Version Reviewed: 1.1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad
iPad Integration Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use Value Rating:
The iPad has quickly become a necessary and ubiquitous presence in almost every room of the modern home, but nowhere is it quite as useful or practical as the kitchen. Gone are the days of milk-and-egg-soaked recipe book pages or flour-filled recipe boxes. The iPad can handle literally thousands upon thousands of recipes - from those discovered on the web to those hastily scribbled on scrap pieces of paper. The problem is figuring out which app to use to store all of this invaluable information. That's where Oregano Recipe Manager comes in.
Oregano is designed to catalogue and electronically replace every recipe in the kitchen, and it does so with a minimalist, easily-navigated interface. Once open, the app presents users with a common selection of recipe categories, including All Recipes, Favorites, Entrees, separate categories for each main meal, and user-defined custom categories. Click a category, and all recipes meeting that criteria are listed, complete with photos. As recipes are added, it's a good idea to tag them with relevant categories to make navigation easier, as Oregano does not automate this task.
Many of my own recipes come from a variety of foodie-related sites, so it's good to know that Oregano has a built-in web browser complete with a list of supported websites. Don't look for a comprehensive selection here, but most of the prominent sites are available, including Cooking Channel, Chow, Epicurious and Bon Appetit. Hopefully, developer Sockii will add more to this list in future updates, but for now it's acceptable and useful.
Entering a new recipe into Oregano comes down to two options: either click on the 'Save Web Recipe' button when browsing a compatible site (which, from my experience, still requires some editing of the recipe once imported) or manually enter the recipe into Oregano's database. Manual entry is a chore, but will probably result in the best formatting and navigation. Unfortunately, there's no way to import recipes from other services like Evernote or Springpad, or even from the web-based recipe boxes at sites like Food Network. It would make recommending Oregano much, much easier.
Once recipes are entered into Oregano, it's a snap to add the ingredients to a grocery list component of the app. However, again there are some catches to this function. Single ingredients cannot be added - only a list of EVERY ingredient in the recipe. That means a list cluttered with items like salt and pepper, that are most likely not needed on a trip to the grocery store.
Oregano isn't a bad app; it just doesn't live up to its initial promise. Evernote can do much more than recipes, but it handles them easily (and cross-platform and free). Oregano needs more work before I can recommend paying $3.99 for it.