The first thing all of my friends would tell you about me is that I’m pseudo-addicted to my iPhone. My better half refers to the gadget as my other boyfriend; in which order he and the device are placed I am yet to figure out. Whether I’m checking my email, tweeting or reading the news, I will always find a reason to play with it.
But one of the more surprising and perhaps most purposeful tools I have found for my iPhone is its usefulness in the kitchen and in the grocery store. There are an unbelievable array of food-related apps on the market, enabling me to plan dinner, make restaurant reservations, research menus for my diet-conscious friends, create a grocery list and even expand my enviro-conscious.
Having downloaded and deleted many, many applications, I thought I would share my favorites so you don’t have to waste your bandwidth. Check out the best after the jump.
The grocery lists I create are awful scraps of paper. If I am working from a menu I go dish by dish, so if there is avocado in one dish and avocado in a second dish I have avocados listed at two different locations on my scrap of paper. Do you know what this means? It means I walk over to the avocado section twice. Well, not any more. Grocery IQ helps you create your grocery list. It has predictive text input for over 130,000 grocery items, and if you add avocados twice, it translates that to “two avocados” at the top of your list; instead of one at the top and one at the bottom. Revolutionary! You can save your grocery list or just email it to whoever you’ve conned into doing your shopping for you. (0.99)
Despite what readers of the Huffington Post seem to think, DC has an amazing selection of locally grown produce. OK, perhaps not in the city itself but within the region. How do I know this? Locavore lets me know, that’s how. Locavore is a a great app that will tell you what is local to your region, what seasonal produce is currently in, and even where to buy it. So, for example, currently in the DC metro region we’ve got ripe honey, broccoli, watermelons, potatoes, peaches…the list goes on. So readers, wherever you are, next time someone questions your local produce, whip out your phone and put them straight. ($3.99)
Whole Foods Recipe
One of the most exciting things about the Whole Foods Recipe app is the On Hand function, enabling you to enter in ingredients which will then result in a list of recipes containing said ingredients. The downside to this feature is that you are limited to three ingredients, and no guarantees that you’ll have all the items in your kitchen. For instance, I entered in a simple scenario: spaghetti, cheese and tomato. The app gave me three recipes, two of which contained meat. I appreciate that most people might have garlic, dried oregano and an onion lying around, but beef! If I wanted a beef dish I knew I could have made spaghetti bolognese to begin with. Perhaps a larger database of recipes and an improved On Hand feature will give you a winning app here. The app is free so I shouldn’t complain. It’s worth downloading for the WF locator alone. (free)
You knew I couldn’t go a whole post without mentioning alcohol, right? So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I have a wine app on my phone. I’ve tried a few over the months and found Drync Wine to be the most fun. I’ve always wanted to keep a scrap book of the wines I enjoy but never had the patience to carry our such a project — who needs to steam off wine labels and glue them into a scrap book? So 20th century. This all changed once I downloaded Drync. I now have an inventory of my favorite wines, as well as notes on those to avoid. The app enables you to locate a specific wine and store the bottle in your virtual wine cellar, where one can hold it in the I Drank, I Own or I Want departments. Once the bottle is stored there are options to fill in the blanks, such as the price and your personal rating. You can even take a photo of the label and store it in your cellar. I haven’t felt the need to purchase the pro version as the free version satisfies my needs. (free/$4.99)