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Why should I renew my Saveur subscription?

So, over the years, I've subscribed to different food magazines and eventually bailed on just about all of them. When I first subscribed to Saveur a few years back, I thought this was the coolest food magazine I had ever read. Now, I'm finding that they just aren't as interesting as they used to be, and in fact, are almost downright boring. When I got the Steak issue, I didn't even bother reading it. So, should I bother renewing? Are there other magazines that are worth considering instead?

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  1. I'm actually thinking the smae thing as I look at my most recent copy of Sauveur; I'm just not that interested. I think I'm letting it lapse.
    Last year I treated myself to a subscription to the British publication Olive, which I got at some obscene price. They even sent me a little date book and a laundry carrier. I had so much fun translating all the British-ism's and dissecting the culture. They really really love love love Gordon Ramsey over there, and they really really really love pudding -- often called "puds." I'd read my copy with my fake-y British accent and it was a blast. The recipes were useless because there is no way I'm making all of those conversions. Another fun magazine is Delicious out of Australia, which actually has some interesting food ideas, although their seasons are backwards so they always have summer recipes in winter and vice versa.
    I agree that American magazine have gotten into a rut. They're interchangable. Short items in the front, along with some kicky consumer stuff you never knew you needed. Then in the middle they go to travel pieces, there's always the piece with the impossibly good-looking and rich people sitting around eating impossibly fabulous food an amazingly gorgeous locales. Then maybe something seasonal. Finally some from our kitchen tippy stuff and on the last page a Q& A with stilted answers that tell you nothing about the people of note.
    It's always the same old boring stuff. Sigh.

    1. I've had the exact same feelings about Saveur. Photographically it's still the most interesting food mag, but the story ideas and the writing have gone seriously downhill. Not paying close enough attention through the (last 5-10 years), but the current product reeks of ill-advised masthead changes.

      1. If you have to ask, you probably shouldn't! reading your original post, I'm thinking you've answered your own question.

        No doubt about it, magazines change, just like everything else, and so does our taste!

        For the past several years, Saveur has been the only consumer magazine I've subscribed to, and I'm also thinking about not reupping. However, I loved the Chicago issue!

        2 Replies
        1. re: ChefJune

          I agree, the Chicago issue was great. And there have been some really interesting articles, about 1 per issue, in the past few months, like the one about the cuisine of the Chinese Far West. There have also been some real stinkers, like the one by the Pacific Coast Trail hiker guy. Not only was he totally self-absorbed, the food sounded horrible. On the whole, Saveur seems to have somewhat more interesting articles than the more mainstream mags like Gourmet and especially Bon Appetit. Saveur's also more self-congratulatory in its tone, proudly publishing labor-intensive recipes calling for obscure ingredients, for example, or making a big deal about how they love bacon (aren't *we* rebellious?). Saveur's photos are usually outstanding. But I was so disappointed when the November issue arrived. Not only is the cover photo unusually unappealing - I really don't want to look at someone else's Thanksgiving plate, with the boring 2.5 slices of turkey breast on a white plate with brown gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and a bit of green stuff - it's virtually identical to the cover of the November Bon Appetit. Only difference: the "green stuff" was green beans on the Saveur cover, a sprig of sage on the BA cover. I don't expect originality from Bon Appetit, but I guess for whatever reasons I had higher expectations from Saveur. Well, at least they didn't put a whole brown roast turkey on the cover.

          See this thread for other people's thoughts: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/443137

          If you decide to renew after all, search around online for a good price. You can find deals for less than $10 a year, though the cost is more like $30 a year from most sources.

          1. re: 2m8ohed

            i too have sensed a negative change in direction. disappointing.

        2. I have been mulling over the same question: so where to go next? In fact, I just received my renewal and tore it up. But I am not sure I am up for Olive...Cook's Illustrated is way too earnest for the sort of food voyeurism I love. Gourmet? is it still outrageously upscale? (I'm not, just a plain old foodie that loves to cook something new once a month but wants to read about food constantly!)

          2 Replies
          1. re: LJS

            I subscribe to Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and Food & Wine. I let my Saveur lapse last year. Starting to feel that way about Bon Appetit too. I love Gourmet, maybe because I love Ruth Reichl so much, but I find the editorial content is so much better than the others.

            1. re: LJS

              I love Olive, but at $9.75 per issue on the newsstand, I tend to cherry-pick the issues I want.

            2. I saw the cover of the November Saveur as well as the cover of Bon Appetit on Matt Bites.....same plate of food! It looked boring!

              1. I joined this forum specifically to address this. I loved Saveur for years. I have every issue but about 1 year ago I started to have absolutely no interest in the magazine. I used to look forward to getting it in the mail. I think it was around the time they took on a new Senior Editor that they lost touch with what subscribers needed to keep them coming back. I used to believe that Saveur was introducing me to a new world of food, now it is just boring (I might as well buy Gourmet!). Although the Chicago Issue was good - 1 out of 12 isn't enough. I am letting my membership lapse too. I might try the UK's Olive.

                1. I've wondered the same thing in the past. The photos have always been great and the concepts interesting although often executed in a funny way, a sort of reverend pretense and scatter.

                  This month however (Fillet Mignon cover) impressed me. There were two well written articles without the usual awkward, over-done writing. A non-food journalist covered what a group of Iraqi refugees eat/cook in Lebanon and another about the history of punch and recipes (hard punch).

                  Any way, it is what it is...

                  1. I'm always disappointed, but I got a great deal off of Ebay, so it's still worth it to me. I also keep getting free subscriptions for Gourmet (through ecookbooks.com and once through Amazon), so I've got that covered through 2012, even though I'm not a huge fan of the magazine.

                    1. I was a loyal subscriber from the first issue (1993 or '94) UNTIL they fired Coleman Andrews. Who cared that he and Ruthie were having a fling??? I gave it several months after he left then dropped it. I don't need to know about the food in Outer Mongolia or Upper Slobbovia. The new editor did win some award ( Beard's best editor, I think) but I have to disagree. It's too bad, because it used to me a wonderful magazine with great recipes, articles and photography. Oh, okay I'll just shut up and read.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: amazinc

                        Well, the one thing I'm certain of is, if you're going to cancel either Saveur or Gourmet....make it GOURMET. What a load of crap that mag is now. It started going downhill years ago when they had PERFUME ads with scratch and sniffs that wafted out every time you turned a page. Chanel No. 5 and coq au vin! What a lovely combo! In addition, the majority of the magazine is now ads for luxury items. Bleah.

                        I agree that Saveur has gone downhill, but it's still the best and most original of the three majors. I loved their breakfast issue a few months ago. It was fascinating reading about what people around the world eat in the morning. I also like the Saveur 100.

                        1. re: oakjoan

                          I agree that they lost their way a few years back, but there are some good articles still. The December 2008 issue has a good article from the Eating Asia crew about holiday food in Pampanga, Philippines. I was reading it in my dentist's office and it made me want to go buy the issue.

                          1. re: Peter Cuce

                            Saver used to be the best....and still is the best of the lot. I have subscribed since 1995 and have often adapted the published recipes into my repertoire. It is not as interesting anymore as we have been saturated with food talk everyday, in the news, on TV in the markets and it all seems the same. I was a long time subscriber to Food And Wine...back to the early 80's, but stopped that mag when the ad content surpassed the cooking content. I always look forward to the Saveur 100 issue, but this year doesn't seem to have anything new for serious cooks. The magazine has dumbed down a bit to appeal to the masses, bur I am not going to cancel this year yet.

                            1. re: SusieP

                              I too have been disappointed by Saveur in the last few years but haven't done anything about it. I've subscribed for 3 yrs at a time since issue #3, not sure when this cycle will end. Another rather uninteresting issue came in the mail today. The cover has a pork chop slathered in ketchup, molasses and brown sugar! And none of the 24 other so called 'greatest meals ever' appeal to me. The magazine by-line is 'Savor a World of Authentic Cuisine.' But Saveur has not been about cuisine for a long time. It's about food, with little apparent discernment about its merits. And I wonder what 'authentic' means...
                              Maybe this summer 2010 'confession' from Saveur Editor-in-Chief James Oseland will shed some light on the magazine's direction:
                              '5 Foods I Am (Only Somewhat) Ashamed to Say I Love: James Oseland'
                              at http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2010/08/04/5...
                              I'm curious, has any of you expressed your disappointment to the magazine itself?