…every pantry has a story
…or should this be titled trying to make up for lost time? I decided today that the blog needed a new feature, and yes my darling daughters I hear you, copious amounts of attention. I am going to make every effort to review a different cooking magazine every Monday, well since today just happens to be Monday I should probably get started.
Just a few parameters they are going to be random issues I don’t plan on devoting a lot of research into each magazine by reading multiple issues. I will include a breakdown on page count, pages with advertising, number of recipes, types of features etc. As far as the advertising goes, I understand that it is necessary 100% who doesn’t, but sometimes it goes beyond just the necessity of selling ad space. I’ve cancelled more than one magazine because 10 pages in and I have yet to hit an article. For me it’s the quality of the ad itself, what kind of information does it carry, what message does it convey, and does it fit into the scheme of why I bought the magazine, those are the type of factors I look at. I am a former subscriber of Cooking Light Magazine for just those reasons, plus the fact that they started repeating recipes using vaguely different names. Perhaps you aren’t supposed to save every issue for six years to figure that out, my bad.
Regardless of any faults that a magazine may have, I would take a print magazine over an electronic version every single time. I am not a fan of E-readers at all, while it may be a fruitless stance to take, our relentless march toward technology dependence is troublesome to me. Yes I know I am saying that using technology, but the reality is that is not a contradiction. Technology is amazing, the advances it has enabled tremendous, I’m all for that, I just believe that it unnecessarily gets incorporated into our daily routines. Similar to the way I get riled up when I see commercials for those ridiculous Healthy Choice Steaming entrée’s. It’s called leftovers people, if you could find the inside of your kitchen, and cook a meal sometime, you wouldn’t be at the mercy of processed food vendors. I’ll leave that rant for another day…
For the inaugural review I am going to start with Saveur Magazine the March 2011 issue, if disclosure is necessary I am a subscriber. I have been for several years I really do enjoy this magazine it has a bit of everything in it, yet remains true on focusing on food related interests.
Here is the breakdown:
I can’t give a count on the inserts those annoying cards that are glued, stapled or stuffed into each magazine. Mainly because the first thing I do when I get any magazine, is yank them all out and put them in the trash.
I’ll just dive in with the advertising and get it over with, until I sat down and actually counted them I had no idea so little space was devoted to outside interests. Of the non food advertising one was a financial, one automotive the rest travel related. Not to shabby, and really didn’t distract from the magazine itself at all. Even though I’ve been reading this magazine for a couple of years now, sitting down and dissecting helps me realize just why it is so enjoyable. Saveur places the advertising toward the beginning and end of the issue, which really helps the flow of reading. They don’t use the end of an article as bait to sell more advertising space, like a lot of other magazines do food related or not.
The main focus of this issue was spread over 3 topics, largely the cover story of Sicily, Maple syrup production, and short insight on Haiti. The pictures that accompany the articles are without a doubt amazing, so good you want to eat the pages, even things I would never eat never looked so good.
Overall they do a great job of covering the food, and the local cultures as well. Most articles contain a brief aside on places to stay, or certain attractions to check out, with out coming across as paid endorsements, such as the guide on page 61 for Sicily. Saveur has some regular departments that are really interesting under the Fare heading. The Agenda takes you around the globe noting different food related events, birthdays, festivals, or simply some trivia for the Month. Such as March 5th is the Birthday of Charles Goodnight, the creator the Chuck Wagon in 1866. The Pantry provides sources for many of the ingredients your local store may not stock, and is usually referenced within articles. In the Kitchen sometimes delves into techniques, or ingredient variations, or a new cooking tool. There are also short regular articles whose topic and contributor change, a Cookbook review, in depth information for an ingredient, this month Cassava. Cassava, who knew all the years of eating tapioca that was in it, the entire magazine is often filled with interesting facets. Of course a Restaurant review, this month was Girl & the Goat located in Chicago, the chef owner was the winner of Bravo’s fourth season of Top Chef Stephanie Izard.
One of the things that I enjoy most about Saveur is that anyone can find something they like in it, it can be both earthy and on the pretentious side. While there are some areas that are beyond what most of us can relate to, or afford to indulge in the ingredients like everything else it’s all in the presentation. Overall this is a great magazine regardless of what level of cook, or foodie you are.