A lot of the discussion around Instagram and dining focuses around its polarizing role as a mere food-porn propagation tool, deployed by gourmands and brunch-mafia hashtaggers alike to broadcast their “foodie” lifestyles to the masses. But it turns out that some folks are thinking about new ways to bend the app to more practical uses.

Take, for example, CT Food: The Swedish food supplier specializing in Asian ingredients has launched a service that uses Instagram to answer the question many diners have after an Asian feast—namely, “What exactly did I just eat?”

Users can upload pictures of their meals along with the company’s Instagram handle @AskCTFood, and then specialists at the company will comment back with a comprehensive list of ingredients, along with a recipe to make the dish. Rather than simply crowdsourcing a collection of Asian food photos, the company hopes that the service will generate additional business by giving people a reason to buy the exotic Asian ingredients that aren’t readily available in supermarkets.

Whether the company’s Instagram patrol really has the expertise to nail the specifics of a dish based on a photo alone is something we’ll have to test. But the idea is solid, and we imagine that one day identifying dishes will be entirely automated by bots, like a culinary Shazam.

@askctfood – The Asian food wizard on Instagram from CT FOOD on Vimeo.

[via Wired UK]