What Happens When You Don't Test Recipes? Lost Readers, Even Lawsuits

​Last month, a Chilean court ruled that a major newspaper there had to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to readers who'd made a recipe for churros that it had published. Why? Well, the recipe had called for the oil to be heated well past its flash point, and the moment the cooks had dropped batter into the pan, it had exploded. 
That may be the most dramatic failure a newspaper food section has experienced, the Washington Post writes, but the incident underscores the importance of recipe testing. Reporter Tim Carman interviewed the editors of newspapers such as the LA Times and SF Chronicle, who test all recipes. The editors reported that running a test kitchen costs relatively little in terms of materials. Staff time, however, is the big expense, especially when you're testing a recipe three to 15 times and running seven to twelve recipes a week. “We still fact-check addresses and phone numbers, and that's expensive, too,” LA Times food editor Russ Parson says. 

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