Some recipes are passed down for generations. And some people would love nothing more than to steal said recipes and recreate them.
But, there’s a reason why recipe intros read like a family novel.
You don’t need to share those recipes with just anyone.
Redditor mongoosedog12 encountered this very issue with their friend’s girlfriend. So they turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for not giving my friend’s GF my German chocolate cake recipe?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I (28, Female) know this sounds dumb as f’k but she seems pretty angry, I want to keep the peace but I’m not sure what to do”
“Baking is a hobby that I refined during college and continue to level today. This friend in question (Jay, Male, 29), was in my major during undergrad, he belonged to a frat and I was allowed to use their huge kitchen for baking as long as I gave them some.”
“I found out his favorite cake was German chocolate cake, I started making them, some turned out great some I thought were too sweet so on and so forth. So, I started playing around and created my own recipe.”
“I’ve made that cake on multiple occasions and each time everyone’s said something like ‘this is the best German chocolate cake I’ve had’ this took me about 4 years but I found a winner.”
“Food is my love and friendship language. Any milestone my friends hit, because I can’t be there for them I send them their fav baked good.”
“Friend got engaged, sent her cookies. Other friend purchased her first house, sent her brownies, you get the picture.”
OP’s friend achieved a milestone.
“Jay got a new job which paid well and took him out of his terrible work environment, I was happy for him so I sent him a German chocolate cake.”
“About 4 days later his GF (May, 26) messaged me asking for the recipe. She said Jay kept raving about it and she wants to make it for his birthday.”
“I normally wouldn’t mind, I’ve had people ask me for recipes before and I’ve given it to them.”
“However before covid I was starting to get stuff together so I could sell at farmers markets. I ended up having to move but I want to do the same thing here. German chocolate cake would be something I sold, so I told her no. I also have other reach goals as it relates to baking.”
“She says I’m being selfish and rude.”
OP offered to help.
“I tried to patch it by saying if she found a recipe and needed some tips or help I’m willing to help (even told her about the one on the baking squares). I told her I’m sure he’d like anything she made because she put in the effort.”
“That didn’t change her mind, so I told her about my farmers market plans. She mocked me and said ‘no ones trying to steal your dumb a** farmers market idea’.”
“I may be an a**hole because I responded ‘no sh*t you’re stressing me about a recipe so I know you don’t have it in you to create anything.’”
“I haven’t met her at all, so this whole thing is awkward to me.”
“I haven’t said anything since. I feel like what I offered was good enough, she’s not entitled to my recipe. She can make a german chocolate cake and not make my cake.”
OP added some edits.
“To clarify my initial no it was ‘I’m uncomfortable doing, there’s plenty of recipes you can find online that are delicious. But, I’ve spent years trying to get it “perfect” and I just can’t give it away. Sorry no’.”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA. She can spend 4 years or more trying to perfect it herself.”
“Edit: typo” ~ nonconformistmuch
“Agreed, NTA. People like to think of recipes as their right to know because they are ‘just recipes’. Like it’s just fluff.”
“No. Some are pure gold and should be similarly under lock and key.”
“EDIT: Recipes are some of the most valuable presents I have been gifted. They would mean far less if those that passed them and myself spread them to every friend and acquaintance. Multi-million dollar businesses have been built on recipes.” ~ FlamesS_
“I have to say I completely agree. I usually start with a written recipe, then change things to improve flavor and textures. I keep my personal notes on my recipes and add notes to try something different next time. OP shouldn’t just give away years of effort. NTA” ~ emherrera1960
“My mom has a spaghetti sauce recipe that was passed down from her grandmother. My mom changed some stuff, and now I’ve changed some stuff. I don’t give the recipe out. I will make it for anyone who asks but they aren’t getting my sauce recipe.” ~ tink630
“Just do what I do… Give them ‘a recipe’ just not yours…. I do this often because a lot of the stuff I’ve learned from my family isn’t done by measurements, all done by eye and just instinct of making the same recipes over and over, when people ask me how much of this or that I really cant give them an honest answer cause I’m not a measuring cup so I just Google, find the best looking one and pass it on!!! Lol NTA” ~ cjbay87
OP added an update.
“I’ve reflected on some of these responses. I don’t understand how my suggestion of her finding a recipe and me helping isn’t the same as ‘just sending her a recipe that isn’t yours’.. she can do 2 secs of work..”
“BUT I can see how just doing it can patch it and I can move on. It’s not worth it.”
“I gave her one of my iterations and some tips for some extra umph. I don’t wanna be that friend, I’m not trying to cause drama but she’s not getting the ‘perfect’ one.”
“Wished her luck so hope it’s over. Maybe if we talk again it’ll go better hahaha.”
“Thanks for all the suggestions.”
Recipes are incredibly personal, so only share them if you want to.