Food Love


foodmags.jpgThere is so much food related media and entertainment in the world. It can be overwhelming to wade through the average and the downright lame to find the real gems. Mr. Mcginnis and I both love to cook and discuss cooking...and restaurants and kitchen equipment and cooking shows and cooking blogs and, of course, cooking magazines. I've been trying to choose three food magazines to cover here on PF for some time. I decided on The Diner Journal for their great love and enthusiasm for all parts of the process from growing to cooking to eating, Cook's Illustrated for their obsessive need to test every possible way of doing something, and the Edible magazines for their commitment to educating and enjoying each community in which they publish.

The Diner Journal, published by the folks who run the Brooklyn restaurants Diner and Marlowe and Sons, gets better with each issue. I wrote about their first issue in 2006 and have enjoyed watching them grow. The Diner Journal has more heart than any food magazine I've seen. Inside are photographs of family meals and conversations with the people who grew the food, enthusiasm for under-appreciated ingredients, and inventive ways of using well-loved classics. The recipes are written in an informal style but are easy to follow. I've tried several of them. A new slim volume arrives each season and has a theme. The current, Spring 2008, is mostly about goats--ideas about how to solve the problem of too many male kids, lack of American interest in goat meat, recipes involving goat milk, goat cheese, goat meat, goat yogurt.

Cook's Illustrated is kind of the opposite of The Diner Journal. These people are crazy obsessives. They test a bazillion ways of doing one thing--say roasting a chicken--to see what methods produce the crispiest skin or the juiciest meat. Thanks to a subscription to Cook's Illustrated, my dad now knows that the best pie crust is made with a little iced vodka and this year's batch of cherry pies were amazing. The current issue of this great bi-monthly nerdfest includes clear instructions on the roasting of various meats, how different kinds of salmon should be cooked and how to improve your mashed potatoes. There's also a section called Recipe Update where they respond to letters from readers with questions about recipes from earlier issues. I love this. If readers are having trouble with something in the recipe or want more information, the staff does additional tests and responds.

In 2001, two ladies in Ojai, California started Edible Ojai magazine to teach their community about its local food and wine. Now six years later, they have an umbrella company called Edible Communities and 40 magazines publish under their name in the US, Canada and Europe. The individual magazines pay a franchise fee in exchange for the name and editorial support. As I am a Brooklyn resident, the one I read regularly is Edible Brooklyn. Like all the Edibles, the Brooklyn edition is very specific to its location--articles on late night bar noshes and local breweries to urban farming and the fridges of notable Brooklyn residents. I pick it up free at my local coffee shop and read it over their (Oslo coffee shop) delicious americano. The winter 2008 issue includes a story on underground restaurants, the key lime pie guy in Red Hook, a history of Brooklyn oysters which are now illegal to eat, and Wendell Berry giving us city kids some ways to eat more responsibly. Side note: While reading this issue at a friend's house, his cat took the title quite literally, leapt onto the table and took a bite out of my magazine!

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


follow us

blogs we love

small press