Long ago, we decided that recipe requests were considered off topic as they are not objective, do not promote "expert" answers, and are highly susceptible to "me too" answers. However, there is a class of question "How do I use [Ingredient]?" that isn't necessarily a recipe request. This falls under the culinary uses tag and the site position was outlined by Sam Holder.
The obvious issue is that these questions can be recipe requests in, sometimes rather thin, disguise: What can I do with a Chicken? What can I do with Onions?
We've seen quite a lot of these questions recently. Some of them are ok and some of them are clearly not. How do we as a community judge when these questions are on/off topic? I'm having a hard time coming up with any real metric to determine if the question is ok or not.
Some of the recent questions we've been seeing:
- What can I add to Frozen Peas for more flavor? (open)
- What are alternate uses for leftover buttermilk? (just closed)
- What are some savory banana applications? (closed)
- What to do with day-old cooked rice? (closed)
Some questions that were deemed on-topic (per Sam's original post):
- Things which normally would be considered waste. Questions about stale bread and apple peel are existing examples of this.
- Things which are not usually associated with cooking but are edible. Questions about hops and lavender are existing examples of this.
- Things which have a specific (or few) widely recognised uses which may have other uncommon uses. The question about cornstarch is an existing example of this.
- Things which are extremely rare. This is obviously the most subjective, but we could consider things which are not available in a supermarket as the yardstick. This is not perfect, and any other suggestions are welcome. A question about sumac is an existing example of this.