Monday, February 05, 2007
La Cucina Italiana and Gourmet Disappointments
Then there was the February Gourmet. I picked it up for a cover story on mastering souffles. But when my wife and I were looking through it, we didn't see the article - didn't even catch a mention of something sounding like that in the table of contents. So I went to the recipe index and looked for souffle recipes. There was only one, part of a general recipe round-up. Then it was back to the cover to notice that the line there mentioned the same type of souffle. The editors took a single recipe and then pretended there was something more significant about it than there obviously was. I don't know how to break it to them, but calling one recipe "mastering" is stretching the truth farther than a strudel dough. Then, in general, the whole look and feel have gone, to my taste, downhill. They're trying to be "fast-paced," "relevant," and even "edgy," and heaven knows what other adjectives that editors pull out of focus groups to prove that they're worth the money they get. The result? Might as well buy Bon Appetit for all the difference there seems to be between the two these days. Not that I have anything against Bon Appetit, but it seems a shame for Gourmet, once the home of some of the most literate food writing, to become a me-too.