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November 11, 2006 07:40 PM

Broken: Food Network Search

FoodnetworkThe Food Network website has to deliver one thing, above all others: a decent recipe search engine. But the search engine is broken.

I searched for "chicken parmesan" and got...

- Penne with Sweet Potatoes and Fennel
- Minestrone with Crisp Parmesan Crumbs
- Grilled Polenta with Morel Vinaigrette
- Savory Spinach and Artichoke Stuffing
- Roasted Polenta with Garden Vegetables
- Butternut Squash with Thyme and Parmesan

... and the results page offered over a dozen more unrelated options before finally showing, at the very bottom of the page, chicken parmesan. (Spelling it "chicken parmigiano" was much the same, taking 15 results to get to an appropriate recipe.)

If I search for chicken parmesan, I'm pretty sure I don't want penne with sweet potatoes and fennel! Food Network should fix its search engine.

Finally, is it just me, or is it kind of gross to search for a recipe and see "New Excema Breakthrough" just beside the listings?

P.S. Of course, this isn't as bad as the New York Times' broken search results.



Yet another broken search engine.

Posted by: Serpent_Guard at November 11, 2006 09:32 PM

Search engines need to get smarter about when to use AND boolean operators and OR bools.

For a recipe, if I type Chicken Parmesan, I want a recipe of that name, or at least a recipe that contains 'Chicken' AND 'Parmesan'. Instead, it shows recipes containing both 'Chicken' OR 'Parmesan'

There should be a separate ingredient recipe search for when I want to find recipes containing a certain ingredient.

Posted by: claudius753 at November 11, 2006 10:50 PM

Broken. And Netflix is the same way. So many times I've plugged in the exact title of a film only to be shown 20 seemily unrelated results.

Posted by: Manda at November 12, 2006 08:45 AM

This is just Food Network's subtle way of saying, "Parmesan? With cheese? All those trans-fats? Wouldn't you really rather have some Penne, Sweet Potatoes, and Fennel... or maybe some nice, healthy Grilled Polenta?"

Posted by: henrybowmanaz at November 14, 2006 11:45 PM

I think Food Network's search engine is very good. Check out their search tips page here:

Personally I'm glad the search is geared toward ingredients rather than recipe titles. I imagine that is how most people use the site, to find recipes based on an ingredient they have or want to use. To search for a title, all you have to do is surround the title with quotes. "Chicken Parmesan"

Posted by: Fred Zeppelin at November 15, 2006 04:20 PM

I got five solid results for chicken parmigiana

Posted by: waxy at November 15, 2006 06:47 PM

The search engine is pretty smart about using boolean search terms that is why if you want the two words together you should put them in parantheses.

Posted by: queenofdbooks at November 29, 2006 11:23 AM

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