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is it worth the money??

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  1. I do subscribe and, as a resident of Canada, feel I'm not getting my money's worth. Many of the recommendations that Mr. Rosengarten makes are not available to me.

    For residents of the U.S., it would be a different matter. You might want to subscribe to "Tastings," his free e-newsletter first, just to get a feel for his writing.

    1 Reply
    1. re: FlavoursGal

      "Tasting" has also really reduced in scope. Again, originally it was rich with ideas but now it's mainly product placement or trip information. But it's worth checking out as FlavoursGal indicated.

    2. I subscribed to it for years, but have decided not to renew this year. I loved his show on the earlier Food Network and the newsletter seemed more like that in spirit at least. In the past, the report had many recipes and product suggestions that I found very helpful and informative. But over the past year or so, it seems to have changed direction to only those who have more disposable income than I do! Travel is strongly emphasized with special focus on his organized trips. This isn't what I'm looking for.

      That said, the very last issue I got (a couple of months ago), had a couple of great recipes in it. Also, one issue had a very good article on sushi/sashimi. But this was not enough to make me change my mind.

      So, it all depends on what you are looking to get out of it.

      1. I think you might find it entertaining at first, but it gets old really fast.

        1. I don't. I think that, while Rosengarten might know an awful lot about food, he's pompous, and he's a bad writer.

          1 Reply
          1. re: christocc

            He should also find a razor and lose the ‘hip’ designer stubble.

          2. I'm a big fan of Taste, and I enjoy his cookbooks, but I say skip the paid newsletter.

            I have subscribed for years, and I just skipped the renewal (runs out in a month or two).

            It's not worth it for several reasons the biggest for me being that it's becoming a vehicle to promote his own projects, be it travel, food offers, whatever. After paying top dollar for his ham (which sucked and ruined our easter), I was pretty turned off by paying to get more and more ads for his stuff.

            He's also just announced that he is changing the format, putting more into the free internet e-zine, and less into the newsletter. Fewer big tastings, more fluff.

            and, If you want tastings of mass market products, look to Cooks Illustrated, Cooks Country, Consumer Reports or other magazines.

            1. No. I do have the Dean and Deluca cookbook and use it occasionally but don't feel like subsidizing his travels and his opinions. I can make my own.

              1. Save your money. I've subscribed for 2+years and feel more ripped-off and scammed with each issue.

                1. I've enjoyed my subscription but now feel ripped off. In the last issue, he indicated that he would be doing more web-based stuff and reduce the newsletter. I will not be renewing.

                  1. Kind of a shame to see the decline of David R. Taste was such an awesome show. Good Eats is probably the closest in spirit. The Taste book is excellent, though - particularly the section on wine.

                    I imagine the Report suffers because he has to use it to generate revenue. I've been pretty amazed at the bald pimping of his pet projects in the e-newsletter. He needs to get back to doing a cooking show, I think his talents are being wasted.

                    1. Over the last few years, there have been several issues that really nailed a subject - either comparison tests that Kimball and the ATK folks would never touch, or just digging into facts that are concisely presented. I enjoyed his coverage of: butter, hot chocolate, wagyu, foie gras. You really do get a better understanding of the state of the products in the current marketplace. There were a lot of fizzles - his Japanese food issue was pretty bad - he focussed on one vendor in mid-manhattan that provided a fairly unique product - but really lost the forest for the trees. But still - I haven't subscirbed to any one magazine that was 100% informative, no bs, all completely readable and accurate. I'd say that relatively speaking, I've gotten my money's worth with Rosengarten's report.

                      1. I've subscribed for the past couple of years, but like many of the others here, doubt that I'll re-up. While I do enjoy reading some of his explorations (somewhat living vicariously through him, since I'm not going to eat all that wagyu-style beef, or whatever), I find it all a bit much with the side-deals he's always pushing (cheese club, wine club, travel to the mediterranean etc), and his style of writing is exhausting (he's using up all the exclamation marks (!!!)

                        1. Well, I have to disagree with some of the points (but not all) that the nay-sayers make. He is a big self-promoter, but I honestly don't see how one could travel the world looking for tasty products to share without financial support. I never order his ultra-expensive recommendations, but did go with his barbecue suggestion, and got some great que! The best part for me is his olive oil club. I end up paying about $1 per day for a constant supply of truly great oils.

                          1. I just finished the latest issue (January) and it is a perfect example of the ambivalence you are seeing expressed on all these posts.

                            The featured article is about fish and chips, and David has some great suggestions, which I intend to try. But then you get to the very last page and he is talking about being a part-owner of a new Fish and Chips restaurant in Iceland, which is doing so well that he will be opening up sister restaurants in major cities all over the world - clearly, not only is the last page an ad for his new venture, but the entire issue is the ad.

                            But then again - who cares? Every magazine is full of ads - that doesn't diminish the good stuff, where there is good stuff.

                            I've been a fish'n chips student and afficionado since driving along from Dover to Portsmouth 30 years ago, and eating fish'n chips in newspapers at just about every stand and pub along the way. I have NEVER had the same in the US, and I have experimented with many recipes on my own, trying to perfect the batter and flavor. I understand that generally speaking, the american flour is wrong - too much gluten. I've experimented with cake flours, using corn meal, beer batters, etcetc... Here, David says to use Spelt flour for the batter – and also to use rice flour to pre-dip the fish to allow the batter to stick better. I’m definitely going to try this, and if it works, I’m going to be very happy that I was subscribing and happened to get this info.

                            In his description of the new restaurant, he mentions that they use wheat-free batter. This seems to be a rather transparent reference to the earlier recipe. He does goes on to describe using rice bran oil for frying and skyr, a low-fat Icelandic dairy product for a sauce at the restaurant – these aren’t things you would do at home.

                            Anyway – I wish him luck with his restaurants. But this is the general tone of his publication. It’s self-serving, no doubt, but hey – we all need to make money – and if I’m getting good info, I’ll continue to subscribe.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: applehome

                              There's no way that traditional Brit fish and chips shops used spelt or rice flour -- give me a break! The trick is in the selection of fresh fish, a good batter, and the right frying technique.

                              1. re: pikawicca

                                True, true... but some of my own best results were with using a fine-ground cornmeal, dredging the fish in that before dipping in a beer batter. I know that the traditional product didn't use cornmeal, either, but given the limitations of not having the exact type of flour, it could be a matter of getting the physics and the chemistry closer by other means.

                                One point I'll give Rosengarten is that his description of the ideal crust is right on. I agree with him that it isn't quite the same as tempura, as it is more dense and the holes in the "crumb" are smaller. And yet you want it zaku-zaku, like tempura - crispy, lofty, etc.

                                One factor is that a lot of batters are crisp right out of the fryer, but they become limp soon thereafter. I've found this to be caused by too much moisture in the fish - and that can be mitigated by the dredging - me in cornmeal, him in rice flour - which, when you think about it, has much less flavor to impart.

                                I've been searching for the best for some time, and while it's real easy to say, "fresh fish, a good batter, and the right frying technique", it's a lot harder than you might think. Same with tempura - every household in Japan makes tempura, but the really good stuff requires an expert. I'm willing to try some of his suggestions. If they work, great. If not, I've lost a few bucks on ingredients and some time trying.

                            2. Ambivalent is how I feel about it. I get it, I won't renew, but I read it when it arrives. Some of it is interesting, but nothing I can't find easily elsewhere and nothing outstanding to make it a go to resource.

                              1. I bought a subscription for my partner. The RR promised something different and we enjoyed Rosengarten's Dean and Deluca cookbook (looking tattered and well thumbed by now). After one year I can say that are many things lacking in the execution. The feeling that you're being hustled lies beneath the surface in each and every issue. Some of the recipes are interesting but that's not really what made me get the RR in the first place. I'm not sure it could have lived up to the hype that DR created for it. The fact that nearly every issue hypes the food club, the Rosengarten cruise (yes indeed) and the like makes me feel tattered and my wallet well-thumbed. Alas, a 'noble' venture that seems to have become more and more about filthy lucre.

                                1. The Rosengarten Report has ceased hardcopy publication with the latest issue and is now going to web-only. Although they say it's because of the postal increase, speed of delivery, etc - I wonder. They have been scaling back the length of the newsletter as they have ramped up the email distribution. I no longer feel I'm getting any value and I'm going to request a refund on my subscription rather than subscribing on-line.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: aunteejoy

                                    I cancelled my two-year subscription after a year because I started losing interest and got a full refund. I've also tried some of his clubs, but have lost interest in those as well. Olive oil club -- sure, nice oils, but not as great as the one I brought back from Tuscany and I can find cheaper oils that taste just as good around here. German wine club -- not bad wines, but I'd rather spend my money on Zind Humbrecht. Texas BBQ -- good BBQ, but wouldn't spend the money on it again. Didn't get the Easter ham, but I did buy a bone-in Kurobuta ham direct from Snake River and it was great (the boneless that I bought the following year was a big disappointment, though).

                                    1. re: emily

                                      Does anybody subscribe to this anymore, and is it worth the outrageous price tag?

                                      1. re: crinoidgirl

                                        I subscribed to the "new" Rosengarten Report about a year ago. I received 3 issues and then nothing. Nobody answered my emails or answered my phone calls. The web site hasn't been updated, and as far as I can tell, you can still click the buy button. I had to call my bank to get a refund. Meanwhile David Rosengarten is still tweeting about his dinners in expensive restaurants, for which he probably pays for with the money he stole from his subscribers.

                                  2. I'm surprised that there's been no comparison to two other "newsletters": Edward Behr's "Art of Eating" and John Thorne's "Simple Cooking." I received a subscription to AoE as a gift years ago and now I renew it in 3 year chunks. I've only seen Rosengarten's newsletter once, and since I was a big fan of "Taste" I was very optimistic. And while there was a very interesting and informative article on vintage champagne, the newsletter on the whole rubbed me the wrong way (for many of the reasons mentioned below). Behr accepts no ads and is fiercely opinionated and intelligent, and he brings great writers to the table. For me the inadequacy of Rosengarten's newsletter is cast in sharp relief by a comparison to AoE. I don't subscribe to Thorne's newsletter, but he's very interesting (and comes from a much different set of interests than Behr). I'm obviously a huge AoE fan, but I'd recommend either if you're looking for a (much) better version of what Rosengarten has on offer.