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Oct 16, 2007 10:36 PM

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:

          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!