/ Food & Drink

Would an edible recipe suit your tastes?

preparing food

Do you find it tricky to follow recipes? Well, Ikea’s new easy-cooking edible recipe sheets might just be your saviour – plus, they cut the amount of washing-up you have to do after…

I have dog-eared recipe books with magazine recipe clippings stuffed between pages, and I consider food blogs bedtime reading. My holiday destinations are based on whether or not there’s a good culinary scene. And soggy, cardboard-boxed desk sandwiches make me weep.

Yep, I’m a massive foodie. So anything that might expand my culinary horizons usually catches my attention, which is why I was immediately drawn to Ikea’s new ‘easy recipe series’.

The concept is ingenious. Instead of reading what ingredients to use for a dish and measuring them out, you place each bit of food directly onto the perfectly portioned line drawings (much like its furniture instructions) of ingredients. Each recipe sheet is made of cooking parchment paper and edible ink, so once the food is on the sheet you simply fold it up and you’re ready to cook it in the oven.

What’s cookin’?

While seeming slightly gimmicky at first to me, I actually like how this concept could make us reimagine how we cook.

For instance, it could make us more mindful about what we put in our meals. I remember one of my teachers telling me a serving of meat should be no bigger than an ice-hockey puck and feeling both revolted as I imagined a hard, meaty, disk, and surprised, realising most of my homemade burgers were about twice the size of said pucks. Ikea’s edible recipe sheets would help you visualise portion size more.

The sheets could also make cooking more tactile and tangible. Gone are digits and units and possible conversions from cups to grams, eliminating any issues experienced shifting between imperial and metric measurements. While those too young to read a recipe might be more engaged with this sort of colour-in-the-lines approach, making cooking more of an enjoyable family playtime.

Perhaps it will also train a generation of young chefs to cook more by sight like our elderly relatives or ancestors. Cooking with my grandmother as I child, I remember proffering a tablespoon of spice and sincerely asking if it was level enough. Instead of looking at the spoon she dumped a bunch of spice in her hand, glanced at it and deemed it sufficient, sagely telling me: ‘No spoon can measure as well as your eyes and your nose.’

Sadly, Ikea’s cook sheets were only available in some Canadian stores for a limited time, so I wasn’t able to try them out. Here’s hoping they make an appearance in UK stores soon.

Would you use an edible recipe sheet? How do you innovate when you’re cooking at home, and what other interesting methods have you seen?


If one is scared of the kitchen and hasn’t been taught to cook at home or in school, then perhaps, cooking by numbers with a restrictive set of recipes, might be useful. The sight of someone placing ingredients, painstakingly on each space, is off- putting. It also doesn’t show what happens to the small circles of seasoning that have to mix with the food, nor does it show what happens to any liquids caught up in the cooking. The video shows the paper being unwrapped at the end of the cooking time. I thought it was dissolvable. Not my idea of fun, or creativity. Someone’s “good” idea. Time will show whether it becomes popular. £5 says not!

If we think that too many people eat more pre-prepared meal than is good for them, anything that could encourage some of them to make something from scratch has to be tried. Maybe they would realise that cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, difficult, or time consuming. I imagine this could be great fun with children too. I like the idea of the ingredients printed on a sheet like that, it helps to see right away if you’ve forgotten something, which happens to me from time to time. And I realise just when I’ve put the dish in the oven…

It’s the ideal consumer product…. you use it and have to buy another, or buy a different one. Just what a manufacturer wants us to do. A recipe book is a one time purchase. Imagine the distress to find you are one prawn short of a space or the lemon slice is too big to fit exactly. Apple pie and custard anyone? Make that £10.

I feel the need to inject a little caveat and make a useful comment for a change. This is precisely the kind of visual aid and teaching apparatus that would be used in a special school or an adult social activity centre. Here the emphasis is to break things down into simple steps and build skills, using visual and practical apparatus to enhance the classroom activity. These recipe sheets would be exactly that, since it would enable the class to methodically put dishes together, having been out and bought the produce in the first place. I’m not so sure about the folding and cooking process. The use of actual kitchen utensils is also part of any cooking, learning process, especially as one would have to generalise from the recipe sheet to freestyle food processing so that it was useful in any future kitchen.