I found Paprika today. It’s a recipe app that knows how to read recipes from a lot of websites and import their ingredients/instructions into its database, then ease the process of making shopping lists.

Things I like:

  • It has an iOS share sheet that worked pretty well to import most recipes I threw at it from my Pinboard account and just browsing around. It has a built-in browser with a start page that points to bunches of recipe sites.
  • It can export recipe ingredients into a shopping list, and that can be exported to iOS Reminders. Awesome for getting shopping lists into the same place for everyone in the family (but that's papering over a shortcoming, below)
  • It has a "pantry" list where you can tell it what you have on hand, which it automatically excludes from the shopping list export for a given recipe. I've already been through my spice rack and cooking cupboard, entering the stuff I've found.
  • In the recipe view, the times for things are tappable. Tap a time in the recipe, get an in-app timer. You can rename timers, and you can have more than one timer going at a time. It's a nice feature but Siri or Alexa can replicate the functionality, so mainly useful only for households that will survive the robot apocalypse.

Things I don’t like or don’t understand yet:

  • Instead of using iOS sync, it has its own sync backend. Don't know why that's a benefit.
  • It would be great if you could have "friends" you could find by the email address it harvests anyhow so that recipe databases and pantries, and shopping lists could be auto-synced for a family. Seems like a set of social and practical features waiting to happen.