With an app, the theory goes, a cook no longer has to battle with sticky cookbook pages as they dice and chop. They can also show a novice what to do in real time, rather than just giving them a long list of instructions to digest.
The wide popularity of tablet computers such as the iPad has made digital entrepreneurs look again at the commercial possibilities of the kitchen. Most updated cooking apps now offer alternative ways of seeing each recipe, including a step-by-step guide for beginners and a wordless, graphic illustration that serves as a visual reminder for more assured cooks.
Yet those domestic chefs who have long treasured their dog-eared copies of classics by Elizabeth David, Madhur Jaffrey or Delia Smith may find it difficult to accept a technological upgrade. Whether a favourite cookbook is marked with telling splashes and scribbled comments, or is merely read in bed, performing the function of a familiar comfort blanket, it still delivers something that the food writer and television presenter Jay Rayner suspects cannot be replaced.
"A cooking app is a brilliant thing, until you have to turn the page with hands caked in dough. A stained cookery-book page is a mark of commitment; a stained smartphone is a trip back to the shop," he suggests.
Full story at The Observer including a list of culinary milestones in publishing.