Why is the search function not narrowing down my options? 300+ recipes show for "oatmeal cookie" with the filter "contest winners." Too much!

The limited number of hits I get when searching on this site is something I have always appreciated about Food52. Wading through 300+ recipes WITH the contest winner filter for a simple cookie recipe is information overload. Is this being fixed? I want to be able to keep using the site with ease and simplicity, as you have always been so good at!



gabsimonelouise June 28, 2018
Hi Jim,

How are the search function updates going? I understand they could take a long time, coding is hard! Just wanted to check back in because I find myself using Food52 less and less to search for recipes, and I miss it. But it just doesn't make sense to me that adding more words to my search increases the hits, rather than narrows them. Latest example: I remembered a salmon & lentil salad that I saw once on here so I searched "salmon lentil." Not seeing the salad on the first page even when filtering with "community picks," I searched "salmon lentil salad." This quadrupled the hits! No way am I wading through all that. I can't be the only one who is frustrated with this I hope... Thanks for listening! :)

Nancy May 22, 2018
While you wait for changes, there's an old trick...use your regular search engine to narrow a search for a food52 recipe. Just enter the factors you want (and/or don't want in a recipe) and see what you get.
gabsimonelouise May 21, 2018
Awesome, thanks Jim! Yes, I noticed it was giving me all recipes with the word "oatmeal" or "cookie" in any part of the whole recipe. That is cool you are working on new search technology for the site, looking forward to the update :)
Jim B. May 21, 2018
Hey gabsimonelouise!

This is an excellent question!

We are in the process of rolling out new search technology on Food52.com. This issue that you bring up specifically gets to the heart of how search should work in general.

For example, if you search for "oatmeal cookie" with no filters you get results that are dominated with oatmeal cookie results, but there are a lot of them. Naturally you try to limit the number of results so you decide you only want oatmeal cookies that have won a contest.

Here is where it gets tricky. Oatmeal cookies have never won a contest, so our search starts looking for recipes that are contest winners that have oatmeal or cookies as part of the recipe.

You sparked a fun debate with the Engineering team over this one. Like I said above, we're working on search so thank you for your feedback.

Most importantly, my personal favorite is https://food52.com/recipes/55184-oatmeal-raisin-cookies.

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