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The Demy Digital Recipe Reader

August 5th, 2009 | 4 Comments »

the Demy 001

Key Ingredient, the community-based recipe sharing site that is home to thousands of everyday cooks and their finest recipes, has introduced The Demy, a digital recipe device made for specifically for home cooks. The device is designed to hold your recipe collection all at the tip of your fingers.

Many many months back, Key Ingredient solicited members to be home testers for The Demy and I cheerfully agreed to give it a shot. Then I promptly forgot all about it until I was contacted and told that my turn to try out the device was imminent. I was really excited to see what it was all about.

The Demy looks and works like both a Kindle and an iPod Touch. In fact, when I took it out of the box, Mike exclaimed¬† “It’s a little Kindle!”¬† Upon powering up, The Demy brings up a home screen that includes your recipe library, where all indexed recipes are listed, and then a categorized menu as well covering individual menu items. Once you open the general library, the recipes are listed alphabetically and you can scroll through them or go to the keypad option and touch a letter to take you to those items.

Each recipe is displayed in three ways; when you initially touch the screen for your selected recipe, you’ll get a full color photo of your selection.

the Demy 005

Indexed tabs along the top of your digital recipe card then list the recipe itself with all instructions,

the Demy 003the Demy 006

and your final recipe card tab will tell you who originally posted the recipe on Key Ingredient, how many recipes they have submitted and an option to post the recipe to your ‘Short List’, which is basically a list of your favorite or most used recipes on the device.

the Demy 007

While there is some nutritional information for the recipes loaded on The Demy, it is only considered an estimation, and you are clearly told that in bold red type.

Other options on The Demy is a 3-way timer, an excellent tool if you’re juggling a lot of cooking,¬† a conversion calculator that is extremely useful if you happen to have a recipe that is metric, an extensive substitution table and an ‘Options’ tab where you can modify your settings on the device.

Unfortunately, when I received The Demy, the USB cable that came along with it was the wrong size for the device, and the one that I use for my digital camera, although it looked like it would work, was still not the right size so I did not get a chance to play with the downloading part and determine the ease of its use. What I understand is that you should be able to load from the Key Ingredient site any recipe or cookbook that is available. Don’t quote me on this one though! I would like to know also if you have the ability to load into it your own personal recipe collection. I have hundreds of recipes in a Word recipe book and would love to see how I could set it up with those.

This was a pretty cool device, and I can see where it would be a huge asset to any home cook. The recipes are clear and concise with the ever important photographs for us visual types, and the usefulness of it for holding all your recipe needs is endless. To have it all in one item would be so great! No more thumbing through cookbooks, printed papers or cut-outs trying to remember where you stashed that great dip recipe, the fabulous almond cake that you recall wanting to try or the delectable sounding soup for that first chilly day in the Fall. Not like I know ANY of this from personal experience or anything!

Well yeah, I do. That’s my recipe collection, scattered and messy; but my one saving grace is that I possess an almost maniacal means of knowing exactly where in my piles of stuff is that one recipe I really, really want. Having a Demy would mean I could let go of that need to stuff my brain with all that information.

Was there anything about the device that I didn’t like? Not especially. I have an iPod touch and am used to the almost effortless way that you can scroll through it for what you want; The Demy isn’t as simple and I found it to be slightly frustrating in that regard. If you tap the screen hard enough to get the scroll going, you often tap a recipe, or other option and it brings that up for you to read. I found the font size to be a little small for my eyes, and with a recipe that requires more space than the window allows, you need to scroll through it while your reading it, and for me, I prefer to be able to have as much visible, from start to finish, in terms of my instructions when I am cooking, especially if it’s an unfamiliar recipe. I’m very visual, as I said, and this is just how it works best for me. For someone else though, it may not be a big deal at all. The device orients two ways; upright, or laying down at a flatter angle, and wipes clean with a damp cloth. It’s also very durable, has a built-in battery and a good long powercord. At this time, The Demy sells for $299, exclusively from Key Ingredient.

I’m intrigued with the device, for sure, and can imagine that it would be awfully nice to have on hand. I think it will be a pretty popular option for any well-organized cook. At this point, the price is too steep for me, but because it’s new, I imagine that will come down significantly, like all new products inevitably do.

4 Responses to “The Demy Digital Recipe Reader”

  1. janelle says:

    Hello Kate! They asked me too, but I was too busy jetting out of town;). Love doing reviews, though once I tried some jarred tomato sauces that I had nothing good to say about… awkward. So I emailed them and bowed out of a review;). Key ingredient is interesting, but isn’t there an iphone application that does something similar? Not sure… I will say if I want my recipes it has been SO NICE to have entered so many of them online on my blog so I actually can access them anywhere (ESP when my beloved cookbooks are in storage)! The download feature is key, and would be interesting esp. if the cookbooks I love had recipes living somewhere online so I wouldn’t have to enter them myself;). I loved your pic of sorting through your piles to find that one recipe of yours—and knowing just where it is. I SO do the same thing. I use Epicurious sometimes, and the Food Network for recipes, what do you use?

  2. Kristen says:

    Very good review (and cool opportunity!)
    If the price would come down some, I’d be all over this device! My iPhone and laptop are too risky too keep in the kitchen.

  3. [...] in the Kitchen plays with the Demy, a touchscreen-based recipe gadget, a brilliant-looking Crispin Cider brined pork and braised [...]

  4. kathy says:

    Thanks for the review, Kate! You know what, I am intrigued by this and by the Kindle and have thought about the possibility of having one…but, I love my books! I love the looking and finding something in an old worn cookbook that I did not even know I was looking for! Love looking through the recipe box and seeing something in my Grandmothers handwriting – that is precious!

    I really enjoy reading your blog and have a renewed sense that the effort I put into a nice meal is really worth it – Thanks, Kate!