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Handpick helps you pick recipes from Instagram and match them to your ingredients

The problem: You’ve stumbled on a dish so delish on Instagram that you’ve drooled all over the counter. But you can’t find the recipe anywhere.

Or picture this: You’ve finally gotten home and you’re starving. Open your fridge and all you see are odds and ends, ingredients left over from other meals that don’t quite go together in any recipe you know. You dread the idea of heading back out to the store to fill in the missing pieces, and you’d rather save a dollar than order out. You could crack a cookbook (not likely) or hop on Pinterest or Instagram and root around until you find something that uses what you’ve got, but by then your stomach would be screaming at you.

Better to use Handpick, the best food discovery app yet.

Handpick has been around since 2013 and has grown into a powerful search tool, combing foodie sites and blogs as well as Pinterest and Instagram posts to present users with recipes and drool-inducing food pics and ideas. It is 100 times as large as the largest recipe site. It adds millions of new posts to its food recommendation engine daily. Like a hungry athlete, it will swallow you whole.

Related: These special plates make food photos practically mandatory

Much like Pinterest, you start off with a photo feed (in this case, of food); click on one and it takes you to a brief breakdown of the dish. You can decide to file these into topics, which will steer Handpick toward better picks (or pics) for you. Alternately, you can search by topic, like Kids Meals or The House of Carbs, or the Best Eggporn (yep). A second click takes you to the site that hosts the recipe. Consider Handpick an aggregate of all your favorite food sites in one handy app.

Handpick soba noodles

The best feature is the ingredient search – Pinterest and Instagram have nothing quite like it. You can choose your ingredients from over 10,000 listed and Handpick will show you a series of photos featuring your choices. Handpick makes it easy to clean out the fridge without eating meals that taste like unfortunate mistakes.

Yes, a lot of home cooks love Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration. But on both, sometimes links go nowhere; and with Instagram, food search functions are limited. Handpick has discovered a way to find recipes for that delicious looking meal, which is really just a picture instead of a link. The new “Recipe Match” feature takes a shared photo and matches it with a recipe or set of recipes, negating annoying “this page does not exist” messages you might get from other sites.

Handpick ingredient search and topics

How is Handpick so awesome, one might ask? Besides saving you a few bucks by keeping you from letting those last few sad celery stalks go bad, it’s the proprietary image recognition and associated algorithm that reads the hashtags as well analyzes the image for visible ingredients to figure out what you’re looking at and find the recipe that make using Handpick more convenient than using Instagram alone.

With the ingredient search function, Handpick is already a great app. With the addition of the new image recognition ability, Handpick will help Instagram and hopefully other apps be more useful. For those who’re advertising their skills, this addition of the Handpick search function means more people who are actually looking for food and recipes will see your posts. Instagram is Handpick’s first partner for Recipe Match and Social Food Search; let’s hope other sites begin using it, too.

Check it out on Android or your i-toy. It’s one small step to a meal, and one great step for mealtime.