Yummly Gets Spicy with Semantics

A new article reports, “Semantic recipe search engine Yummly is tuning its search features to include a new way to search specifically for recipes that are ‘spicy’ just as it’s hitting a major milestone. After coming out of beta in June 2010, the company says it’s now doing half the unique visitors of Epicurious.com, the popular search engine for Bon Appetit, Gourmet and Self magazine recipes. In July, year-old Yummly reached 2 million unique visitors in a month for the first time, the company is set to announce Wednesday.”

The article adds, “It’s a relatively minor update, but adding spiciness–and how exactly they go about allowing users to find something on a sliding scale of spicy–is an example of what the secret sauce behind Yummly does to differentiate itself from a regular recipe search. And it’s another example of how data and food are mixing very well together online, or as my colleague Stacey Higginbotham put it recently, ‘making food fit for the web.’”

It goes on, “For the data to compare spiciness, Yummly went to the classic rubric for spice, the Scoville scale, which ranks the heat of peppers from bell peppers on up to those even hotter than habanero chilies. Yummly uses that data to rank recipes based on the spicy ingredients as well as add more information not included in that scale, such as mustard, wasabi and horseradish.”

Read more here.

Image: Courtesy Yummly