissfulBaker, thanks. We do send the recipe author an email whenever someone asks a foodpickle question about his/her recipe. However, if this feature isn't working for you, please let us know!
mrslarkin February 19, 2011
Magic Pickle t-shirts, please! ;)
Amanda H. February 20, 2011
We're on it. :)
betteirene February 19, 2011
Okay, so you all know how much I go on and on and on. . .Well, believe it or not, I don't comment as much as I'd like to. There are times I'd like to give someone a high five for a great answer, or to banter with a pickle pal, but I don't because I feel like I'm adding to the original poster's inbox clutter--like, it's their dime but I'm spending it. Sometimes, to avoid bothering the OP, I'll send a private high five or a second thought to a pickler by sending a message via their profile page. Would clicking "reply to this" send my comment to the OP's e-mail? Could you make it not go anywhere except the foodpickle page? I know, I know. . .shut up already.
Amanda H. February 20, 2011
Just want to make sure I understand. Sounds like you want to have threaded comments in Foodpickle, like we have on the recipe pages and blog, so you can comment directly to someone else's comment. Is this right? If so, we're definitely working on this. And for email notifications, are you saying you want them disabled or you want them to be more selectively sent? Would love to hear more detailed thoughts on this, so let us know!
Blissful B. February 20, 2011
Amanda, regarding email notifications, a few of us threw out some ideas on the Foodpickle Fan question. In case you haven't seen that thread, here's a link:
phyllis February 18, 2011
Yes, please add the ability to respond to a comment. It always throws me off that I can't but can on recipes. Thanks!! And, thanks so much for the tags!!!
Amanda H. February 20, 2011
Yes, definitely working on this! Will encourage more conversation rather than just answers. Glad you're liking the tags!
drbabs February 18, 2011
Great ideas! I would also love it if you could respond directly to a comment like you can on a recipe.
drbabs February 18, 2011
Like here--where it says "reply to this!"
Amanda H. February 18, 2011
Yes -- we want this, too! It's on the list of upgrades, which we hope to implement soon(ish)!
Midge February 18, 2011
So handy! Thank you pickle crew!
Amanda H. February 20, 2011
Glad you like it!
AntoniaJames February 18, 2011
Excellent new functionality. Bravo!!
Amanda H. February 20, 2011
Thank you -- and more soon!