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Mar 15, 2007 01:24 PM

Best and Worst Food Magazines

I have subscrictions to Cooks Illustrated and recently Cooks Country, and LOVE these magazines. I like how they take on a challenge, work through the recipe and explain why things worked or didn't work. Good recipes too. I don't miss any of the glossy photos and advertisments.

On the other hand, I received Bon Apetite as a gift, and a free copy of Rachel Ray's Every Day Living. I HATE these magazines. In Bon Apetite, nothing looks appetizing or easy to make. It all looks like a lot of fluff to impress people.

What are the best and worst cooking periodicals out there?

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  1. Taste of home gets my vote for worst, or at least worst food photography.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jeters

      My mom got me a subscription, easily the printed equivalent of Semi-homemade on TV.

      Not all evil, the occasional needle in a haystack recipe.

    2. I'm a fan of Cook's Illustrated, though I always forget to renew my subscription and then it takes months for me to notice. So I'm not sure what that says.

      Bon Appetit is one that I used to like but over the last few months especially has just really stunk. I flipped through the last issue in about 6 minutes and saw one thing that was even remotely of interest to me.

      Gastronomica is a journal type of publication that I like though its not big on recipes and the like. Its more interesting stories and good photography.

      1. The Art of Eating can be very dry but if you are actually looking to be informed instead of reading glossy ads....

        1. I have subscribed to Bon Appetit for 25 years. I have always found it to be a "pretty" magazine, filled with luscious photography, and representing lifestyles of the well-to-do. It's basically Fantasyland.

          I thumb through each issue in about 10 minutes, and in the 25 years , have never been tempted to try even one recipe.

          Their recipes are filled with exotic ingredients, and exhaustive techniques. Bon Appetit is pretty to look at but not a practical cooking periodical.

          I also subscribe to Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country. In every issue of these magazines I find several recipes that I will try.

          3 Replies
          1. re: redchile

            I ran into a previous neighbor in the grocery store last week and she mentioned that her now-grown daughter was talking to her long distance the night before, and recalled fondly the "ribbon-wrapped" cake that I had made for dessert many years ago when their family came to dinner. The daughter said that the cake was the most delicious and beautiful thing she has ever been served. (She's been living in Switzerland for the past four years.) As compliments go, this one was right up there. The cake recipe was from Bon Appetit, and I feel that the pleasure it gave was well worth years' of subscriptions.

            1. re: pikawicca

              I remember that issue, it was beautiful. Never did try it, I still have the magazine and look at the instructions and promise myself "one of these days" I can only imagine the impact that cake would make. I just don't have the confidence for baking.

            2. re: redchile

              I've used several recipes from Bon Appetit, but see no reason to subscribe since they're all online at epicurious.

            3. I think Cook's Illustrated is very instructional and informative, but I also value the photography aspect. For that, I've really enjoyed Saveur. I also like Martha Stewart...but more for the photography because the recipes are on/off. I like Gourmet o.k., but it as well as Bon Ap. seem to be filled with advertisements (MS included). Food & Wine's o.k....but I'm more interested in the food than the wine, so there goes half the magazine. Rachel Ray grates my nerves, so even though some of her recipes are good, i'd forgo the magazine.