Top chefs reduce recipes to bite size Twitter posts

New culinary craze sweeps social networking site Previously, culinary stars like Gordon Ramsay and Atul Kochar used social networking site Twitter to share links to recipes, titbits and menu suggestions. Now top chefs - and a slew of home cooks - are taking things one step further by shrinking down complete recipes down to 140 characters to post on the website.

The micro-blogging site, that enables its users to send and read other users' updates known as tweets, limits users to 140 characters per post - the length of a SMS. As a result, starters, main courses and puddings are written in 'txt speak' – the mobile phone language which has sprung up in recent years where words are shortened or swapped out for their number equivalents.

Chefs have come up with their own abbreviations, including h20 for water, bb for baby and T for tablespoon. This has led to some confusion, but users are free to clear up any queries in the forms of tweets as they cook.

A typical recipe looks something like this one for Stout Ice Cream, from user Maureen Evans. "Stout Ice Cream: heat to boil 2/3c stout/2T molasses; cool. Beat 4yolk/6T sug; +c milk&cream/stout. Freeze/mix frequently~5h or use machine." Or Grace Piper's offering – a Best Baba Ghanoush, transmitted over two tweets: "Best Baba Ghanoush Halve 2Eggplants rubwithEVOO RoastCutSideDown 400degrees tilSoft chopwithskinON Processwith 1/4cupTahini Juice1Lemon 2mincedGarlic Cloves 1TbspCumin Add more of any of these &S/P to taste."

To help you decode the recipes here are some of the most common abbreviations found amongst the recipes: On the ingredients side "EVOO" stands for "extra virgin olive oil", "garl" is garlic while "csalt" signifies "sea salt. For methods, "msh" means "mash", "rmv" stands for remove and if you see "+" you should "add". In case of quantities and state of ingredients, TS stands for "teaspoon", "handfl" requires a "handful" of something and "chpd" tells you something should be "chopped".

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