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Food & Wine magazine?


PamelaF
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For many years, F&W had been my favorite of all the monthly periodicals (I am in the US). I would look forward to receiving it every month.

However, I just finished leafing through the May 2004 issue and I was wondering if they accidentally sent me "Travel & Leisure" (or maybe "Shopping & Advertisements") instead of the magazine I am interested in.

I understand that the May issue is published in early Spring when people are likely to be planning summer vacations, but what happened to the "cooking" part of this magazine? Recipes seem to be few and far between.

What are your favorite magazines, these days?

Pamela Fanstill aka "PamelaF"
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I understand that Gourmet Magazine has also changed considerably and, if the thread on eG on this is totally "on target", is losing subscribers ... many of whom enjoyed the former way of doing things ...

I read Saveur and enjoy it as well as the issues of Gastronomica which were a gift. :biggrin:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I've also been annoyed at the great number of pages of advertising that I have to wade through in Gourmet. Lately I've taken to going through the magazine and ripping out all the advertising and subscription cards before beginning to read the magazine. Saveur is great -- the most authentic recipes for ethnic foods and the most in-depth stories.

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I find the recipes in Saveur to be the most consistently spot-on of any of the food rags (although I've never cooked from Fine Cooking). F&W just seems dated and uninspired or else wrong-headedly derivative. And Cooking Light just plain old sucks.

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"Food and Wine"? It's a decent product, and I'll read it occasionally, mais j'adore "Saveur" for both the exploration of culture and cuisine and I really like "Cook's Illustrated" for its scientific approach...food science at its best.

tu autem servasti bonum vinum usque adhuc

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Tidings of doom, my friends. I used to read Biography magazine (I have a life outside the kitchen) and I have a sad tale to tell.

When I started reading it, the magazine was about biographies. Then it started to incorporate travel stories and recipes. They made an effort to tie it to biographies, but the link was pretty weak. Eventually the magazine went away.

I hope the magazine publishing world isn't under the impression that "specialty" magazines are on the way out. But I know nothing about publishing, so please chime in if you have any actual specific knowledge.

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Grrr. And wouldn't you know I just renewed my subscription of Food and Wine at the beginning of the year, right before I noticed things were really taking a downhill turn (I was enjoying it until last fall). I haven't made a single recipe from it this year.

Damn. Oh well, maybe the grilling issue will at least be worth it. I do get a ton of recipes from that issue every year.

Cooking Light has been sucking balls for over a year now. I don't know why I continue to buy it, yet I do. I haven't made a single recipe from that one in over 6 months. When my sub's up, that's it.

Must remember to renew subscription to Saveur. Of course, once I renew, it's bound to start going to hell. Look at my track record.

Gourmet Anarchy

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I still like F&W, I ‘m not too happy about hearing of new budget cuts though. My wife gave me a three year subscription a couple of years ago. It is true they do have a lot of advertising but they still have 2 or 3 recipes per issue that I would like to try (not that I have the time to try them anyways). Also for some idiotic reason, I actually look forward to flip through the magazine page by page and get to the “Last Bite” section at the end with the nice picture of some luscious dessert :wacko:…go figure.

Saveur is one of my favorites as well, and I do buy it occasionally, or just read it at the book store.

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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For professional chefs I like Food Arts mag.

I will second that. I used to find Gourmet and some of the other "consumer" rags interesting to keep up with what was happening on the Coasts, but any more they are mostly useless drivell. Food Arts, Culinary Trends, Pastry Art & Design and Art Culinaire are about all that is worth reading now.

Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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It's fascinating (and a little terrifying) that despite what seems to be an unprecedented interest in food, travel, cooking, kitchens, restaurants, etc., Food and Wine is compelled to cut its editorial budget, Saveur is struggling to acquire readers and advertisers and other food magazines don't seem to be doing that well.

Keep in mind that editorial costs are a tiny fraction of the overall costs of producing a magazine (printing and paper costs are much more).

Do publishers have their budget priorities wrong, is there too much market fragmentation, are advertisers throwing their dollars at Food TV? All of the above?

In any case, none of this bodes well for good food journalism.

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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Fresco, I agree with your opening comment, but the nag in the back of my mind keeps asking me "at what level can the average American with an interest in food think about it?" We are the country that sprung McDonalds upon the world. While many people are able to have an interest, I don't think they've had an eye-opening epiphany, and the majority of magazines are going along with the majority ('cos who wants to live off of the fringe anyway? Let's make up the difference in volume, right?)

Yes, I am a pessimist.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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It's not, though, the "average American" who buys food magazines, or magazines of most sorts. I'd say the magazine buying people are consistently much less than about 10 per cent of the population, probably closer to five per cent. What's frightening is that this group appears to be shrinking.

Or not, I guess, depending on your perspective. It may not be a bad trend for eGullet, for instance.

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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Food and Wine has always been way down on my list. I subscribed for a brief period but let it lapse. But that raises another issue: is eGullet killing the food magazine? Since I began spending several hours a week on eGullet I've let lapse over half of my subscriptions to food magazines and newletters. The glossies are starting to seem lame in comparison.

"Tis no man. Tis a remorseless eating machine."

-Captain McAllister of The Frying Dutchmen, on Homer Simpson

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That's exactly what I was thinking. Could it be that the magazines are changing a little and that the average eGullet user's tastes are changing and becoming more discrimiating as well? I know this has been true with me when it comes to restaurants and this thread has made me realize it is true with magazines as well.

Bill Russell

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Food and Wine has always been way down on my list. I subscribed for a brief period but let it lapse. But that raises another issue: is eGullet killing the food magazine? Since I began spending several hours a week on eGullet I've let lapse over half of my subscriptions to food magazines and newletters. The glossies are starting to seem lame in comparison.

I hope for all of our sakes that eGullet and other sites are not killing food magazines. They do provide a livelihood for a lot of people who are worth reading.

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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I'm a little surprised by all the criticism of Food & Wine. I enjoy the magazine for a lot of reasons: the articles are well written (I especially love Lettie Teague's hilarious "Wine Matters") and the recipes are not intimidating for the home cook yet offer some challenges and unique results that can expand one's repertoire. My notebook is filled with info and recipes that I have culled from F&W. I can't say the same for other magazines (and I subscribe to A LOT of magazines.)

To each his own.

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I saw Food & Wine the other day. I left-clicked, right-clicked, double-clicked, held down the shift key. Nothing. Useless.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Hi Everyone,

I started this thread a couple of weeks ago and then disappeared, lots of real work keeping me from eGullet, sorry. Based on most people's comments it seems like I am not alone in my opinion.

I also receive Saveur and am very pleased with it, however I rarely cook any of their recipes, they are either too complex or require hard to find ingredients. (I did cook the Italian Wedding Soup from a few issues back and it was wonderful. A classic, from scratch chicken soup, with interesting extras, that took all day, but was very worth it.)

My husband even likes Saveur because of the gorgeous photography. He loves food too, and even cooks a bit, but is not as interested in reading about it as I am.

Another magazine I have found myself liking recently, has been EveryDay Food from the Martha Stewart organization. It has a cute TVGuide page size, very little editorial, just lots of recipes and a nice photo of almost every one. The recipes are mostly short and easy to prepare, but do not rely on convenience ingredients (no Cream of XXX soup).

As Jinmyo suggested in her post, eGullet has such a wealth of information, and so many ways to access it, perhaps the traditional print media is just not going to satisfy us anymore.

Pam

Pamela Fanstill aka "PamelaF"
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