So what food magazines DO you like to read, wise guy?

I always put my foot in it when I express opinions. An email or two asking that essential question floated in overnight. The answer is I don’t buy food magazines all that much. When I remember, I’ll renew my on again-off again subscription to Cook’s Illustrated, the content of which, as you can probably guess, is right up my alley. (I’m still undecided about editor Christopher Kimball, whose unapologetically elitist response to the fall of Gourmet still has me baffled).

Once upon a time I had a flirtation with Saveur, though it didn’t last long. That magazine always had a nice look and great photography. Its editors also deserved a lot of credit for broadening the world of food beyond the borders of France. Yet they never seemed to be able to resist the temptation to make their readers feel like jerks for not being as sophisticated and authentic as they were. I’m here in the desert of Morocco eating locally-made couscous out of a hand-thrown tagine…

Bon Appetit, Gourmet’s major competitor, continues to make bank for reasons that are fairly obvious: it churns out page upon page of well tested, easy-to-understand, quick-to-prepare recipes without much fluff or pretension. It’s nowhere near as “literary” as Gourmet or Saveur, but it’s a cooking magazine first, a travel and lifestyle magazine second. I like to pick it up from time to time because a scan of the recipes will tell you — in about two minutes’ time — what the popular trends are in food.

But I suppose the honest answer is that if I were truly sold on a cooking magazine I wouldn’t be blogging every day. If you can’t find anything you like to read — write it! Or so the old adage goes. I guess is — save for all the spelling and typographical errors — the cooking pub I really want to read. I’m very glad and grateful that there are others who feel that way too. And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

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