hRecipe 0.1

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This document represents a draft microformat specification. Although drafts are somewhat mature in the development process, the stability of this document cannot be guaranteed, and implementers should be prepared to keep abreast of future developments and changes. Watch this wiki page, or follow discussions on the #microformats Freenode IRC channel to stay up-to-date.



hRecipe is a simple, open, distributed format, suitable for embedding information about recipes for cooking in (X)HTML, Atom, RSS, and arbitrary XML. hRecipe is one of several microformats open standards. This page and Microformat is in the public domain.

hRecipe Microformat Draft Specification




Andy Mabbett, Frances Berriman, Cameron Perry, John LeMasney, Tantek Çelik, SudarshanP, Ciaran McNulty, Lee Jordan, Robert Bachmann, jeffmcneill, Manu Sporny, Ryan King, HollyMarieKoltz, Straup, Christophe Ducamp, Mercman, Yde, Ameer Dawood, Scottk, Lee Jordan, MonroAlmon, EstevaoSamuel, Brian Suda, SteveL, JohnLeMasney,

Microformats #Copyright and #Patents statements apply.


The hRecipe microformat is designed for the mark-up of instructions for creating meals, drinks or food-based items.

It is difficult for a browser to extract semantic information about a recipe described on a web page. Metadata such as author and name and details such as ingredients, method, preparation time etc provide relevant information about the recipe.

Having such information marked up can provide a number of benefits to the viewer. If a web browser understands that a particular web page contains a recipe with specific characteristics, it can produce richer interactions. For example, specific searches may be performed for ingredients or authors via general search services such as Google and Wikipedia. Additionally, classification by crawlers can become more accurate. If there are 20 recipes found on a page, and they all contain a certain ingredient, it can be assumed that the page is not only about cooking, but also about that particular ingredient.

In order to enable and encourage the sharing, distribution, syndication, and aggregation of recipes, the authors propose the hRecipe microformat, an open standard for distributed recipe metadata. The authors have researched both numerous recipe-examples in the wild and earlier attempts at recipe-formats, and have designed hRecipe around a simple minimal schema for recipe content. Feedback is encouraged on the hRecipe feedback page.

Inspiration and Acknowledgments

Many thanks to the various individuals that did research and proposed ideas and discussion related to the hRecipe-format and recipes in general.


Recipes consistently share several common elements and fields. Where possible hRecipe has been based on this minimal common subset.

Out of scope

Elements that are too specific have been omitted from hRecipe. It is important that hRecipe be kept simple and minimal from the start. Additional features can be added as deemed necessary by practical implementation experience.


The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.

In General

The hRecipe format is based on a set of fields common to numerous recipe sites and formats in use today on the web. Where possible field names have been chosen based on those defined by related microformat standards.


The hRecipe schema consists of the following elements:

Field details

Class names photo and note are reused from hCard, num, unit and item are reused from measure, author and published are reused from hAtom.

The fields of the hRecipe schema represent the following:


A hRecipe is used to identify and describe values and metadata typically associated with a recipe.


The title of a single recipe is a short textual description used to identify the work among interested parties. This can be the name of a meal or a short description regarding it's ingredients.


The summary provides a short introduction or an accompanying statement about the recipe.


An Author is the person who authored the recipe.


The date the recipe was published.


Accompanying image.


Describes one or more ingredients used in the recipe.


The method of the recipe.


Specifies the quantity produced by the recipe, like how many persons it satisfyies or how many pieces can be made of it.


The time it takes to prepare the meal described by the recipe. Multiple preparation-time fields can be used to denote e.g. time for preparing a dough, time needed for the dough to raise, time to bake the dough, time for decorating the cake etc.


Nutritional information like calories, fat, dietary fiber etc.

Parser Processing Notes

None so far.

Semantic XHTML Design Principles

Note: the Semantic XHTML Design Principles were written primarily within the context of developing hCard and hCalendar, thus it may be easier to understand these principles in the context of the hCard design methodology (i.e. read that first). Tantek

XHTML is built on XML, and thus XHTML based formats can be used not only for convenient display presentation, but also for general purpose data exchange. In many ways, XHTML based formats exemplify the best of both HTML and XML worlds. However, when building XHTML based formats, it helps to have a guiding set of principles.

  1. Reuse the schema (names, objects, properties, values, types, hierarchies, constraints) as much as possible from pre-existing, established, well-supported standards by reference. Avoid restating constraints expressed in the source standard. Informative mentions are ok.
    1. For types with multiple components, use nested elements with class names equivalent to the names of the components.
    2. Plural components are made singular, and thus multiple nested elements are used to represent multiple text values that are comma-delimited.
  2. Use the most accurately precise semantic XHTML building block for each object etc.
  3. Otherwise use a generic structural element (e.g. <span> or <div>), or the appropriate contextual element (e.g. an <li> inside a <ul> or <ol>).
  4. Use class names based on names from the original schema, unless the semantic XHTML building block precisely represents that part of the original schema. If names in the source schema are case-insensitive, then use an all lowercase equivalent. Components names implicit in prose (rather than explicit in the defined schema) should also use lowercase equivalents for ease of use. Spaces in component names become dash '-' characters.
  5. Finally, if the format of the data according to the original schema is too long and/or not human-friendly, use <abbr> instead of a generic structural element, and place the literal data into the 'title' attribute (where abbr expansions go), and the more brief and human readable equivalent into the element itself. Further informative explanation of this use of <abbr>: Human vs. ISO8601 dates problem solved

More Semantic Equivalents

For some properties there is a more semantic equivalent, and therefore they get special treatment, e.g.:


Human vs. Machine Readable

If an <abbr> element is used for a property, then its 'title' attribute is used for the value of the property, instead of the contents of the element, which can then be used to provide a user-friendly alternate presentation of the value.

If an <a> element is used for one or more properties, it MUST be treated as follows:

  1. For the 'photo' property and any other property that takes a URL as its value, the href="..." attribute provides the property value.
  2. For other properties, the element's content is the value of the property.

If an <img> element is used for the 'photo' property, it MUST use the property value provided by the src="..." attribute as property value.

If an <object> element is used for the 'photo' property, it MUST use the property value provided by the data="..." attribute as property value.


This section is informative.

XMDP Profile

<dl class="profile">
  <a rel="help" href="">
   HTML4 definition of the 'class' attribute.</a>
  This meta data profile defines some 'class' attribute values (class names) 
  and their meanings as suggested by a 
  <a href="">
   draft of "Hypertext Links in HTML"</a>.</p>
    Used to identify and describe metadata associated with instructions for creating meals, drinks or food-based items.
    The title of the recipe.
    The summary provides a short introduction or an accompanying statement about the recipe.
   The person who authored the recipe..
    The date that the recipe was made available to the public.
    Accompanying image.
    Describes the ingredient(s) used in the recipe.
    The method of the recipe.
    Specifies the quantity produced by the recipe.
    The time it takes to prepare the meal described by the recipe.
    Nutritional information like calories, fat, dietary fiber etc.


This section is informative.

Here will be a few examples of recipes, from real web sites, showing how they could be easily enhanced to use hRecipe. In the meantime the following contrieved example will have to do.

<div class="hrecipe">
	<p class="recipe-title">Pommes Frites</p>
	<p class="recipe-summary">
		Pommes frites originate in outer space. They are served hot.<br />
		This recipe is only an example. Don't try this at home!
	<p class="vcard fn">Thomas Loertsch</p>
	<p>Published <abbr class="published" title="2008-10-14T10:05:37-01:00">14. Oct 2008</abbr></p>
	<img src="/img/pommes.png" class="photo" width="100" height="100" alt="Pommes Frites"/>
	<p class="ingredient hmeasure">
		<span class="num">500</span> 
		<span class="unit">gramme</span>
		<span class="item">potatoes</span>,
		<span class="note">hard cooking</span>.
	<ul class="method">
		<li>First wash the potatoes.</li>
		<li>Then slice and dice them and put them in boiling fat.</li>
		<li>After a few minutes take them out again.</li>
	<p>Enough for <span class="yield">12</span> children.</p>
	<p class="preparation-time hmeasure">Preparation time is approximately 
		<span class="num">90</span> 
		<abbr class="unit" title="minutes">min</abbr>.
	<p class="preparation-time hmeasure">Add 
		<span class="num">5</span> 
		<abbr class="unit" title="minutes" >min</abbr> 
		for <span class="note">preparing the Ketchup</span>.
	<p>This recipe is <a href="" rel="tag">easy</a> and <a href="" rel="tag">delicious</a>.</p>
	<p class="nutrition hmeasure">
		Pommes Frites have more than 
		<span class="num">1000</span> 
		<span class="unit">Joule</span>
                <span class="type">Energy</span>.

Examples in the wild

This section is informative.

Wild Mushroom, Pancetta & Truffle Risotto by Toby Inkster


This section is informative.

As of September 2008, Cognition has experimental support for this format. (Details of support.) Recipes may be exported in RecipeBook XML format or RDF.


Normative References

Informative References


This document and hAudio specification was placed into the public domain on 2008-11-14 by the authors. There are no usage, distribution, re-printing, or any other restrictions of any kind with regards to the text or content of this specification.


This specification is subject to a royalty free patent policy, e.g. per the W3C Patent Policy, and IETF RFC3667 & RFC3668.

Public Domain Release

The authors and editors of this page due hereby relinquish their copyright on the document and release the text of this page into the public domain.

Work in progress

This specification is a work in progress. As additional aspects are discussed, understood, and written, they will be added.

related pages

Per the microformats process, the recipe effort developed

towards the development of this draft.


hRecipe 0.1 was last modified: Wednesday, December 31st, 1969