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America's new culinary renaissance

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The proliferation of new media is adding to the foodie culture. No longer do you have to thumb through some Italian cookbook you may or may not have to find the best way to make shrimp fra diavolo. You can find as many recipes as you want – for the novice or gourmand – with the click of a mouse. Want to know something as mundane as how long it takes to boil an egg? Type the query into Google's search engine and you'll get 40,600,000 suggestions in less than one second.

Something more obscure? Try vichyssoise, a seasonal soup, usually served cold, that is made of scallions or leeks, potatoes, and cream. An online search will yield 640,000 hits, including a debate over the soup's origin (best guess: either a French chef or one at New York's Ritz Carlton in the early 1900s).

If finding a recipe and a little sociology behind it isn't enough, you can always register with Foodista.com, an online cooking encyclopedia, where you can post your own recipes and have others rate – or edit – them. Foodista now has 20,000 registered users, 110,000 Twitter followers, and 25,000 Facebook fans.

"People have always talked about food," says NYU's Professor Ray. "The difference is, with [the proliferation of] new media, the conversation is now reaching everyone all the time."

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