This post is to collect tags which are controversial. Please comment, or start an answer for specific entries.

If you like the tag, vote it up. If you don't like the tag, vote it down.

  • Would it be better to list each one of these as a separate answer? – Ocaasi Aug 2 '10 at 21:15
  • Yes, it would – hobodave Aug 2 '10 at 21:34


for physics, biology, or chemistry of food

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  • +1. Food science is its own field of study, and there are likely to be experts or at least people knowledgeable about that field. – Aaronut Aug 3 '10 at 2:13


for posts looking for easier ways to do things

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  • I agree with the idea, but I think it might be seen as having a negative connotation. Perhaps we could use [convenience] instead, or some derivative. – Aaronut Aug 3 '10 at 2:25


for cooking/serving ideas and suggestions, pairings

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for questions about the difference between two ingredients, techniques, etc.

note: if you prefer this tag in a specific formulation (i.e. comparison-technique, food-comparison, cuisine-comparison), leave a comment or add it as a new answer.

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for clarification of terms or ingredients

note: [comparisons] is also commonly used but may not be an exact duplicate, since it could involve comparisons of technique or something else. That might support using the broader [comparisons] and ditching [food-differences], instead of having both.

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  • [comparisons] wasn't "commonly used" until you edited it into all of those posts. That sentence is more than a little misleading. – Aaronut Aug 3 '10 at 1:52
  • The comparisons tag is commonly in use, by me or others. It's irrelevant who added it, only whether it's a good tag. I don't assume my edits aren't part of the data. The purpose of the note was simply to anticipate a consolidation of the two . If you like the tag, vote it up. If not, vote it down. – Ocaasi Aug 3 '10 at 2:09
  • Anyway, I'm against both tags, because by themselves they don't impart any information about the topic, they just hint at how the question will be worded (which is easily inferred from the title). – Aaronut Aug 3 '10 at 2:32
  • That 'hint' is a sign that the tag is useful. Because any question with the tag will be hinting about the same thing: a confusion/ambiguity between ingredients (or in the broader case of comparisons, between techniques). This is useful for readers, and for generalist answerers. Again, I'm not suggesting we have hundreds of "meta-tags like this, only several, if they group a common type of question. We have many questions of this distinct type, and I'd like them to be linked. – Ocaasi Aug 3 '10 at 20:08


for posts about solving a specific or persistent problem

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  • -1. This tag is both too specific and too vague. Too specific, in that it excludes very similar non-"problem" question (let's call it recipe "tweaking"), and too vague in that it doesn't seem to target any specific audience (no cook specializes in "recipe problems" nor is anyone going to be interested in reading about everybody else's random issues IMO). It describes what the question is, not what the question is about, and the latter is what tags are for. – Aaronut Aug 3 '10 at 2:19
  • Not surprisingly, this is one of my favorite tags. Lots of questions are about ingredients, techniques, cuisines, etc. but a unique subset is about how to fix a problem that frequently occurs. I think this is one of the most interesting aspects of the entire site, indeed of any knowledge domain. It's the difference between the troubleshooting pamphlet and reading the entire manual. People may not "specialize" in problems, but that doesn't mean they're not a useful/interesting category. I want it on this site as both a "generalist"-answerer and a broadly curious reader. – Ocaasi Aug 3 '10 at 2:33
  • As for tweaking, I was considering [recipe-fixes] as an alternative to recipe-problems, possibly worth merging after the vote. – Ocaasi Aug 3 '10 at 2:33
  • I don't buy your analogy. The site is not the "entire manual" because most people either ask their own questions or find questions via the search. I think you are significantly overestimating the number of people who consider this interesting or useful enough to follow; it's more likely to get used because it's an easy catch-all tag for people to use when a person asking a question can't figure out what other tags to use - but tags are supposed to be for the benefit of those answering, not asking. – Aaronut Aug 3 '10 at 2:45
  • While I disagree with your premise about the limited purpose of tagging, I take equally seriously the catch-all problem. Recipe-problems or recipe-fixes would only be a good tag if people use it to describe specific obstacles rather than just any-old situation. Do you think that any question is ultimately a recipe-problem writ another way, and therefore undeserving of a separate category, or do you think recipe-problems are a unique kind of situation. – Ocaasi Aug 3 '10 at 3:49


for products typically purchased at a store, but instead made from scratch, DIY style.

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    -1. Given that the site is about cooking, I think it's implied that almost every question on the site will be about something "homemade." – Aaronut Aug 3 '10 at 2:14
  • Almost everything on this site will indeed be done at home, however some things on this site will be about things which are done at home, but not typically. These questions interest me because they address uncommon techniques, sometimes uncommon equipment, and generally novel experiments in the kitchen. They share a make-it-yourself approach which is usefully distinct. [Sous vide], for example is a good tag, but how about a DIY sous vide machine; that's [homemade]. Or someone who wants to "make their own" lard, flavored syrup, gum, beef jerky, etc. – Ocaasi Aug 3 '10 at 2:30
  • I'm sure that all 1500 users on the site can come up with their own arbitrary ways to group questions that might interest them, but that's exactly what it is: arbitrary. To the best of my knowledge there's no easily-identifiable group of people who take special interest in making anything and everything at home. If you can get the numbers on your side, great; otherwise I have to say that having one or two people interested in this "subject" does not qualify it to be a site-wide tag. – Aaronut Aug 3 '10 at 2:37
  • 1) People need not make 'everything' at home to be interested in things made at home. People who follow the grilling tag don't have to only grill. 2) Arbitrary is fine if it's useful. 3) Are there readers who have an interest in making things at home which are typically purchased in stores? Or answerers who have more expertise in this area and may be able to help questioners with it. 4) It's a "subject", a common thing that happens in real people's kitchens. There are indeed whole books devoted to "homemade" versions of store products, as well as about DIY cooking in general. – Ocaasi Aug 3 '10 at 20:18

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