Twitter Recipes: Meals In 140-Characters Or Less (If You Can Figure Them Out!)

Twitter is a great platform for marketing your business, connecting with people in and out of your field of expertise and educating yourself on a variety of issues. People who love to eat and cook have taken oven a large portion of the Twittersphere and one of the newest trends is reducing a recipe down to 140 characters.

Keep in mind this is very different than this type of tweet with a link to a recipe that gives you usually a page or half of a page of ingredients and directions, often including anywhere from a line to a full paragraph about the recipe itself – the history, recommendations, etc.:

From @ClosetCooking:

“Spicy Pork Bulgogi Banh Mi #recipe #food”

A recipe that’s simply 140 characters looks like this:

“Guinness Stew: Ireland. Brwn2lb chuck/3T oil, 4c onion&rootveg; +T garlc&brsug&flr. Boil all+2c beer&drkstock/bay/½t s+p&thyme. Cvr3h@300°F.”

That’s it. That’s all you get.

So what do you think? If you’re thinking about what to make for dinner tonight, do you want the deets, just short and sweet?

@Maureen Evans seems to think so. Her tiny recipes at @cookbook that serve 3-4 has 97,002 followers and she published a book Eat Tweet, the first Twitter cookbook with 1000 recipes (but isn’t printing them on the page kind of beside the point?).

But there is a brilliance and talent to Maureen’s craft. Similar to SMITH magazine’s Six-Word Memoirs, or crossword puzzles (where else do you use words like “obi”?), it takes a certain train of thought and a lot of creativity to get all of that information across. Some items are easy to decipher such as this one:

“Pita: mix t yeast/c warmh2o. Stir1way+2c whtflr. Cvr30m; +2t salt&oil,c flr. Knead8m. Cvr1½h in bowl. Roll8~8″. 3m@450F on preheatd ironpan.”

But what about this:

“Abruzzo Scrambled Eggs: sauté onion&garlc/3T olvoil; +4peeld,seeded,dice tom/3T basil/t oreg/chili~9m. Stir+8btnegg to set; +¼c pitdolv/s+p.”

What are “pitdolv” and “~9m?”

It turns out you have to go to the complete glossary at to find out. So after scrolling through the list I see the solutions – “pitted olives” and “about 9 mins.”

Well, that didn’t save as much time as you might think. And with all that deciphering you have to do, wouldn’t it just be easier to read a full-on recipe that you can understand?

However, the appeal of this kind of thing is undeniable. With our frenetic, overscheduled lives, reading off our laptops, phones and iPads has become de rigeur. So popping into the kitchen with just a line of text to read from seems just right for the times we live in.

So while there are many foodies that still enjoy sifting through piles of cookbooks, magazines and binders stuffed full of recipes, many are certainly looking to @cookbook for the answers to what to do at mealtime.

And she must be given kudos not just for coming up with the concept, but securing the twitter handle @cookbook before anyone else.

Sheer genius.