Well, I know that it also means the thing we want it to mean. But honestly, when a cook takes a look at it, what's the first thing that comes to mind? For me, it's clearly, "which ingredients should I select for my recipe?". And this is very misleading, as this type of question is off topic.

To stop confusing our users, I suggest to use another name for the tag, one which is unique to the meaning we want to use it for. As a reminder (and I really needed that reminder, because I wondered if we shouldn't simply remove the tag), the tag wiki describes the intended usage.

  • I'm glad to see this discussion. I almost used the tag on a question about which cream to use, cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/65322..., but a close read of the wiki made me think it wouldn't have been appropriate. Sorry I don't have anything better to suggest, I just appreciate that you all are trying to bring some clarity to this. Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 16:53
  • "Questions about the identification and evaluation of specific ingredients." Even the tag wiki leaves me confused, so I'm not certain what this tag is supposed to describe. Perhaps an appropriate usage example would be helpful?
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 20:33

3 Answers 3


I thought I might fly the idea here of removing this tag entirely and allowing the specific tag for the food item to do the work.

For example, the question "How do you tell when a melon is ripe?" could be simply tagged . Should the question be specific to a type of melon, like watermelon, the general tag should still suffice.

Similarly, a question like "How do I pick a good lobster at the market?" could be tagged .

The question to me is, is it necessary to ask the entire question using tags? Having a question tagged both and (or whatever substitute we come up with) really makes the rest of the question unnecessary, as these questions are generally quite simple.

It's difficult to know what search terms someone will use when here, but it would make sense that someone trying to ask a question about melon ripeness will use melon as a search term (assuming they search at all)... and since we can't seem to find a good term that's self explanatory, it seems unlikely that someone searching for "ripeness" will come up with or any other potential option we think up here.

I suppose that if we wanted to limit this to produce, we could simply use the existing tag or change it to but this removes the possibility of wider use for products that either don't ripen or that you don't want to have ripen.

  • 1
    The kinds of searches that people would use tags like this for are not so much "I have a problem and this will help me find a question with the answer" but rather "how do I find more questions like this one to answer".
    – Cascabel Mod
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 22:47
  • @Jefromi a fair point... and partly why I mentioned the ripe tag. It's certainly a more obvious tag choice as being something people would both search, and a more direct link as it connects all produce, excluding items like fish, which they may not be interested in.
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 22:48
  • In fact, there are only three questions (all pre-2012) that share both "ripe" and "ingredient-selection"... while most of the "ripe" questions look like they'd be fine for the current definition of "ingredient-selection"... so they are overlapping and I'd argue that "ripe" is better understood.
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 22:50
  • Yeah, ripeness has some appeal, though I agree that limiting it to just produce is unfortunate, as is limiting it to just ripeness (and not freshness).
    – Cascabel Mod
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 22:51

I had proposed in chat which seems to garner some approval. It limits the tag to two words and gives a better idea what the tag is used for.


The best proposal I came up with after a short thought was . It is unwieldy, but it does say what the tag means, and as far as I can tell, its purpose can't be mistaken.

But I'm looking forward to other suggestions as well!

  • How would this apply to questions like this? Or would you argue that it's tagged incorrectly?
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 20:34
  • @catija Yes, that's an incorrect tag, at least according to the tag description. In principle, we could choose a different meaning of the tag, but I don't think it's a particularly good fit for this one question, we should be able to come up with a better one.
    – rumtscho Mod
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 21:04

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .