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Aug 26, 2008 11:05 AM

Free, in-store Magazine at the Grocery Store-- Who has them, why do you like yours?

does your local grocery store offer a free store magazine with articles, food photography, recipes, in-season charts and updates, etc? if so, is it blatant, prettified shilling for the grocery store, or does it contain serious food writing with nationally known writers, journalists, chefs etc? what store has your favorite in-store magazine?

someone told me this isn't common everywhere and i'd like to know if that's true. to be clear, not talking about coupon/sale flyers. thanks.

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  1. <<someone told me this isn't common everywhere>>

    Yup. That explains it. I had never seen/heard of one of these before -- we're in NYC. Then DH and I were upstate (NY) at a county festival and a supermarket had a booth (Hannaford which I gather is their local chain) and they were handing out this glossy mag (marked $2.00 or Free with purchase -hahaha).

    It's filled with recipes and photos and a few short (very) articles. I have no idea if the writers/photographers are anyone (I've never heard of them but maybe they are "famous" upstate).

    The mag itself seems okay -- it had an "all-American" theme covering KC bbq, LA cajun, SD fish tacos among other things. The recipes were very simplistic and seemed to be largely an excuse for hawking their own brand. Or, since I'm not familiar with the store, I think it's their own brand of stuff. It's called "Inspirations" and ran from various spice mixes (chipotle rub, cajun rub) to dressings (ranch, bbq mustard, raspberry-lime salsa) to meats ("southwest boneless chicken breasts", "Angus Beef Boneless Strip Loin Steaks") to what I assume are pre-packed veggies (Inspirations Baby Spinach).

    I must say the recipe for Blueberry Salsa actually looked intriguing and I may try it (we like stone fruit salsa). It didn't have an "in season chart" but did have a little blurb about local blueberries.

    1 Reply
    1. re: LNG212

      Hannaford is a New England chain, based in Maine. I like their magazine. Sure, it's shilling for their products, mostly the "Inspirations" line. But most of them can be made with regular ingredients, or maybe just one of their sauces. And if they're giving it out free (or for $2) in their store, shouldn't they be able to push their product lines? Anyway, they have some well-known writers and some unknowns. Once there was an article buy the guy who does the equipment testing on America's Test Kitchen. Some of their articles are about home cooks and include their recipes. I got a great recipe for Filipino beef in the crockpot from there. And with another recent article I gained an appreciation of there they get their some of their store brand cheeses. They've even had an article on gluten-free baked desserts.

    2. A friend of mine just picked one up at Nijiya market here in San Diego.They just started doing it in English, "Gochiso" - Ultimate Japanese Gourmet Magazine, the Primary edition I have is about 50 pages loaded with great recipes and info. I will definitely grab the next issue.

      1. In Northern California, Raley's / Nob Hill / Belair puts out a glossy, free, monthly magazine called "Something Extra" which I love. All the recipes are online as well as some of the tips.

        I find it a lot more useful with better recipes than the 'women's magazines

        Besides the many, many recipes there are the following sections
        - What's New (in-store products)
        - Food Editor's Favorites - There's usually stuff I pass by otherwise.
        - On Location - The issue I have in had covers an article about Stilton Cheese with interviews with cheesemakers and recipes
        - Dear Joey - Household tips

        The majority of recipes are just what's in season like this one for Panzanella

        There is are slight reminders where the products can be found in the store like this one for The Ravine's Restaurant Brie, Mushroom and Chicken Salad which mentions the brie is in the deli section

        Even those with heavy product plugs ... well, the recipes work without those brands
        Sunflower Hummus

        I also love Raley's period. Sure they are a supermarket. They take chances though and carry a selection of non standard products. This week it is Hatch Mexican Chiles.

        Raley's and Andronico's have 6 page flyers with a few recipes, but they are more of an ad plug.

        4 Replies
        1. re: rworange

          The only store I know of around here that has an instore mag is Whole Foods. I have found some good recipes in there, as well as coupons for some of the brands they carry.

          1. re: rworange

            After saying how much I liked Raley's Something Extra magazine, this month's magazine was much thinner ... 20 pages less than usual.

            Not to panic. They are using recyled paper now for the publication and they seem to have fitted the same number of recipes in fewer pages. Some recipes I particularily liked this month

            Spaghetti Squash with Pancetta, Tomatoes and Walnuts ... I'll definately be making this

            Baked Apples stuffed with gingersnaps

            Wild Blueberry and Lavender Pound Cake

            Blue Cheese, Honey and Walnut Figs ... the ingrediants are better sounding than the title. It is the touch of fresh rosemary that speaks to me.

            Also came across this from previous months. It is a mini burger recipe. People are always asking on the SF board where to find mini hamburger buns. This recipe uses frozen parker house rolls and forms them into a circle before baking. Sounds like a, uh, cool idea.

            In the tip section ... Ask Joey ... someone asked what to do if they have squirrels in the attic ... real squirrels ... real attic. Seems like squirrels are repelled by Old Spice Aftershave ... as we all are.

            1. re: rworange

              I was reading through your post thinking "ooh! I'll have to copy that blueberry & lavender pound cake recipe!" when I came across your last paragraph about how to repel squirrels and just burst out laughing! Thanks, rworange! ;-)

            2. re: rworange

              I agree that Raley's magazine is the tops. The recipes are practical and good. The tips about the squirrels and how to clean things are a little strange, but then I have never tried them.
              Safeway has (had?) a magazine, for which they charged money but they seemed to be nothing but old Sunset magazine articles being recycled. While I liked Sunset, there didn't seem to be much excuse for buying the same thing twice.

            3. Edible Publications can be found free of charge in mag bins at WF, farmer's markets, gourmet shops and have WF as a major advertiser.

              I enjoy Edible Publications very much. Issues are done tastefully, well photographed. I learn a good deal from these magazines, especially when they cover the food scene for an entire state/food hub. I might not overwise know/hear about food fest in time but these magazines highlight food happenings well in advance.

              Also, EP publications are a helpful tip sheet when I'm traveling overnight and haven't a clue where to find a farmer's market, restaurant hot spot or food event within a short distance of my accomodations.

              1. Stop & Shop in the New England area *used* to have them, but I haven't seen them in several years. Yes, they were shilling for the store, but often had good recipes that I saved.