Friday, September 22, 2006

Goldilocks Reviews Cooking Magazines

I’ve had a subscription to Bon Appetít, off and on, for about ten years now. I really think it’s the best food/recipe magazine out there.

Gourmet
is just a tad too snooty and complicated; it's for people who not only are gastronomes (nothing wrong with that) but WANT YOU TO KNOW IT TOO. Sure, I would find these incredible recipes, but they might take me three days to make and require all sorts of gadgets and techniques. I'm intimidated and sometimes just plain grossed out by the recipes (foie gras stuffed dates, anyone?). It’s an unrealistic magazine for someone like me - way more fantasy than reality.

I have a big soft spot for Cook’s Illustrated. It feels homey and instructional, like a great-aunt who lectures you on the proper way to do every single thing but has such vast knowledge that you can’t help but respect her. Cook’s Illustrated recipes are usually quintessential, which is great if you ever want to make The Perfect Pork Loin or something, but there’s not much variation and rarely do they feature the kind of ethnic fusion food I lean towards. Another thing I need in a cooking magazine is eye candy, well-photographed food and settings. The educational sketches in Cook’s Illustrated just don’t do it for me. It’s an extremely pragmatic publication and I like a little fantasy.

When I flip through Bon Appetít, on the other hand, I find myself wanting to make everything, go to every recommended restaurant, travel to every featured locale. I get inspired. So until I find something better, it’s just right.

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