NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

February 1, 2013

What's cooking with Pinterest?

By Sharon Thompson
Lexington Herald-Leader (MCT)

---- — Unless you have a favorite site, searching blindly for recipes online can be frustrating.

I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to find recipes on the Web is to search on Pinterest. It’s like an index for the largest cookbook ever.

According to business intelligence firm RJMetrics, 10.5 percent of all pin boards on Pinterest are categorized under Food, the website’s fastest ­growing category. It’s also the category that gets the most re-pins, generating on average more than 50 percent re-pins than the second-most re-shared category, Style and Fashion.

“Pinterest has proven to be a fun, useful, and, let’s admit, addictive space for home cooks and foodies,” said CookingLight.com editor Allison Long Lowery. Cooking Light is one of the most popular boards to re-pin.

“We’re excited about the level of engagement it brings to our recipes. As people create beautiful boards of food photography, they are organizing their favorite recipes. We love the idea of people planning their healthy meals from favorite recipe pin boards. And don’t believe what you’ve heard: We know decadent, not-so-healthy recipes find a home on Pinterest, but we see enormous interest for healthy recipes that feature seasonal ingredients.

“The growth of Pinterest is staggering. For Cooking Light in 2012, we saw nearly 750 percent growth in traffic referrals from Pinterest to our site and the numbers continue to trend up,” Lowery said.

Because Pinterest is such a popular place to search for recipes, we decided to ask for help from some local pinners.

Hope Arnold of Georgetown, Ky., is on Pinterest almost daily, she said.

“Every night before I go to sleep I spend about 15 to 20 minutes on the iPad checking email and on Pinterest.”

From what she finds there, Arnold prepares about one new recipe a month.

“I mostly pin things for parties and holiday-themed treats for school,” she said. “I am more likely to pin a recipe and adapt it to something that I can pull out of the pantry. I am terrible about remembering ingredients at the market that are not on the usual weekly to-buy list.”

Toa Green, chef/owner of Thai Orchid Café in Lexington, Ky., said she pins recipes “as a way to keep up with dishes I want to try and make. It’s a fun way to get ideas for recipes or new dishes.”

Carolyn Gilles of Lexington, chef/instructor at The Wholesome Chef, said she likes Pinterest for recipes because it’s so visual.

“I like to get inspired by what a dish may look like, colors or even just presentation ideas,” she said. “I don’t follow anyone in particular, but I usually like to search by foods that are in season and find recipes based around locally available foods.”