Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Food and drink/Tools/guidelines

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Hybrid cuisines[edit]

Hybrid cuisines are the result of two ethnic cuisines coming together to form a fusion. The problem is that there are several formats in use in the naming of articles about these cuisines.

The questions about this issue are:

Q1. How should we format these? X is the original cuisine and Y is the mixture.

A. "X Y cuisine" e.g. Italian American cuisine
B. "Y X cusine" e.g. American Chinese cuisine

Q2. Should they be hyphenated?

  • Comment - The question is whether the first word is a modifier of the second (as in "American Chinese"), or whether the first two words hyphenated represents a combined culture (such as "Italian-American"). I'm not sure there can be a hard and fast rule for hyphenation in these cases; it's probably best to use the actual term in widest use in published sources. Badagnani (talk) 04:40, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment - It's best to go with the actual terms in wide use rather than attempting to impose a rule on all articles that will trump actual terms in wide use. "American Chinese cuisine" is not "Chinese American cuisine" in that it's food enjoyed by Chinese Americans; it's food that was adapted to American tastes by Chinese immigrants. That's different from Italian-American cuisine. Badagnani (talk) 05:17, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Reply - actually, Italian American cuisine is Italian cuisine that was adapted to American tastes, per the article. --Jeremy ( Blah blah...) 06:50, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment - Italian Americans eat their own cuisine, but Chinese Americans typically prepare food other than American Chinese cuisine for themselves, using more authentic ingredients. The situations are quite different. Badagnani (talk) 06:56, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment - This seems like an obvious thing to me, but probably because I study cuisines for my graduate work, but Italian American and Chinese American are appropriate as you are designating a culture within a culture. The signifier of the cuisine is the outside culture, not the culture they are within as the cuisine is in essence still "foreign" based with adaptation to the new country, America in this instance. I am not in favor of the hyphen, it is not grammatically correct. There needs to be a constant in these articles because what would happen if I wanted to write an article about American (cough cough) cuisine in China, there in lies the issue, one has to come before the other in all cases, not in what we "feel" is best in each case, that is not encyclopedic.--Chef Tanner (talk) 20:14, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure, although it does exist, whether there's a widely used term for American cuisine as prepared in China. It might be best to entitle such an article American cuisine in China. Regarding the hyphen, sometimes it's correct, sometimes not, depending on whom one asks. Badagnani (talk) 20:23, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Although I deplore what American cuisine has become, in China it is exemplified by McDonald's, KFC and the sort and the dishes have been changed for the Chinese pallet, other American dishes have made their way into the common cuisine as well. I don't understand why we would make one exception for a cuisine, it just doesn't make any sense, you need to use a unilateral approach to writing an encyclopedia, so that when anyone wants to look up a certain article, they know how to search for it. If you start making exceptions for certain "cuisines" just because you "believe" them to be different than others introduced into a culture, than you just serve to confuse readers. I will admit that in either direction we end up in a slippery slope because there will always be exceptions to the rule, but we should work on getting one central area of consensus.--Chef Tanner (talk) 21:50, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
As mentioned above, for names of cuisines our standard is to use the most widespread and widely used English-language term for that particular cuisine. Badagnani (talk) 21:58, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
There is no standard as it stands today, that is why we have the issue brought forth here. We are here to decide the proper format and once decided we will submit the standards to WP. If approved then the next course of action would be to implement the standard across WP as a whole. --Jeremy ( Blah blah...) 22:04, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
There isn't necessarily a single standard form for all articles; it's best to use the actual name for each cuisine in wide use, in the English language. Badagnani (talk) 22:13, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Proposal -

"X Y" format, where "X" is the original cuisine is followed by the modifier "Y" to be the standard name for hybrid cuisine article naming.

Reasons -

I believe that this there is precedent for the "X Y" format. Wikipedia examples include:

In each of these cases the original cuisine is first followed by the modifier; the other such types of articles, American Chinese cuisine and Canadian Chinese cuisine are the only two articles utilizing the "Y X" format, since they appear to be created by the same contributor. Additionally, according to research done by Chris, most industry trade publications, scholarly journals and the popular media all utilize the "X Y" format as well; accordingly, and as pointed out by Badagnani, the WP:Common name guidelines and standards would point us to the more commonly used format, again "X Y".

--Jeremy ( Blah blah...) 21:18, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Comment - This seems well reasoned, with the exception of cuisines like American Chinese cuisine which aren't so much as a mixture of cuisines but a cuisine tailored by one culture for the consumption of another. But for most others, the above seems quite logical. Badagnani (talk) 21:17, 22 August 2008 (UTC)


Specific, detailed, individual and fixed recipes of the type that list ingredients and give precise instructions are discouraged as per: Wikipedia:NOT#Wikipedia_is_not_a_manual.2C_guidebook.2C_or_textbook. However, there could (should?) be a general prose description of the ingredients and production methods that define a product, giving variations and alternatives. The section in which this information is kept could be named Production. I think we already follow this method, however it would be good to get consensus in writing. SilkTork *YES! 09:59, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

That is what I have done on a couple of articles, specifically the Chocolate chip cookie article. I looked at several of my wife's cookbooks and came up with a set of ingredients in common, described the mixing process using the proper cooking terms which were wikilinked and added general cooking guidelines. What should we do to codify that? --Jeremy ( Blah blah...) 16:53, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Draw up a generic article structure guideline - rather like: Wikipedia:WikiProject UK geography/How to write about settlements and Wikipedia:WikiProject Films/Style guidelines. Set up the main sections that might appear in a food / drink article with a guideline on what should appear in that section and how it should be presented. Lead section, History section, Production section, Reference section - including external links, etc. In the Production section the comments could be as above: "Production - A general prose description of the ingredients and production methods that define a product, giving variations and alternatives. Specific, detailed, individual and fixed recipes of the type that list ingredients and give precise instructions are discouraged as per: Wikipedia:NOT#Wikipedia_is_not_a_manual.2C_guidebook.2C_or_textbook." SilkTork *YES! 21:58, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Chocolate chip cookie looks quite good, but the same template may not always be best for every article, as each article will lend itself to focusing on particular aspects. Badagnani (talk) 22:08, 20 August 2008 (UTC)


This is a proposal for recipe structure derived from the WP Mixed Drinks and the chocolate chip cookie article.

The general format for a recipe should include the following:

  1. A list of common ingredients. Examples
    1. Cheeses - milk source
    2. Yeast breads, alcoholic beverages and vinegars - type of fruit/grain/vgetable and yeast strains used
  2. A brief mention of the methods used to properly mix the product, include instruments used.
  3. A brief mention of the methods used to prepare the product. Examples:
    1. Cooking method, e.g. bake, broil, saute or frying
    2. Alcoholic beverages and vinegars - fermenting method, vessel type, distillation and brewing requirements
    3. Aging time and conditions
  4. Include a list of common recipe variants, include the basics only.
  5. A description of the finished product.


  1. Per WP:not, the recipe should not contain specific, detailed quantitative lists of ingredients nor give precise instructions for preparation.
  2. Wikilink specific terminology described, e.g. sauteing, creaming (food) or sweating (cooking)
  3. Check all links to avoid disambiguation pages that require the reader to guess at your intended meaning.
  4. Insure that proper terminology is used, e.g. sauteing instead of pan frying when referring to cooking since the term frying has several cooking related definitions and is ambiguous.

I think this is a pretty good outline. --Jeremy ( Blah blah...) 23:38, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Proposal comments -

Please do not change the proposal, instead make suggestions here that can be incorporated if consensus for inclusion is reached.

You've worked on that and given it some thought. Perhaps too much thought Jeremy, because the proposal has shifted beyond a general guideline and is now too detailed and prescriptive.

Guidelines normally guide people as to the sort of information to contain, and a generally accepted method of presenting that information - a method which follows already established consensus. The less instructions, and the less prescription, and the more a guideline follows existing guidelines and consensus the better.

What an editor requires is some guidance on where to place some material in an article, what sort of material is generally considered acceptable, and an idea of what format is generally acceptable. However, editors do work differently and the needs of individual articles vary. Even within topics, like Film, where there is a strong Project and a set of widely respected guidelines, film articles get to Featured status using a variety of methods - and that's fine.

Allow fellow editors some respect and some autonomy and some movement to develop an article in the most appropriate way. Give some guidance - but don't give people a lengthly and complex set of rules to follow, which is likely to take away motivation and interest.

Lists are generally disapproved of within articles. A "brief" mention may be inappropriate for food stuffs which require complex production methods (Lambic for example).

My suggestion is to use my original suggestion:

"Production section. A general prose description of the ingredients and production methods that define a product, giving variations and alternatives. Specific, detailed, individual and fixed recipes of the type that list ingredients and give precise instructions are discouraged as per: Wikipedia:NOT#Wikipedia_is_not_a_manual.2C_guidebook.2C_or_textbook."

It gives guidance without restriction, and points out a methodology that is discouraged, while allowing the editors working on that article to make a decision to use a recipe format if they feel it is the most appropriate, but to be prepared to explain themselves if challenged. SilkTork *YES! 18:41, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Web-based Recipes[edit]

Given the preference to exclude recipes from food articles, could the project adopt a convention of including at least one and preferably more references to recipes, preferably web-based references? The omission of such references seems glaring. StevenHB (talk) 15:14, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

External Links to Recipes and Copyright
What are the rules regarding external links to recipes?
I'd like to link articles to recipes on websites, but I'm unclear as to when this might be regarded as copyright infringement.--NinetyNineFennelSeeds (talk) 14:58, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
A link to a recipe on a website is not a copyright infringement. Copying copyrighted material to the Wikipedia article would be. Fred Talk 14:24, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Commercial examples[edit]

In Beer we have a particular issue with commercial examples of types/styles of beer. Once there is a section of examples in an article the tendency is for readers to add their own particular favourite. The list can then grow and grow and needs to be trimmed - and debates can then arise as to which examples should be used. My feeling is that we should not have sections of examples, but that notable commercial examples should be named in a prose description of the product as appropriate, and a reliable source cited which has named the commercial example when writing about that food or drink item. SilkTork *YES! 10:10, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Beers of the world naming[edit]

(This discussion has been copied from the Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Beer page. It was moved by Jeremy ( Blah blah...) on 18:13, 24 August 2008 (UTC).)

I'm currently doing some work tidying up the Beers of the World articles which are linked via the {{Beers of the world}} template. I'm adding an Economy section to each article using as a reference source, and creating new articles, such as Philippines beer where needed and appropriate. I renamed Thai beer as it should have been Thailand beer - but in doing so I renamed it Beer in Thailand. I then realised that all the articles should be renamed "Beer in Foo" as that is the naming convention. Either "Beer in Foo" or "Beer of Foo" or "Beer from Foo". As our cats are already "Beer and breweries in Foo" it seems logical to rename the lead articles "Beer in Foo". If there's no objection to this in the next 7 days I'll make the changes. SilkTork *YES! 22:26, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

I would favor the Fooish/Fooian beer name because it follows the format that the Foodies use in naming national cuisine articles, which this is clearly a subset of. --Jeremy ( Blah blah...) 22:57, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
There's a discussion of the naming of cuisine articles going on at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (cuisines). The two are related, but I'm not sure they should both conform to the same naming conventions. It might actually make more sense naming beer articles "beer of XXX", but it creates a lot more problems when it comes to cuisines.
Peter Isotalo 14:16, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Flavours / Flavors[edit]

Including a description of the flavour of a product is useful though problematic as flavour is (to coin a pun) a matter of taste. It can be subjective, and it might be appropriate to have a discussion on how to include descriptions of flavour in an article - or, indeed, if flavour should be included at all. SilkTork *YES!


This essay is transcluded from its original location here

"Original", "traditional", "authentic", and other distracting terminology[edit]

There are a few recipes which can safely be said to have "original" versions. These are mostly the ones that were invented at a precise time and place by a precise person or in a precise restaurant. Oh, yes, and where there is accurate contemporary documentation (no secret ingredients or techniques). There are not many recipes like this outside of haute cuisine. Caesar salad might qualify except that the recipe was only recorded years after it was created, so it is possible it had changed by then.

Most recipes are like folktales, which have many variants, some of which have become canonical because they were collected and published (e.g. by the Grimm brothers). But even there, there may be more than one "canonical" version (in, say, French and English or for that matter in two different editions of Grimm). And funnily enough, some folktales' "original" version turns out not to have been a folktale at all, but a literary creation which later become popular in a popular form.

Most recipes change over time, and change depending on the region, the cook, the cook's whims, the cook's budget, the eater's tastes, and what is available in the market. Some change radically. The oldest known version of profiterole, for example, seems to have been some sort of baked dumpling served in soup. The economics and technology of food changes over time, too. Vegetable oil as we know it (corn oil, rapeseed (canola) oil, etc. – olive oil is in a different category...) has replaced animal fat (lard, sheep fat, and cooking butter) and sesame oil in many areas around the Mediterranean only in the past century, partly because technology has made it much cheaper, partly because more recently the animal fats have become considered unhealthy. Recipes change along with the economics. And with taste – American recipes became far far sweeter between 1880 and 1960.

In most cases, the history of foods is poorly documented. Until one knows the detailed history, it is unsafe to make inferences like "cream is not a typical Roman ingredient, therefore carbonara cannot/should not/does not contain cream". Perhaps it was invented in some aristocratic household which loved French cuisine and always had cream on hand. Perhaps it actually originally comes from a region where cream is typical, but it has been forgotten in that region and become popular in Rome. There are also sorts of nice stories one can invent from 'common sense' about foods (e.g. that pesto alla genovese was invented to preserve basil for sea voyages) but for which there is no good evidence (ships' manifests are actually quite detailed about the foods they bring on board, and pesto isn't mentioned).

It is also unsafe to assume that just because something is well known in a given region, and considered by the inhabitants of that region and promoted by the local tourist board as a traditional regional specialty, that it comes from a tradition lost in the mists of time. "Everyone knows" that baguettes are "traditionally Parisian", but they were invented in the late 19th century. In the case of carbonara, actually, all the sources seem to agree that it is not a "traditional" recipe, but a rather recent one, so why is anyone talking about "tradition" at all?

And the recipes passed down by our parents and grandparents are not necessarily any more "authentic" or "traditional" than any others. (Not to mention that they are original research and have no standing as reliable sources.) A few years ago, a Francophone Belgian radio station asked its readers to submit their favorite regional recipes from their family traditions, which were to be collected into a cookbook of authentic regional tradition. But many of the recipes turned out to be identical: copied verbatim from some long-ago magazine article or cookbook. (In the US, they may have been copied from the back of the cornflakes box, but let's not get into that....)

True, there are food academies and food writers who codify particular recipes, and chefs who make one version or another of a dish famous, but that does not make the codified versions more "authentic", more "original", or more "traditional". In fact, their innovations often change a dish radically: what we think of today as "traditional moussaka" was actually invented by a French-trained chef in the 1920s.[1]

Instead of trying to establish what the most "authentic", most "original", or most "traditional" version of various recipes is, let's try to follow Wikipedia's wise neutral point of view policy, which asks us to report on all reputable positions. If the Academy of Roman Gastronomy forbids the use of cream in carbonara, report it. If the oldest known recipe uses garlic (whether it is common nowadays or not), report it. If 5 out of 15 Italian cookbooks with good reputations use cream, report that cream is used by some Italian cooks, and shunned by others (especially if you can find the suitable horrified language). If most American versions use Wisconsin cheddar (I say "yuck!", but that is a Talk page comment...), report on it. And so on.

So let's just avoid the words "authentic", "original", "traditional", etc. and stick to reporting things that we can actually determine from good sources. --Macrakis (talk) 05:15, 13 February 2008 (UTC)


  1. ^ Aglaia Kremezi, "'Classic' Greek Cuisine: Not So Classic", The Atlantic, Sunday, July 13, 2010 full text


Would you consider adding some advice about how WP:N might be interpreted with respect to individual foods/recipes? I'm thinking of something similar to the restaurant notability guideline, that gives a sort of quick reference guide to the usual interpretation of WP:CORP.

For example, cake is obviously notable, as a major kind of food with dozens, if not hundreds, of books, magazine articles, and scholarly papers written about cake, its history, its nutrition, its prevalence in different places, its role in cultural events, and so forth. (I'm obviously not counting cookbooks.) Sachertorte, a specific type of cake, is probably also notable, as it is a well-described dessert, the history has been written about, and so forth.

My grandmother's favorite cake recipe, however, despite appearing in dozens of cookbooks, is probably not notable, because the sum total of the information known about that particular cake is the recipe itself, the occasional introductory comment at the top of the recipe ("very moist"), and the nutrition stats. It would be easy enough to find several "reliable sources" (cookbooks) that tell you that it exists, and what the ingredients are, which some people might interpret as proof of notability, but you simply can't write a real article based on the recipe alone.

What do you think? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:42, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

More categories of information[edit]

Could we have some guidelines on medical information in food articles, please? There has been discussion of problems with it at WP:WikiProject Medicine. Just referring to WP:Medrefs and the "medical citation needed" template would be good.

Separately, I've seen a couple of disputes about information on the economics of the production of specific foodstuffs, specifically subsidies and trade rules. Could you provide guidance on where such information belongs? HLHJ (talk) 06:14, 5 December 2017 (UTC)