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A good food magazine?
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rori76



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
Posts: 1
Location: Roma, Italy

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:50 pm    Post subject: A good food magazine? Reply with quote

Hi to all,
I'm deciding to which magazine subscribe for the coming year.
2009 was the year of Bon Appetite.
2010 was expected to be the year of Gourmet, alas it's not more possible.

Which are good food related magazine for you?

thanks a lot
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bainst



Joined: 07 Aug 2005
Posts: 151
Location: Baghdad, Iraq

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a big fan of Food and Wine and also of Fine Cooking. I to will also miss Gourmet.
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've pretty much given up on consumer cooking magazines, as most of them have gone steadily downhill. Instead of subscribing I look at them on the newsstand, and, if there's something of interest, I buy that issue. Fact is, though, I haven't bought one in more months than I care to remember.

Heading the list of those I even look at would be Food & Wine and Saveur.

IMO, Bon Appetite may as well be titled "Rachael Ray's Other Magazine." And virtually every magazine bearing the name of a celebrity chef is, far as I'm concerned, a joke.
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CarlaH



Joined: 22 Jun 2008
Posts: 34
Location: South shore of Montreal, Quebec, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to buy way too many cooking magazines which I would look at and, once in a blue moon, cook something from them. I am now in the process of going through them one last time and clipping out very select recipes. One magazine that I still buy on a regular basis is Cook's Illustrated - good tips - tested recipes and NO ADVERTISING.
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going through them periodically is a good idea. Otherwise you wind up doing what I did a couple of years ago. I went through 25 years worth of cooking magazines all at once, clipping what I really wanted and discarding the rest.

That's why I feel so strongly about them going downhill. I saw the process over a relatively few days.

Another thing that stood out, btw, is how one's tastes change. Many times there were recipes that I had marked to try in older magazines that I looked at and said to myself, "whyever would I want to make that?" Meanwhile, recipes I had skipped over suddenly had appeal.

Recipes aside, what really changed, over time, was the editorial content, and it's quality. There was a steady downward movement, with the better magazines moving away from their upscale postitioning and trying, more and more, to appeal to the mass, less sophisticated audience. Unfortunately, Food Network already owns that market. So there were predictable results, such as the folding of Gourmet.

Newer publications seem to be following similar downward movements. Saveur, with everyone had great hopes for, has become nothing more than a catalog. What purports to be editorial material mostly just touts products (which, miracle du, happen to be those of advertisers). Food & Wine, seems to be moving in that direction as well, but still contains some pure editorial material.

All in all, very depressing.
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and NO ADVERTISING.

You say that, Carla, not only as if lack of advertising was a good thing, but that advertising is somehow evil.

Fact is, nowadays, you can get more meaningful information from the ads than from the so-called editorial material in most cooking magazines.

Besides which, the absence of ads in Cook's Illustrated is why the cover price is so high. Somebody's gotta pay for it.

Historically, even with their higher subscription prices, it is very rare that a publication can survive with its readers being the only income stream. Production and distribution costs are outlandish, and your subscription barely covers them.

There is also an erroneous concept that ad-less magazines are purer, with more objective editorial material than those which carry ads. Such is not the case. Or, rather, doesn't have to be the case, and historically wasn't. One of the ways food magazines have degraded is that the editorial side and business side used to be separate entities. The editors concentrated on putting out a great magazine, paying no (well, very little) attention to advertiser sensibilities. That, unfortunately, is no longer true. Nowadays, it seems (at least with food magazines) that the advertisers call the tune and the editors dance to it. Crying or Very sad
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try "Gastronomica" -- "The Journal of Food and Culture"
http://www.gastronomica.org/
I've made it a point to get all the back issues too, it's that good!
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, great content Ginger.

But, omigod! the pricetag---which kind of proves one of my points.
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi rori76

Welcome to the forum!!!

I particularly love a New Zealand magazine "Dish".

Scrumptious recipes, stunning photography, and truly informative articles.

HIGHLY recommended.

http://www.dish.co.nz
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just checked Bon Appetit, and realized that it is the cooking magazine I dislike so much. It is, truly, written for those who watch Rachel Ray, Sandra Lee and Guy Fieri. If you are outside of the English speaking world and don't get the food network, don't worry. I am sure you have cooking shows just as bad in your own countries. I got TV 5 for a while, and it was so bad, including the occasional cooking shows, that I couldn't watch it, even though I was desperate about my loss of fluency in French due to lack of exposure.

I love reading cooking magazines, and, despite some issues with Gourmet found it the only readable one. I used to like Eating Well, but it now is composed mainly of 20 minute meals made by combing convenience foods. Cooks Illustrated may be the best but it is overly fussy. I have never really read Saveur, except for the January issue. I feel like the whole world is catering to a vulgar mass market, and I am positioned (positioning myself?) as a snob because I cook from scratch, and I don't like to see cooks made over into caricatures of themselves. I am going to try Fine Cooking.

I do have to say that I looooove Darra Goldstein, so Gastronomica may be worth purchasing on an issue by issue basis. Has anyone besides me read Darra Goldstein's book on winter foods? (I can't remember the name.) It goes beyond being a cookbook and is full of really interesting anecdotes about eastern and northern European food culture.

Dory
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CarlaH



Joined: 22 Jun 2008
Posts: 34
Location: South shore of Montreal, Quebec, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KY Heirloomer, the only reason I said NO ADVERTISING was because it keeps the magazine to a good size if you are saving them - I worked in Advertising for a while and know that the ads help cover the cost of production (and hopefully generate profits). You're right about how our tastes change over time - a lot of the things I've clipped in the past have not made it past a second recipe file purge.
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, Carla. Didn't mean to get your panties in a knot. But the way you highlighted it seemed to indicate this was a really important consideration for you.

BTW, ads do not just help cover production costs. They are, for most publications, the primary income stream. Subscription costs are all but meaningless in that regard (which is why we all get bombarded with those discount magazine offers). Subscriptions are important because they determine how circulation and readership is computed. And that, in turn, determines the page rate charged advertisers.

In an ideal world, readers would be happy to pay for the publications they want. In the real world, however, they aren't. Or at least not in numbers that count. Thus, the majority of no-ads magazines do not last. Just how many people do you reckon are really prepared to drop 12 bucks a pop for Gastronomica?

This is the second incarnation of Cook's Illustrated. If history is any judge, it won't last long in this go-round either.

Who here remembers Kitchen Gardener magazine? For those who both cook and garden it was a fantastic magazine---with no ads. But given the incredible production costs for a quality magazine, and the limited income stream from subscribers, it, too, went the way of the dodo bird. Sad

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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happily, I get Gastronomica for the retired rate ($9). It comes out 4 times a year, each issue has about 120 pages (not including ads.)
(There ARE ads in Gastronomica, but all together at the end, and tasteful as hell.) No need to resist, Brook!
"Cooks Illustrated" has about 33 pages, 6 issues a year.
The pictures in CI are always clear & instructive (sometimes saving dinner), or charming and artistic.
The pics in "Gastro.." are often one-of-a-kind, or rare/old/remarkable/gorgeous.
I thoroughly enjoy both magazines!
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even at $9 an issue, Ginger, it's a steep price.

I've looked at several on the newsstand and, frankly, there was very little I found interesting. Too much of their content is written by academics, and it's like reading a textbook. And much of the other subject matter didn't appeal to me.

My point wasn't whether or not it's a good magazine. Rather it had to do with what readers have to pay for the information it contains. If Gastronomica was a regular consumer magazine, it would have a 60/40 ratio of editorial to ads. The same 120 pages you get now would be more like 250, and you'd be paying about $12/year for six issues.

But hey, it's your money to spend as you like. What I'm saying is that you're in a distinct minority, and my prediction is that Gastronomica won't make it five years. Not based on subscription sales, anyway.
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Gingerpale, thanks for mentioning Gastronomica, which I wasn't aware of. I browsed through their site and I find it very very interesting. From my point of view," mostly recipe" magazines are not very interesting anymore, as I'm not really looking all the time how to cook an egg in 100 slyles.
There are enough blogs and recipe sites for getting new recipes and ideas, and anyhow, I find very few who are really original. Therefore, the "literary" aspect of Gastronomica appeals to me. I'll try to find out how I can get it here. I don't find the price exorbitant, so i'll give it a chance.
Thanks again,

No more war, more good food , good reading, good life , more good good good..
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