Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Mela Is a New Cooking App From the Creator of Reeder

John Voorhees, MacStories:

Silvio Rizzi, the developer of RSS client Reeder, has released a brand new recipe and cooking app called Mela for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, which has immediately become my favorite apps for planning and preparing meals. For me, the two essential aspects of an app like this are how it handles adding new recipes and whether it is easy to use while you’re cooking. Mela excels at both.

I have been using Mela for a few days and I could not agree more with Voorhees: it is fantastic. Recipes are laid out beautifully — including in print — there are several ways to import new recipes, and the cooking mode is simply excellent.

Because it is related to Reeder, it also has a feed reader built in. It will intelligently show only the posts that contain recipes. It is very clever, but it also reveals that many popular food websites do not have RSS feeds. For example, Serious Eats used to have one, but it was removed after the site’s redesign. According to a May tweet from Daniel Gritzer, its deactivation was only temporary, but it has not returned since.

Many food websites run on Squarespace. Even if they do not surface an RSS feed, you can try to URL hack your way into getting one by appending ?format=rss to the address. This does not always work. If you run a food blog on any platform and happen to be reading this, please make sure that you enable an RSS feed on your website. It is often something the CMS will generate for you, and it means that great apps like Mela will get even more useful.