Since this is one of the 7 Essential Meta Questions of Every Beta...

What should go in our FAQ?

Most of the FAQ is boilerplate, but we need to determine the on-topic and off-topic subjects that go into that particular section of the official FAQ. Those should be derived from the original site definition and the current set of questions.

Example template:

Following the example set out in the linked page, the section being discussed here might look like this:

{Site Name} is for professional and amateur cooks, chefs, bakers, butchers, pâtissiers, and anyone else involved in the food business or who can make a dish that can objectively be described as “mean”.

If your question is about:

  • {On-topic subject}
  • {On-topic subject}
  • ...

and it is not about:

  • {Off-topic subject}
  • {Off-topic subject}
  • {Off-topic subject}

… then you're in the right place to ask your question!

Answer format:

Please post one subject and specify whether or not it is an on-topic or off-topic. Note that your answer should not be in the form of a specific example question; it should refer to an entire subject group. Example of such a response:

{On-topic}

Cooking & food preparation methods

(Optional comments)

Please vote up answers if you agree with the proposed on-topic/off-topic status. Vote down answers where you disagree.

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NOTE: I wonder if this question wouldn't be better conducted in the format here (meta.webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/159/…). Not too late to edit or delete and start anew. –  Robert Cartaino Jul 13 '10 at 17:40
    
@Robert: It is done. –  Aaronut Jul 13 '10 at 17:57
    
Not sure how to fit this into the format of this post, but I think we should incorporate some of the answer to this post: meta.cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/272/… –  NickAldwin Jul 21 '10 at 13:58

13 Answers 13

{On-topic}

Cooking & food preparation methods

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{On-topic}

Kitchen equipment


Some people don't seem to consider questions about equipment purchasing/assembly to be on-topic. Please vote or contribute your opinion at Are questions about equipment off topic?

If the majority considers questions about purchasing/assembly to be off-topic, then a proposed alternate wording for this would be: Kitchen equipment usage and maintenance. This would likely also rule out topics such as "What should I look for when purchasing a [Wok]?" Whatever we decide, it has to be explained in 5 words or less (IMO) and applied consistently.

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That depends on the scope of the question. As discussed in meta.cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/138/… –  jmoeller Jul 14 '10 at 14:51
    
@jmoeller: I posted my thoughts in there; if the scope is to be limited, then that should be clearly explainable in just a few words. Otherwise, the distinction's going to be too subtle for anybody to understand or enforce consistently. –  Aaronut Jul 14 '10 at 15:07
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I think, if the question relates to the use of the equipment in cooking then it's ok. If the question relates to the specific equipment (aka. something you would find in a manual) then it's not ok. –  jmoeller Jul 14 '10 at 15:45
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I think it could be summed up (as I agree with your thoughts in the other thread) as: 1) The questions should be about types of equipment, not models 2) The questions should be about the use of the equipment in relation to cooking 3) The question shouldn't be too localized –  jmoeller Jul 14 '10 at 15:49
    
I've added a few footnotes to this. I still consider it on-topic, but we'll let the community decide. –  Aaronut Jul 14 '10 at 18:06

{On-topic}

Food handling and storage

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Note: This would cover questions on freezing, temperatures, etc. Two of our highest-voted questions are Is it safe to leave butter at room temperature? and What is the internal temperature a steak should be cooked to for Rare/Medium Rare/Medium/Well? - the latter is actually from our Area51 definition phase. If anybody considers this off-topic, something's wrong! –  Aaronut Jul 14 '10 at 15:34
    
Wait, how is the latter example question a food safety issue? And where's the line dividing this from "general health and diet issues"? –  Shog9 Jul 14 '10 at 15:42
    
@Knives: I guess I could have picked a better second example; I kind of read it as food safety because meat has to be cooked to a certain temperature to be safe, although I suppose you could interpret it as simply a definition question of degrees of doneness. The dividing line is simple; food safety is about bacteria and parasites, diet and health are about... er, diet and health. Two of our Area 51 off-topic definition questions were "Is it healthy to be vegetarian?" and "Are genetically engineered foods healthy?" Both questions are definitively not about actual food safety. –  Aaronut Jul 14 '10 at 17:32
    
@Aaronaught: I think health concerns are best relegated to a side topic: if someone wants to note (as they did...) that rare steaks, while delicious, are "unsafe" per the USDA standards, that's fine - but questions explicitly regarding the safety of partially-cooked meat are another matter (that brings it into diet/health territory). And speaking of the "healthy vegetarian" thing, that's actually alive and well right now - could use a couple close votes... –  Shog9 Jul 14 '10 at 17:45
    
@Knives: So you would consider the butter question to be off-topic? What about the 3rd-place definition question from Area 51 about freezer safety of a specific food? I really think you're making an association that isn't there. A question about how to prevent food poisoning is not the same as a question about nutritional value. The former is definitively related to the cooking process; the latter is definitively not. This isn't that blurry a line. –  Aaronut Jul 14 '10 at 17:54
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Other examples of well-received food safety questions: Ground beef storage and use past sell-by date, Is it safe to put rice in refrigerator?, How long and at what temperature do the various parts of a chicken need to be cooked?. All of these I feel are very good questions. –  Aaronut Jul 14 '10 at 17:56
    
@Aaronaught: Yeah, that rice question still confuses me... I think these questions are fine, to the extent that the questions - and especially the answers - are focused on the food itself and not on supposed health benefits or a lack thereof. The butter question initially struck me as borderline, but the answers pretty much stuck to what's good for the butter's flavor/texture (no one's trying to claim that chilled butter is any more/less healthy than warm butter) - so while it may not be the greatest example, I'm not in any hurry to close it out. –  Shog9 Jul 14 '10 at 20:04
    
@Knives: Right, they're not about health benefits, they're about food safety. Those are two completely different things. A food that's perfectly safe to eat can be bad for your health, and vice versa. Rotten fruit and vegetables are still nutritious, they're just not safe to eat. Honestly, it even has its own Wikipedia entry, so I really don't see how anybody can equate it to health or diet issues. –  Aaronut Jul 14 '10 at 21:42
    
BTW, the wiki entry says, and I quote: Food safety is a scientific discipline describing handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent foodborne illness. Handling, preparation, and storage of food - that sounds a lot like many of the topics being discussed on the parent site. –  Aaronut Jul 14 '10 at 21:43
    
@Aaronaught: "Handling, preparation, and storage of food" sounds like a more useful on-topic summary... –  Shog9 Jul 14 '10 at 22:45
    
@Knives I'd agree with that as a more useful definition. –  Pulse Jul 15 '10 at 3:05
    
@Knives: I agree on handling and storage and made that update. "Preparation" seems too general for describing that specific subject area. I still feel like there's something missing, i.e. to cover the cooking temperature required to kill bacteria - but maybe that fits into one of the other subject areas. I'm still open to suggestions. –  Aaronut Jul 15 '10 at 3:26
    
@Aaronaught: I think this is a useful definition now. –  Shog9 Jul 15 '10 at 3:43

{On-topic}

Ingredient selection and use

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Ingredient substitution/alternatives might go under this category or it may constitute a separate entry? –  Pulse Jul 13 '10 at 23:34
    
@Pulse: I'd consider substitution to be a sub-category of selection, but you don't have to agree - that's why this is a CW / poll. –  Aaronut Jul 14 '10 at 1:28
    
I'm fine with that, just thought it worth clarifying :) –  Pulse Jul 14 '10 at 1:59

{Off-topic}

General health and diet issues

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I would agree that this is off-topic if it's also not related to food preparation. For example, asking "what's a good gluten-free substitute for X and how do I prepare it?" is still cooking related, even if it's not directly what the person is asking. I would vote to close any question that was only health and diet related, but not when it involves cooking and food preparation. –  Ben McCormack Jul 19 '10 at 1:41
    
@Ben: That falls into the category of substitutions, which is under the "ingredient selection and use" umbrella. –  Aaronut Jul 19 '10 at 1:44
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@Aaron Good point. I guess that I'm overally cautious of bringing out the off-topic hammer because as an asker that was at one point a newb on StackOverflow, it sucked to have people striking down questions that I thought were within the reasonable scope of the site. It's a fine line, and I respect people who have the difficulty of making those decisions when moderating the site, but I just want to throw in my cautious 2 cents :-) –  Ben McCormack Jul 19 '10 at 11:44
    
@Ben: I do sympathize, but we also need to remember the audience we're trying to attract: Experts, whether professional or amateur. If we piss off a small handful of beginners and dabblers, that's a shame, but there's also a limitless supply of them; experts, on the other hand, are far more scarce, and the repelling effect of off-topic questions is cumulative. The bigger and more self-sustaining the site gets, the more we can relax and let it grow in its own way. Right now, the site is a newborn baby and we have to make sure he doesn't stick his finger in the electrical socket. –  Aaronut Jul 19 '10 at 13:31
    
And just to clarify the comment above: It seems very unlikely that a professional chef would come to a cooking site to ask about the long-term health benefits of blueberries. What I'm trying to say is, if we've defined our site correctly, it should be extremely unlikely for a real expert to come here as a newbie and ask an obviously off-topic question. "What's a good gluten-free substitute for X?" is something an expert could reasonably go to a Q&A site to ask (if he doesn't already know). But "Is margarine healthier than butter?" Not a chance. –  Aaronut Jul 19 '10 at 13:41
    
I'm questioning the overlap between "professional chef" and "expert". I think the second category is quite larger. There are indeed aspects of food preparation, history, ingredients, science, language, and industry that chefs are not the only or even best resources for. I wouldn't want to define away a segment of knowledge simply because professional chefs don't consider it relevant. They're very busy operators, working in a uniquely constructed and intense environment; others in the very large food world have more room to explore, adjust, experiment, and learn than some pro chefs. –  Ocaasi Aug 5 '10 at 21:23
    
@Ocaasi: Indeed, a "professional chef" is not necessarily the only kind of "expert." However, the whole point of Stack Exchange sites is to create a community of experts in a specific field, and I don't accept that there's significant overlap between the community of cooks/chefs/bakers/pastry-chefs/butchers/sommeliers/servers/dishwashers/whatever and dieticians/nutritionists. The former (including home cooks) is a hospitality field, the latter is essentially a medical field. I'm sure there's some overlap, but if we don't draw the line somewhere then we become another Yahoo answers. –  Aaronut Aug 5 '10 at 21:43
    
Oh, I meant "food expert". Yahoo Answers is like the Godwin's law of internet communities; I'm definitely not suggesting that. Every expansion of scope or attempt at inclusion doesn't equate to chaos... but it's definitely a concern. As I've said before, I want good questions more than I want narrow questions. I think you're proposing a certain path to that end and it makes sense in context. I just weigh the value of broader questions and the ease for new users relatively more than attracting experts and preventing crap. Different priorities, maybe not in conflict. –  Ocaasi Aug 6 '10 at 3:29
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@Ocaasi: In other words, you're more concerned with quantity than quality. That's exactly the MO of Yahoo Answers and other "answers" sites. Hand-wave it away if you want, but the inversion of this principle is precisely what makes S[OFU] and Stack Exchange unique. And hey, wouldn't you know it, once you establish the quality, the quantity seems to come automatically! If you want to talk about nutrition, go follow the Nutrition proposal. Or the health proposal. But not here. –  Aaronut Aug 6 '10 at 16:16

{Off-topic}

Career advice


This has been a contentious issue on Stack Overflow, but the "founders" of this proposal in the definition phase voted firmly against it. The example question was "I love to cook. How should I go about opening my own restaurant?" and it received 20 off-topic votes and 0 on-topic/NAGE votes.

Whatever we decide, we will probably be stuck with. If we choose to allow CA questions, even implicitly (by not listing it as an off-topic subject), then it's very unlikely that we'd be able to change our minds later on. So choose carefully! There are a few excellent CA questions on Stack Overflow, but the vast majority are... less excellent.

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{off topic}

Wine-making, Brewing, Distillation and Fermentation

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I understand that this is a pretty broad topic in and off itself, but I still file all forms of alcohol under the general category of "Food" or "Food and Drink". They are all one and the same if you ask me and any food and cooking question and answer needs to be able to field questions about wine, beer, whiskey, etc. And since the "cooking" of such things involves all of the above then I would say they fall under on-topic. –  Daniel Bingham Jul 29 '10 at 8:47
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Home-brewers are specialists and interested in fairly technical instruction and advice; there aren't that many of them compared to average home-cooks. There is so much overlap between drinking and eating at the gourmet level, and we don't want to turn off people with liquor-pairing knowledge, etc. Many knowledgeable cocktail-makers or oenophiles are great cooks. Eventually, there should be a homebrewing.stackexchange and a sommelier.stackexchange, but until they establish themselves, we could probably handle the small number of questions which come through, including a note to area51. –  Ocaasi Aug 5 '10 at 22:14
    
There are a few sites on area 51 about wine, bear, and homebrewing. I agree that we should accommodate such questions for now, but when these sites come online, refer questions to the appropriate boards. –  Neil Fein Aug 13 '10 at 1:30

{Off-topic}

Recipe swapping


Please, before voting, read this Q&A in its entirety and Robert's commentary here. This is a very important decision that could significantly impact the future of this site.

We are not trying to exclude questions about specific recipes, such as clarifications, substitutions or repairs. Nor does this exclude questions about preparation methods of common ingredients. The word "swapping" in "recipe swapping" clearly refers to questions that are simply soliciting recipes.

Recipe requests can be asked and answered by anybody. They hold little to no interest for professionals in the field. They fail to differentiate us from any of the thousands of other recipe sites in the wild. It is difficult if not impossible to accurately rank answers and there is never any single "correct" answer.

A typical example of a recipe-swap question is "What is a good recipe for chicken wings?" A typical example of a recipe-related question that is not recipe-swapping is "How can I get my fried chicken to taste more like KFC's?"

Recap: This is not referring to the discussion of recipes, but rather requests for recipes.

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I downvoted ... I would leave recipe requests unless/until they get to be problematic. –  tomjedrz Jul 17 '10 at 5:19
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I would agree that you don't want the site to be about recipe swapping, but I wouldn't close every single question that hinted of asking for a recipe. The "Chicken Teriyaki" question is a great example, not so much for the question, but for the answers. Darin's answer provides not only the ingredients to use (but note that he doesn't list them like a recipe), but he provides a very educational exploration of how to make the sauce and use it with meat. I would hate to lose an expert answer like that just because you banned "recipe questions." –  Ben McCormack Jul 19 '10 at 1:37
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@Aaronaught I agree with your premise entirely; the site will die if it's entirely about recipe swapping, but I think the moderators should be very discriminating when choosing to close a question. For example, the question "how do you properly prepare a Teriyaki sauce" would lean towards being OK, while "What's the best recipe to imitate take-out Chinese Food" would cross the line and be off-topic. –  Ben McCormack Jul 19 '10 at 11:41
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@Ben: If you see my (currently highest-voted) answer in the question that I linked to above, you'll see that I do make that distinction. However, basic recipe questions are wide open, anybody can ask or answer them, and that makes them incredibly dangerous at this early stage. We have to be very careful to keep these in check, and I believe that means starting from "off-topic" and occasionally saying "well, we'll make an exception for that one." Once the site begins to pick up steam, it would be reasonable to change our angle. –  Aaronut Jul 19 '10 at 13:23
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@Aaron Well-said. Perhaps modify "Recipe Swapping" so that it clarifies that you mean pure recipe swapping. I wish I had a great suggestion for how to nuance the description of "recipe swapping." I do think it's needed. –  Ben McCormack Jul 19 '10 at 16:01
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My rule of thumb would be this: A recipe that is part of a question does not make it off-topic. This covers most substitutions, clarifications, repairs, etc. On the other hand, If the only answers to the question would be recipes, and if it's possible for there to be more than one or two valid answers, then it falls under the off-topic "recipe swapping" category. –  Aaronut Jul 19 '10 at 17:28
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@Aaron Perhaps you might add a short explanation before the other reference, such as "This does not inherently disqualify questions about recipes, but rather those questions whose sole purpose is to merely garner a list of ingredients that could easily be obtained by using a search engine." The external reference is a good read and validates what you've been saying, but it requires people to click...and since the site is still weighted with programmers from StackOverflow, and programmers are often lazy :-), it might help to put the gist of your explanation right in the post. –  Ben McCormack Jul 19 '10 at 17:36
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If I'd like the best recipe for Duck a l'Orange - and I'd like one that's been recommended by other people .. why shouldn't I be able to gain this information from this site? If it isn't a question, why can't this info be solicited via the wiki? –  codeinthehole Jul 19 '10 at 23:07
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What if you partner this off-topic rule with an on-topic rule of "recipe repair"? Certainly "repair" is implied by ingredient selection and use, but by pairing it here you would mitigate the possibility of overzealous moderators closing good recipe questions. You would also help clarify for askers how to modify their question to get the response that they want. Also, within the FAQ you could include links to good recipe resources to point users to locations that will give them what they're looking for. –  Benry Jul 28 '10 at 18:09
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@Aaronut: in Stack Overflow, questions which have no conclusive answers (ie. questions which are subjective or relate to a poll) go into the community wiki. It's not designed purely so people can have a go at editing. I'm not suggesting anyone should be able to edit - I'm suggesting you work out why a community wiki is required for this site. It the wiki isn't a good place to store recipes, what should be stored there? I'm still not clear. –  codeinthehole Jul 30 '10 at 23:36
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@codeinthehole: Questions such as Different uses for avocado or Tips for a small kitchen which have no clearly correct answer should generally be wiki. Questions which have no objective or verifiable answers such as What food should I carrying for emergency hungriness? should be closed - ruthlessly. –  Aaronut Jul 31 '10 at 2:35
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Look, I've moderated half a dozen forums before and know from experience that the worst solution to off-topic posts is to try to shove them all into one thread instead of just getting rid of them. It's a ridiculous amount of work to keep organized, and half the people will come up with a reason why their post/question is important enough to deserve its own spot, and the other half will see the megathreads and assume it to be evidence that it's OK to start a new one, and on top of that the megathread gets bumped over and over again. We really, truly do not want to go there. –  Aaronut Aug 5 '10 at 21:59
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I do disagree with the phrasing: you don't want to turn anybody off. At the most, you want to guide them to a better way to ask the question or a different resource. All moderation of the community should be done with maximal concern in welcoming newcomers and minimal consequence for stifling people's good faith efforts. We should make it easy for people to join this community, and make it efficient for them to learn how to participate so that it does contribute. –  Ocaasi Aug 6 '10 at 0:34
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@Ocaasi: The founders disagree with you. They've been on record several times saying that it's better to frighten a few of the lesser-able members than turn the site into their garbage dump. Now, that said, I'm not advocating rudeness - but as long as we're reasonably polite to new members, we should not be sympathetic toward those who get in a tizzy about a few downvotes or close votes. –  Aaronut Aug 6 '10 at 0:50
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Perhaps their attitude was not meant to apply to the new sites like this one, and that over here we should welcome everyone with open arms no matter how poor or off-topic their questions are - but somehow I doubt it, and if I'm wrong then I'd like to hear it from them, not discuss it here. –  Aaronut Aug 6 '10 at 0:51

{On Topic}

Beverage Pairing with Food


Allowing questions about food/beverage pairing is a great way to help cooks and food enthusiasts create a complete meal. While this does open the door for bland questions such as "Should I use red or white wine when serving steak?", it also opens the doors for questions such as "What is a good wine to pair with a spicy blackened salmon?", which could invite answers about why a well-hopped beer will do well in accompanying a spicy dish. Any questions that can lead to answers that better our understanding of food, even if secondarily as through a beverage, should be encouraged.

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I've opened up a little to this topic after some of the better responses and comments in the "Serving" discussion, and I'm willing to accept that we should tolerate these questions, but I don't know if we should be encouraging them via the FAQ. There are an almost infinite number of indistinct pairing questions that people can duplicate by changing one or two words; so while I wouldn't be terribly offended by a small number, I also wouldn't want the FAQ to imply that these should comprise 20% of the site's content. –  Aaronut Jul 19 '10 at 23:17
    
@Aaron That's a good point. I can see why you wouldn't want to include it in the FAQ but be more or less permissive of well-asked questions in this arena. I would tend to agree. –  Ben McCormack Jul 19 '10 at 23:54
    
@Aaronaught: Note it doesn't have many up votes at the moment. That tempers down the enthusiasm quite a bit, doesn't it? –  Owen S. Jul 20 '10 at 16:55
    
@Owen: That may simply be because it was submitted late (our meta site isn't exactly buzzing with constant activity). In any event, we would probably want to take only the highest-voted answers for the FAQ; I'm far less concerned about this one than I am about recipe swapping... –  Aaronut Jul 20 '10 at 17:47
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@Owen Aaron's point about tolerating these questions but not necessarily encouraging them via the FAQ makes a lot of sense. The lack of up-votes doesn't necessarily mean these questions are off-topic, but rather that they're not the type of questions you would expect to see asked most frequently on the site. –  Ben McCormack Jul 20 '10 at 19:09

{On Topic}

Adapting dishes for specific food restrictions.

(I'm specifically thinking of questions about religious or medical restrictions. Gluten-free substitutes, or dairy-free, or kosher, for example.)

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I'd say that this fits into substitutions - there is a subtle difference, but that subtlety will probably be lost on most people. It's certainly on topic; probably doesn't need its own FAQ entry though. –  Aaronut Aug 12 '10 at 18:22

Addition to FAQ?

I was wondering why sometimes I got notifications of comments and sometimes I didn't. My husband, who is on StackOverflow, explained that if you put @ before the person's name, they'll get a notification.

Should this be added to the FAQ or to some other usage guide? I think it's really helpful to know.

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Yes, you'll find that there are a lot of "hidden" features that aren't really documented anywhere. There's so many of them, it would probably be hard to put them all in the FAQ. This may become a sore point; historically, Jeff & the team have relied on users experimenting, reading the SO blog, and asking meta questions; this may work for programmers but there's no way it's going to work for cooks and other non-geeks. The collective set of "how to use the site's features" and "tips and tricks" likely need entire pages of their own. –  Aaronut Jul 24 '10 at 12:43
    
In the meantime, the FAQ on MSO should be a good starting point, and it does include features such as comment replies. –  Aaronut Jul 24 '10 at 12:45
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@Aaronaught, thanks for the link; I'll check out that FAQ. Maybe one way to handle the situation for the type of user Cooking.StackExchange will get is to have some sort of daily notice come up - a "Did you know that you can ... " bit of how-to for the site, maybe, with a different one-sentence lesson each day. –  JustRightMenus Jul 24 '10 at 13:50
    
You mean like the "Tip of the Day" that used to pop up in Word and other apps that nobody ever read? ;) It's not a bad idea, but it would have to very unobtrusive; I cringe at the thought of having one of those orange alert bars popping up every day just to tell me about the grace period for edits. –  Aaronut Jul 24 '10 at 14:06
    
Definitely would not want it to be a bright alert bar; I agree. –  JustRightMenus Jul 26 '10 at 1:03
    
@aaronut. I think we should explicitly make a meta post including advanced/hidden features: Search modifiers, tag synonyms, tag voting, @messages, whatever else there is. Why wouldn't we want users to be able to learn the site's features? –  Ocaasi Aug 5 '10 at 22:22
    
@Ocaasi: There are an incredibly vast number of these features to explain in a single meta post. I know that's not a very good excuse, and I've brought it up on MSO to have some sort of shared FAQ or (gasp!) documentation like Wikipedia has, but it didn't seem to be received too well by the team; I think they're used to dealing with programmers. I don't mind contributing to a local project of the same, but I can safely say that it would take a long time to complete. –  Aaronut Aug 6 '10 at 0:45
    
I like the local project idea. Why don't we start with a top 10 kind of thing, and then work on more obscure features over time. –  Ocaasi Aug 6 '10 at 3:22
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@JustRight: this answer seems really out of place to me... Did I miss something? (I thought about flagging for Mod attention to look at it, then realized I could just use your name and you'd get notified! :)) –  yhw42 Oct 2 '10 at 14:11

{Off-Topic}

Questions about acquiring food in nature either through foraging, farming, gardening, indoor growing, or related endeavors with co-ops. This includes home-grown herbs, seed selection, plant-care and pruning, truffle-hunting, and dealing with pests.

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{Off-topic}

Alcoholic beverages


1. Note the inclusion of the key word beverages. Questions about wine or beer as an ingredient are fine. Questions about making, brewing, or serving alcoholic drinks are not. See my response here.

2. In the Area 51 definition phase, the winemaking example question was overwhelmingly voted off-topic (17 off-topic votes, 0 on-topic votes). Beer brewing and "mixology"/bartending questions are effectively the same thing. If we're going to backpedal on this decision, we should have a good reason for doing so. It would be helpful if downvoters could explain their rationale.

3. A test question has been submitted for this.

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Personally I don't believe specific questions related to beverages, excluding questions regarding making and brewing, should be off topic. Food and wind are almost synonymous terms. –  Pulse Jul 15 '10 at 2:54
    
Making wine and mixing drinks are not the same thing at all. How I see it is that mixing drinks is a very similar and related process to cooking, while making wine is not. –  Brendan Long Jul 16 '10 at 0:50
    
@Brendan: If anything, winemaking is a lot closer to cooking than cocktails. Winemaking/beer brewing involve starting from raw ingredients and going through a particular process to get to a finished, potable product. Cocktail mixing is vaguely analogous to arranging food on a plate. You've got this completely ass-backwards. –  Aaronut Jul 16 '10 at 3:01
    
I've already made this comment elsewhere, but seeing as you've edited the comment to focus on one question from A51, I just want to put the record straight. As you say the home brewing question was comprehensively down voted. That aside, of the 6 other beverage related questions 2 were considered to be on-topic the other 3 were separated by 1 vote and there was 1 bad example! In addition, the 'test question' you link to received 5 up-votes, so is clearly on-topic. –  Pulse Jul 18 '10 at 2:24
    
The subject of including home brewing has already been dismissed and needs no inclusion here. The matter pertaining to the inclusion, or not, of cocktails and wine (other than in the context of ingredients) needs to be the focus of this particular question. –  Pulse Jul 18 '10 at 5:14
    
@Pulse: All I see on Area 51 is one about coffee, and that was split down the middle, and I already said that I'm fine with coffee. Care to point me to the other 4 beverage related questions that were apparently considered on-topic? –  Aaronut Jul 18 '10 at 18:08
    
@Aaronaught I didn't say they were all on-topic. Read again what I wrote and search A51, there's only 3 pages. –  Pulse Jul 18 '10 at 21:35
    
If you can make it yourself, and would typically consume it with a meal - I think it should be a valid part of the site. –  codeinthehole Jul 25 '10 at 15:13

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