Wikipedia:WikiProject Food and drink/Tools

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Food and Drink


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 User tools

These are tools that are designed to help contributors and members better work on articles that fall under the purview of the Project. They include information on article notifications & alerts, sourcing and general guidelines for developing food and drink related articles.

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To view this essay, click the button → Article sourcing

An annotated list of sources for food and drink articles. The goal is to help editors find reliable sources of information on food topics. This page is intended to provide sources that are useful for multiple articles. Of course, individual articles' bibliographies should also be useful.


Since Wikipedia is not a cookbook, the question is how useful cookbooks are not for recipes, but for the description and history of food. In general, they are fairly good about description, though they can be idiosyncratic and provincial, being unaware of food habits outside their authors' neighborhood. They also tend to be trendy. Cookbooks are generally very weak for history. Very rarely have the authors consulted serious sources, and they tend to repeat legends and folklore freely.

Encyclopedias and References

Probably the best all-round encyclopedia of food. Many articles have useful bibliographies. Especially strong on English and western European foods. Benefits from the years of articles in Petits Propos Culinaires and the Oxford Symposia on Food.
  • Cambridge World History of Food
  • Jean-Louis Flandrin and Massimo Montanari, eds., Food: A Culinary History from Antiquity to the Present ISBN 0-231-11154-1
An excellent collection of articles.
The standard reference for the science of foods.
A good source for 19th and early 20th century French cooking. Very unreliable outside France. Unreliable for history (the notorious croissant legend was first published here).
Said to be improved over the first for non-French food.
A small, eclectic anthology of articles from the Annales
Pretty good popular history.
Mostly traditional French recipes. No source notes. Not very useful.
  • Toussaint-Samat, Maguelonne (1994), History of Food, Blackwell Publishing Professional, ISBN 0631194975.
A totally unreliable source, full of legends and misinformation. She doesn't footnote most of what she writes, so there's no way of verifying it. Do not use.

Journals, magazines, proceedings

Most popular magazines (Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Fine Cooking, Cook's Illustrated, Saveur, etc.), regardless of how good their recipes are, do not emphasize accurate research into the background and history of foods.

Particular cuisines


Middle East

  • Sami Zubaida and Richard Tapper, A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East, London and New York, 1994 and 2000, ISBN 1-86064-603-4, p. 35.
Excellent collection of good articles.
Though this is a cookbook, it has taken its historical research more seriously than most cookbooks.


  • K.C. Chang, ed., Food in Chinese Culture: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives
Good scholarly overview of history.


  • Stephen Mennell, All Manners of Food: Eating and Taste in England and France from the Middle Ages to the Present
Good scholarly treatment.


Good journalistic survey.
Excellent scholarly treatment.

(see also Mennell, under England)



  • Andrew Dalby, Siren Feasts: A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece
An amazing summary of classical and Byzantine Greek texts on food. Scholarly, careful, comprehensive. The Ottoman and modern periods are very briefly touched on at the end.


Good journalistic survey.
Good survey.



  • Jeffrey M. Pilcher, Que vivan los tamales!: Food and the Making of Mexican Identity ISBN 978-0826318732
  • Jeffrey M. Pilcher, Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food ISBN 978-0199740062
  • José Luis Juárez López, La lenta emergencia de la comida mexicana. Ambigüedades criollas, 1750-1800 ISBN 978-0199740062
  • José Luis Juárez López, Nacionalismo culinario. La cocina mexicana en el siglo XX ISBN 978-6075164656
  • José Luis Juárez López, Engranaje Culinario: La Cocina Mexicano en el Siglo XIX ISBN 978-6074559583


A very authentica and thorough (though sadly not illustrated) coverage of traditional recipes, including those of the former republics of the Soviet Union. Chapters for each type of meal (appetizer, soup, salad, meat by type) and holiday menus. Includes brief cultural and historical introductions.


United States

  • Laura Shapiro, Perfection Salad: Women and Cooking at the Turn of the Century ISBN 0-8050-0228-6
Mostly social history around the year 1900


By category of food

Seafood & Fish

Fabulous resources on the fish and seafood of their regions. A summary page per species including both biology and cuisine. Also a collection of recipes.

Web resources

There are many Web resources on food, many of them plagiarized from each other, with little reliable information, and rarely any source notes.

ckbk is a subscription-based resource (available via the web, and also for iOS and Android) offering online access to reliable culinary reference works (e.g. Auguste Escoffier's Le Guide Culinaire, The Oxford Companion to Food) and both historic and contemporary cookbooks (Modern Cookery for Private Families, Mediterranean Seafood, Classic Food of China)

 Article guidelines

To view this article, click the button → Article Guidelines

Naming conventions

Articles on national and ethnic cuisine

Cuisine articles deal with a specific set of cooking traditions and practices, often associated with a specific culture. Sometimes the cuisine articles will deal with cooking traditions and practices in and of a particular country, sometimes the cooking traditions and practices of a particular country will be used outside of that country. Other cuisine articles will deal with cooking traditions and practices of a culture or tradition that is not geographic - such as Vegetarian cuisine, Jewish cuisine, Byzantine cuisine and Medieval cuisine.

The guideline for country specific topics suggests that in general, country-specific articles should be named using the form: "(item) of (country)". However, the guideline has a caveat that it is important to be able to differentiate when a topic is actually country-specific. So that Belgian cuisine is an article on the cooking traditions and practices originating in the country of Belgium.


An example: Germany has over time changed its geographic borders with Poland and France. As a result there are parts of Poland and France having a German culture with a history of German cuisine, German wine and German beer. Thus German beer, the techniques and recipes used to produce it are not only confined to Germany, but are a part of France and Poland as well. A decision would need to be made as to the focus of the article and which article name would be more appropriate. An article on the history and development of beer in Germany might be more appropriately named Beer in Germany, while an article on the beer styles of Germany that have spread to countries might be named German beer styles.

This would also apply to articles such as German breads/Bakeries of Germany, German wines/Wine regions of Germany or German beverages/Beverage producers of Germany.

Adjective format

Articles on cuisines that are about non-geographic specific culture may use the formula XXX cuisine; hence Jewish cuisine, Vegetarian cuisine, Byzantine cuisine. Exceptions are to be made when the adjective is too ambiguous, such as "American cuisine"; in these cases Cuisine of the United States is preferable. A cuisine history article about a cuisine that still exists today, such as Hawaiian cuisine or Jewish cuisine should be History of Hawaiian cuisine or History of Jewish cuisine respectively.

Hybrid cuisines

Foodservice task force articles

  • Parent companies should use the company name, eg Darden Restaurants, Inc.
  • Articles that split from the main should be X Y where "Y" is the topic, eg Burger King franchises
  • Naming of sub articles should be defined and standardized across the articles

Cheese task force articles

Cheese articles should be given a unique name that clearly differentiates them from other potential topics that may share the same name. This is especially important in the case of European cheeses, where cheese are frequently named after a town or region. The simplest method is to append "cheese" to the article name (e.g. Cheddar vs. Cheddar cheese). Whether you choose to append "cheese" to non-ambiguous titles (e.g. Sage Derby) is a left to individual authors. Note that the designation should not be applied where it is redundant, as in the case of "Queso blanco".

Article structure

Articles are advised to follow the general guidelines in Wikipedia:Layout and start with a lead section, and finish with the standard appendices such as "See also" and "References". In between will go the body sections which will vary from topic to topic and article to article. Common sections applicable to the majority of food and drink article would be a History section and a Production section.

Lead section:

History section: A general prose description. Lists, such as date-lines, are discouraged under embedded list guidelines.

Production section: A general prose description of the ingredients and production methods that define a product, giving variations and alternatives. Specific, detailed, individual and fixed recipes of the type that list ingredients and give precise instructions are discouraged as per: Wikipedia:NOT#Wikipedia is not a manual, guidebook, or textbook.

Reference section:

Articles on national cuisine

Cheeses task force

Lead section: A brief prose description of the cheese, including:

  • the nature of the milk (or substance) from which the cheese is produced (eg. goat's milk, cow's milk, ewe's milk)
  • a rough notion of the cheese's texture (soft, semi-soft, hard, etc.)
  • if applicable, the region in which the cheese is made, and/or originates

Much of this information can be conveyed concisely in the first sentence(s) of the article. Example: "Roquefort is a ewe's-milk bleu cheese from the south of France."

Body sections:

Description: This section could have a prose description of the cheese, including a description of the cheese's appearance (eg, "shot with blue veins of mold", "inedible orange rind".) Descriptions of the flavor of the cheese may be open to accusation of being subjective so would need to cite reliable source.
Production: A description of the production process
History: of the discovery/invention of the cheese - legendary histories may be included
Variations: Variants of the cheese (eg US cheddar vs. English Cheddar)
Producers: A list of producers (where applicable-- don't bother with widely produced cheeses.)

Table: There is a table with quick facts about the cheese. A template for the table can be found at the bottom of this page. The contents are as follows:

  • The official full name of the cheese. If there are several official names, list all (eg. port-du-salut/entrammes).
  • A picture of the cheese, where available. We have not yet located a source of public-domain or copylefted cheese images. Do not grab images off the web unless you're sure they're not copyrighted!
  • Primary geographical production area. If the cheese has no center of production, specify "worldwide". (At some point, a map might be helpful)
  • The milk (or non-milk substance) from which the cheese is made. Specify whole or skim milk where appropriate.
  • Pasteurization: Yes/No/Occasionally/Frequently or something more descriptive.
  • Texture (semi-soft, soft, hard, etc.)
  • Average fat content (as a percentage.)
  • Average protein content (as a percentage.)
  • Size/weight of a cheese wheel (where applicable)
  • Affinage/aging time (specify if there are multiple stages.)
  • Trademarks, production guilds, etc. (eg AOC for many protected French cheeses.)



Pub task force

Mixed Drinks


The hierarchy for mixed drink articles at Wikipedia within this Project is explained on the Hierarchy of Articles and Categories page.


Ideally, each Project-related article should include much or all of the following information: one or more photographs representative of the drink; suggestions for when and how the drink is commonly enjoyed (e.g., special occasions, after work, at sporting events, etc.); popularity and distribution of the drink worldwide; a list of ingredients and briefly the methods used to properly prepare, mix, and serve the drinks; the origin and history of each drink, including the (sourced) creator and date of creation; the mixed drink supplies (including drinkware) used to prepare the drinks; and anything else (sourced) that enhances the reader's understanding of the drink.

Soft drinks

Coffee and Tea task force


Terminology notes

Instead of trying to establish what the most "authentic", most "original", or most "traditional" version of various recipes is, let's try to follow Wikipedia's wise neutral point of view policy, which asks us to report on all reputable positions. If the Academy of Roman Gastronomy forbids the use of cream in carbonara, report it. If the oldest known recipe uses garlic (whether it is common nowadays or not), report it. If 5 out of 15 Italian cookbooks with good reputations use cream, report that cream is used by some Italian cooks, and shunned by others (especially if you can find the suitable horrified language). If most American versions use Wisconsin cheddar, report on it. And so on.


Lead and sections

  • The lead should adequately summarize the content of the article. (GA criteria)
  • There should not be anything in the lead not mentioned in the rest of the article. (GA criteria)
  • Only the first word in a section heading needs a capital letter (except in proper nouns).
  • Short sections and paragraphs are discouraged. (GA criteria)


  • It is recommended not to specify the size of images. The sizes should be what readers have specified in their user preferences.
  • Text should not be sandwiched between two adjacent images. (GA criteria)
  • All fair-use images need a fair use rationale. (GA criteria)
  • Images need succinct captions. (GA criteria)
  • An image caption should only end with a full-stop if it forms a complete sentence (GA criteria). Noun phrases typically do not include periods at the end of the text.


  • Wikilinks should only be made if they are relevant to the context. Common words do not need wikilinking.
  • A word only needs to be wikilinked once within each section.
  • Links within quotations should be avoided.
  • Linking dates or dates with a day and a month are currently discouraged. The same applies to dates in the footnotes.[1]


  • Statements that are likely to be challenged and statistics need inline citations. (GA criteria)
  • Book references need the author, publishing date and page number. (GA criteria)
  • Book references should preferably include the publisher and ISBN.
  • Web references need the author, publisher, publishing date and access date. (GA criteria)
  • Web references should preferably include the language (if not English) and format (if not HTTP).
  • References should be consistently formatted, eg. consistent author format, abbreviations for "page number", etc.
  • Blogs and personal websites are not reliable sources, unless written by the subject of the article or by an expert on the subject. (GA criteria)
  • Dead web references should not be removed, unless replaced.
  • Inline citations belong immediately after punctuation marks. (GA criteria)
  • External links that are not references belong only in the External links section.
  • Portal links belong in the "See also" section. (GA criteria)
  • "Further info" links belong at the top of sections. (GA criteria)


  • Lists should only be included if they can't be made into prose or their own article. (GA criteria)
  • Lists within prose should be avoided. (GA criteria)

Punctuation and style

  • Logical quotation should be used, i.e. final punctuation belongs outside the quote marks, unless the punctuation is part of the quote and the quote starts a WP sentence. For example – He said, "France is a country". "Paris is a city."
  • Rather than hyphens, en dashes should be used for ranges, eg. 5–10 years, and unspaced em dashes or spaced en dashes should be used for punctuation, eg. The building—now disused—was built in 1820.
  • Page ranges in the footnotes, and sports scores should use en dashes.
  • " " (non-breaking space) should be typed between numbers and units, and other numerical/non-numerical components, e.g., "10 miles", "Boeing 747"
  • Imperial measurements should be accompanied by the metric equivalent in brackets, and vice versa. If possible, use a conversion template, eg. {{convert|5|mi|km|0}}.
  • Whole numbers under 10 should be spelled out as words, except when in lists, tables or infoboxes.
  • Sentences should not start with a numeral. The sentence should be recast or the number should be spelled out.
  • Ampersands (&) should not be used (except when in a name, eg., Marks & Spencer)
  • "Last few years" has ambiguous meaning; "past few years" is preferable in some contexts.
  • "Within" has a different meaning to "in". "Within" should only be used when emphasing that something is inside something, eg. "the town is in the county", "the town is within the county boundaries"
  • Periods and spaces are needed after initials in people's names, e.g., P. G. Wodehouse
  • Compound adjectives need hyphens.
  • A hyphen shouldn't be placed after an -ly word if it is an adverb, e,g., widely used word; except if the -ly word could be mistaken for an adjective, e.g., friendly-looking man.
  • "Century" doesn't need a capital, e.g., "15th century" rather than "15th Century"
  • "While" should only be used when emphasising that two events occur at the same time, or when emphasising contrast. It shouldn't be used as an additive link.
  • Using "with" as an additive link leads to wordy and awkward prose, e.g. "the town has ten councillors, with one being the district mayor" → "the town has ten councillors; one is the district mayor"


  • Avoid beginning a sentence with "there", when "there" doesn't stand for anything, leads to wordy prose, e.g. There are ten houses in the village could be written more directly as The village has ten houses.
  • Avoid the words "current", "recent" & "to date" as they become outdated. (GA criteria)
  • Avoid using "not" unnecessarily, eg. "songs previously not heard" → "songs previously unheard"
  • Avoid contractions, such as "can’t", "he's" or "they're".
  • Avoid weasel words, such as "it is believed that", "is widely regarded as", "some have claimed". (GA criteria)
  • Avoid peacock terms, such as "beautiful", "famous", "popular", "well-known", "significant", "important" and "obvious". (GA criteria)
  • Avoid informal words, such as "carry out", "pub", "though", "tremendous" and "bigger".
  • Avoid vague words, such as "various", "many", "several", "long", "a number of", "just", "very" and "almost" - get the facts.

See also


 Tool server

Main tool page:
  • Reflinks - Edits bare references - adds title/dates etc. to bare references
  • Checklinks - Edit and repair external links
  • Dab solver - Quickly resolve ambiguous links.
  • Peer reviewer - Provides hints and suggestion to improving articles.

External watchlist

 Project tools

These are tools that relate to our project, and are designed to help contributors and members to better navigate and collaborate on the Project pages.

 List of shortcuts

This is a list of the various shortcut links that WikiProject Food and drink uses.

Project links

Task force links

 List of bots

WikiProject Food and drink subscribes to several bots to perform redundant or time consuming tasks. Currently we employ the following bots:

  • AAlertBot - On a daily basis, this bot collects and posts information regarding Proposed deletions (Prods), Requests for Comment discussions (RfC), and other ongoing discussions regarding article changes. This information can be found on the Article alerts page.
  • AlexNewArtBotNope User:InceptionBot - this bot populates a list of new food and drink articles at User:AlexNewArtBot/FoodDrinkSearchResult.
  • JL-Bot - On a weekly basis, this bot collects and posts the information regarding project content such as Featured Articles, Did You Knows and other similar information. Its results can be found on the Recognized Content page.
  • WP 1.0 bot - On a daily basis, the WP 1.0 bot reports all information regarding article assessments, article classifications and changes of importance levels based upon the WikiProject Food & Drink template. This information can be found on the Assessment page.

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 Project subpages

This is a list of all subpages of the Project.