Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Food & Cookbooks with Suspiciously Similar Titles


Chris Amirault
 Share

Recommended Posts

Following on the Lapine/Seinfeld brouhaha, the NY Times has an interesting article today on two food books with nearly the same name:

When Missy Chase Lapine, author of the cookbook “The Sneaky Chef” that suggests ways to hide fruit and vegetables in dishes for finicky children, was angered by the publication of “Deceptively Delicious,” a similar book by Jessica Seinfeld (a k a Mrs. Jerry Seinfeld), she had recourse. This month, she sued for copyright infringement and defamation.

But when Raymond Sokolov, the restaurant columnist for The Wall Street Journal, saw that a new food book was coming out with the same title as the cookbook he had published more than 30 years ago, all he could do was stew because book titles cannot be copyrighted.

In 1976, Mr. Sokolov wrote “The Saucier’s Apprentice: A Modern Guide to Classic French Sauces for the Home.” ...

A few months ago, courtesy of a friend in the publishing industry, Mr. Sokolov learned that W. W. Norton had on its spring list “The Saucier’s Apprentice: One Long Strange Trip Though the Great Cooking Schools of Europe,” by Bob Spitz, author of the highly regarded “The Beatles: The Biography.” (For the record, the humorist S. J. Perelman published an essay called “The Saucier’s Apprentice” in The New Yorker about two decades before Mr. Sokolov’s book).

When I saw this headline, I thought that the article was going to focus on another oddly resonant title: Padma Lakshmi's Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet, which is about as blatant a rip-off of Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid's Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet as can be.

Are there any other example of such suspicious similarity out there in the world of cooking and food books?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

When I wrote my 1986 (!) book, Sun-Drenched Cuisine, my editor said before we went to press: I think we'll be seeing a lot of sun-drenched stuff out there (she was speaking also about the whole topic of a cuisine defined by its concept of being linked to the flavors of the sun).

ditto for hot and spicy (1985).

but they are not the only ones, and one can't really protect oneself from being ripped off. well, most of us can't. and just give up. and also when it comes to concepts, sometimes it is a unique and original one, and sometimes it is in the ether, one never knows and cannot prove......

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Comfort Me with Apples.

Joe Fiorito's came out in the early to mid 90s.

Ruth Reichl's came out after that by several years, I think.

But that's a fairly well known quote (from the Song of Solomon: "Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples; for I am sick of love."). I don't think it's that odd that two authors would choose it as their book title.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is The Bread Bible, by Beth Hensperger, 1998.

Then there is The Bread Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum, 2003

Personally, I'd be very pleased to never see a cookbook with the word Bible in its title again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Other threads here on eG mention remarkably (I think that term fits) coincidental titles, including one used in at least three food books recently.

I mentioned (I think in another thread linked in that one) the Atlantic Monthly several years ago with a landmark article (on cholesterol), causing the largest volume of letters in the magazine's history -- and a few years later, a book by another author appearing with essentially the same title -- and not mentioning the Atlantic piece (that I could find).

A generation ago, regional restaurant critic Jim Quinn published the revealing behind-the-scenes look at US restaurants, But Never Eat Out on a Saturday Night, partly expanding on his sensational and widely read article in a national magazine. The book's theme, laid out in the preface, was "The last days of Haute (or faux) Cuisine." Several years later another regional US critic published another book looking broadly at US restaurants, and though it cited certain icons (of the A. J. Liebling caliber) I didn't see mention of Quinn's book, with overlapping subject matter. Despite titling the new book The Last Days of Haute Cuisine.

It happens in scholarship too. I don't know how many of these cases are truly "suspicious," but any unexplained sharp title coincidence in a related work, is, well, unexplained. An incentive for authors to (a) know and (b) cite their antecedents -- it helps everyone, especially themselves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The title "Arabesque" was used by both Greg Malouf and Claudia Roden, but the full titles of both books were different. However, the name "Arabesque" was the prominent part of the title.

"Arabesque - Modern Middle Eastern Food". Malouf used it first in 1999.

"Arabesque - A Taste of Morocca, Turkey, and Lebanon" was released by Roden in 2005 (?).

Malouf is re-releasing his book this year under the alternative title of "Artichoke to Za'atar - Modern Middle Eastern Food"

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
There is The Bread Bible, by Beth Hensperger, 1998.

Then there is The Bread Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum, 2003

Personally, I'd be very pleased to never see a cookbook with the word Bible in its title again.

Actually, Berenbaum wasn't stealing a title, but rather riffing on her own Cake Bible (1988). But I agree with the overuse of Bible in cookbooks...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...