Great Maine Food for iPad brings the taste of the Pine Tree State to your kitchen. Though it was created by CulinartMedia for Down East Magazine, a regional publication, the app’s recipes, video tutorials, and menu planning will be relevant for users who have never even set foot in Maine.
There are more than 100 recipes in Great Maine Food, and seafood is definitely the focus. The cooking section devotes an entire category to lobster! The app also includes recipes for main dishes that feature other proteins which are just as integral to Maine’s culinary milieu. A few of the most appealing recipes include: roast pork loin with cracklings, roast wild duck, rack of venison with mustard herb crust, and even mooseburgers.
Users can rely on Great Maine Food to chart out an entire meal. There are enough appetizer, side dish and dessert recipes to plan a multi-course feast from beginning to end. The app even includes a menu planning feature that lets you email guests an invitation to your party directly from the app!
The application has many useful features built into the recipe level. There is a button a user can push that will alter the recipe to fit the number of people he would like to feed. Timers appear throughout the recipe, so one is always available when you need it. A user can add notes, send a recipe to Facebook or via email, as well as add it to his favorites, shopping cart, or menu.
Busy cooks can also create a shopping list from within the recipe. The shopping list feature can be accessed at any time outside the recipe level. Users can add edit the list, including removing items from a recipe that needn’t be purchased. The items are organized by food type, and the shopping list can be emailed.
Great Maine Food includes nine instructional videos that take the guesswork out of cooking (boiling or steaming) and taking apart a lobster, or offer how-tos for creating crabcakes or frying fish. The videos ran seamlessly, and could be watched on the full iPad screen.
For those users who are lucky enough to plan a visit to Maine, the app also includes a massive visitor’s guide which is broken down into four geographic regions — Southern Coast, Greater Portland, Midcoast, and Acadia & Beyond — that don’t just cover places to eat. The guide includes information about events, shopping, inns, cooking schools, and wineries & breweries. Anyone who hasn’t visited Maine will be planning an vacation (at least one of the armchair variety) after reading this section.
What I liked: The photos were gorgeous. The directions were clear. Great Maine Food made steaming and taking apart a lobster seem doable instead of intimidating. The integrated timers were very convenient when cooking a recipe.
What I didn’t like: I searched for flaws, but found nothing but useable information and delicious recipes. The developers knew what users really wanted in a food application, and they put it all in Great Maine Food.
To buy or not to buy: Foodies of all stripes (except, perhaps vegetarians) will want to devour these recipes. Any home cook who loves seafood, but would like tips on prep and cooking these delicious regional dishes will learn from Great Maine Food.
- App Name: Great Maine Food
- Version Reviewed: 1.1
- Category: Lifestyle
- Developer: CulinartMedia, Inc.
- Price: $4.99
Part of PadGadget’s continuing series “Get Cooking with iPad“