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Food Section of Local Newspapers

Is there anyone else out there who finds that the food section of their local newspaper lacking in luster and substance? The newspaper in our area is the Philadelphia Inquirer, and I find it rarely interesting as a home cook. Maybe it's my age that's against me. I'm not a gadabout restaurant goer, especially in one-shooting-or-more-a-day Philly.

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  1. I agree with your take on the Inquirer's food section. I'm amazed at how little there is in it every week. It seems to be more a vehicle for grocery store ads. I tend to read the NYT online, as well as some of the other major city newspapers (Chicago, LA, San Francisco).

    1. I know that a newspaper is not a democracy, but is there a method to give input into content? The Chicago Tribune periodically will have a poll about their food section and have people state what they do and do not like about the section, indicate how often they read certin features and give comments. They also recap the poll so you can see what the majority desire in their section.

      1 Reply
      1. re: fryrose

        I contacted the Inquirer food editor a couple of years ago suggesting that a column or 2 be written by home cooks. It didn't happen.

        I also view online the food sections of newspapers from other cities.

        When I was a kid in Chicago, there were 4 daily papers. The Chicago Sun, The Chicago Times, The Herald-American, and the Chicago Tribune. The former 2 merged, the Trib bought out the Herald. The Trib owned WGN radio, the call letters of which stand for "World's Greatest Newpaper." I beg to differ.

      2. What are the papers that you think have good food sections so the rest of us can check them out.
        I agree with the WGN-not! assessment. I used to live in Philly so I am familar with the Inquirer and was not wowed by the food section there either.

        1 Reply
        1. re: fryrose

          The NYTimes probably is the best of the Food Sections on Wednesday.

        2. here in boston, we've got 2 local dailies, and the food sections just stink. ditto the restaurant critics. i still enjoy the food section wednesdays in the ny times and do visit the blogs there of frank bruni and eric asimov.

          1. There was this thread in September of this year.

            If you’re looking for some sites to explore, this reply was in that thread.
            on Sep 29, 2006 Nancy Berry replied
            By the way, if anyone wants to read food sections from all over the U.S., go to http://www.sautewednesday.com for a large group of newspaper food section links on the home page.

            1. Yes, NYTimes has a very good food section and so does Seattle Times, in my opinion. Washington Post is also very good...I love sautewednesday.com as yayadave suggests for perusing these papers when I have time; it also has links to many cookbooks and is a great resource for cooking and food. Our local paper has a horrible food section.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Val

                Based on these recommendations, I looked up sautewednesday.com. It appears to have ended production and the author is now working on something called Edible San Francisco.

                1. re: nosh

                  If you go to the new website he has, the newspaper links are still listed on the right hand side.


              2. The San Francisco Chronicle's food section is pretty good (especially compared with their mediocre news coverage), due largely to their investing a lot of money in it. They have a professional kitchen and a staff of ten including a "recipe developer." I presume they syndicate the content to other papers.

                The worst food sections are thrown together from free content from food industry sources. Recipes that call for brand-name ingredients are a sign of this practice.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  I agree with the SF Chronicle assessment. I enjoy the Sacramento Bee's Wednesday food section as well...but not as much as the Chronicles.

                2. I agree that the Washington Post has a pretty decent one. I live out of state, so my mom saves them for me to collect when I visit. Usually it's quite a bag full. Has a lot of good recipes, markets to purchase no-so-ordinary items from, wine ratings, and articles and reviews on local restaurants. Of which DC has many to be proud of.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Phoebe

                    I like the Washington Post food section, too. Good recipes, from a variety of sources. And, I like the food scientist and RD columns, too.