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Just when Gourmet seems to be getting back on track, along comes December issue...

The past few issues of Gourmet have seemed to me to be a bit less on the icky-poo side, with some decent recipes.
Was looking through the December issue last night and found the Christmas cookie recipes to be so too-too ("geometric" cookies, wtf?) - I am a maniac baker but did not find any of the recipes in the least interesting.
There are also several extremely annoying advertising inserts printed on heavy stock which make it unpleasant to read the magazine.
Come on guys, have some consideration for your audience!

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  1. So funny...I spent my lunch today tearing out those advertising inserts. Haven't had a chance to read it yet...

    1 Reply
    1. re: heathermb

      I tear all of those ads out and throw them away before I ever look at the magazine. And, yeah, I used to look forward to the Dec. issue for cookies and these just did not do it for me. A very disappointing issue. And I had just resubscribed after letting it lapse.

    2. I have felt the same way about Bon Appetit lately, myself. For the past couple of years it seems like they're mainly just doing re-treads and pretty uninteresting, unimaginative stuff (including this December issue - the cookie recipes this year? meh.)

      Or maybe I've just been subscribing so long now that they have no choice but to start repeating themselves? I don't know, but I'm finding my subsciption to Fine Cooking much more interesting these days.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Andiereid

        I don't know... I'm a fairly new subscriber to Bon Appetit and haven't really been inspired by it... it's so cheap though!

      2. You know, content aside for a moment, what has driven me most nuts with food and travel mags (and I used to get them all) is the complete blurring between editorial and advertising. And I don't mean philosophically, but just physically--it's impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins, or to even quickly locate a contents page. Which is, in the end, what the ad folks want.

        1 Reply
        1. re: obob96

          I couldn't agree more and Gourmet seems to be the worst offender. My parents gave me Gourmet magazine as either a birthday or Christmas gift back in 1968 when I was but a mere teenager. I have had a subscription ever since. My last issue on my current subscription will be January 2007 and it will be my last issue. One of the big reasons I'm not renewing is that blurring of the line between content and advertising. The front 2/3s of the magazine is advertising, I'm tired of having to really search to find content.

          Oh, and my December issue is already in the trash. I couldn't even give it away, no one wanted it.

        2. Yeah, but how about throwing away 900 pages of Vogue to read Steingarten?

          2 Replies
          1. re: KRS

            I get Vogue for Steingarten and the amusement value. Most of what is in there is hilarious, models, clothes etc. For a dollar a month you cannot beat the laugh value. I don't know if there is anything out there that is funnier.

            1. re: Candy

              Hah! I thought I was the only one who read Vogue for the food writing!

          2. And what's with the stinky perfume ads? They've just shown up in my last 2 issues. Besides having allergies and asthma (esp. to that stuff), (imho) perfume ads don't belong in a food magazine, esp. one that seeks to be a "serious" food mag.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Concetta

              That ad was so stinking I tore it out w/o looking to see what "scent" it was -- so vile-- who wants to smell like that!

              1. re: Sarah

                If you call the subscription department number on the masthead you can request no scented inserts - I've done that in the past and they fix it pretty promptly. I agree that perfume ads don't belong in a food magazine in the first place!

                1. re: Allstonian

                  We already did that once, and we got the stink insert in the November issue.

              2. re: Concetta

                Definitely call them and tell them no stinky magazines. I did that years ago with Bon Appetit. Evidently, there are tons of people who hate those perfume cards and don't want them scent-polluting their house.

              3. The fold out cover a couple of months ago was nuts. It made it almost impossible to carry it around until I ripped the cover off. Now this month the " Merry & Bright " is the same way. I dont understand

                1. I generally "cycle" through subscriptions to the food mags. I'm off Gourmet now and agree that Bon Appetit is getting a bit old. I've been on and off of them for years now, with intermittent trysts with CI, Saveuer, Fine Cooking, and I can't even remember what else. It helps keep things interesting.

                  1. Funny Vogue , Bon Apetit and Gourmet were mentioned, all three of these mags are published by Conde Nast. I wonder what this says about what is going on over there. I too wish I could just read Steingarten, but I have given up on Vogue. I will wait for the compilation book that is sure to pop up sooner or later.

                    1. The best part of the Gourmet December issue is the cover. It is very pretty. I agree with the posters above about the ads. It is difficult to tell the content from the ads. I suppose that is what they are going for! In looking through my issue (after pulling out and throwing away all the inserts printed on heavy paper), it seemed that every other page was an ad. Gourmet usually has one good issue per year these days -- this year it was in August with the small booklet of essays that was included. It seems to me that all the Conde Nast pubs have gone downhill lately.

                      1. Something that's been really bothering me about Gourmet is its use of the "story/recipe continued on page 214.... In October, there was maybe 1 article that did not "continue on page..."...how frustrating is that...what with all those super thick ads in between (that carry no page number) i had to literally dog ear the three pages at the back of the mag that continued every story/recipe that i was interested in. Completely pissed me off...Come on, who stops a recipe half way through on page 40 to continue on page 214???

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: sixelagogo

                          I have just started to search the recipe on Epicurious, print it out, and use that. And then I can save it in my "recipe box" so that I can find it agan...

                          BTW:I have started to really enjoy Food and Wine rather than Gourmet lately.

                        2. Food mags should have adverts for scents that make you smell like food.I'd happily douse myself in Eau de Fried Chicken , Parfum de Pulled Pork or Taco Al Pastor Cologne.You'd Sell a lot of mags this way too. Someone is missing a great $$$ making oportunity here.

                          1. I loved the December issue of Gourmet. I can't remember when I've bookmarked so many recipes to make, and I loved the photos of the cookies.
                            I guess I'm used to pulling perfume ads and heavy card stock out of all the mags I get (except for the New Yorker) right away. It's not that big a deal to me.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: christy319

                              I agree completely. Perfume ads now come with just about every magazine, they are very easy to tear out if they are bothersome.

                              Gourmet's December issue is always great, I always find a cookie recipe or two to add to my repertoire.

                              1. re: nicolars

                                Some of us are more bothered by fragrances than others - before I started requesting the non-stinky editions, I sometimes found that an insert (or more likely a BUNCH of inserts) would make the whole magazine smell, long after the inserts were thrown away.

                                1. re: Allstonian

                                  I have to tear the inserts out and hang the magazine on a clothesline outside to air out for a few days.

                                  I'm rarely bothered by perfume on people unless it's cheap and they've used way too much, but a magazine's right in my face.

                            2. I recently re-subscribed to Food & Wine and have really been enjoying it. However, they've completely over-used the term "Riff", as in "Chef Boocoo's riff on smoked kumquats includes woodchips." I swear, they used that word six times in one issue. Anyone else bugged by this?

                              1. I like cooks illustrated, food and wine, and wine spectator...and I enjoy Sunset mag.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: melly

                                  Cook's Illustarted is the ONLY mag worth buying.

                                2. Saveur is the only food magazine that I can't live without. I find Gourmet to be better than Bon Appetit. I liken it to the suburban sister to the urban brother. Cooking Illustrated is excellent but dry--the fussy aunt. I've been enjoying F&W more lately and find it very readable. The recipes tend to be a little too high touch. That said I was annoyed by all the thick stock ad bind-ins. I get the $$ that the bring the pub but it's annoying.

                                  From the December Gourmet I just made the Pistachio Cranberry icebox cookies (geometric) and they are dee-lightful. I was going to enter them into today's office Bakeoff but they are strong enough on their own. I'm entering a choc-choc chip cookie from David Lebovitz instead.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: ciaogina

                                    A short PS: these cookies just took 2nd place in the office holiday bake off!