A Feast of Words

2009-10-16-gourmet_coverNext month, you may have trouble finding Gourmet magazine on the library shelves. This time, though, it’s not just that somebody else is already flipping through page after deliciously glossy page.  After nearly 70 years of publication, Gourmet will release its final issue this November.  It’s collateral damage in publisher Condé Nast’s desperate bid to turn a profit in a market which is increasingly unfriendly to traditional print.  After all, why spend the big bucks to advertise in a monthly magazine with a million subscribers when that many people may view an Internet ad in a week? 

The cut was sudden and final, leaving even editor Ruth Reichl “stunned.”  Over the past ten years, she has breathed new life into Gourmet.  Whether you loved or hated her (and most people seem to feel strongly one way or the other), she brought a new vision and passion to the iconic magazine. Read more about her here, and keep an eye out for her upcoming cookbook. 

Have a Gourmet subscription?  You’ll receive Bon Appétit instead.  The newly launched Gourmet.com will also disappear, but old Gourmet recipes will continue to be accessible through Epicurious.com.   (To me, this one is no great loss — I adore the beautiful and easy-to-browse Epicurious, but have not been particularly captivated by Gourmet.com).

Vintage Gourmet Magazine CoverNothing can completely replace the country’s oldest food magazine.  But if you’re starving for a good read, you may want to consider Saveur, which carries on Gourmet’s tradition of long-form food journalism.  Fine Cooking and Cook’s Illustrated offer sophisticated techniques and recipes not often found in their checkout-aisle counterparts, but lack visual appeal.  

At the feast of words, there is one less delicious dish on the table.  But rather than mourn the empty plate, I’d like to take a moment to reminisce and digest.  How has Gourmet enriched our homes, our kitchens, and our family gatherings over the years?  Personally, I will never get over the vegetarian cassoulet — I have honestly never smelled anything so divine in my life. 

Do you have any favorite issues, articles or recipes to share?

5 thoughts on “A Feast of Words”

  1. For many years, I have leafed through Gourmet when waiting in supermarket lines and while browsing at bookstores. I would indulge in buying issues when Italy and Greece – on my “gotta go there” list – were on the covers. Was sad to read about this in the news recently. I will continue to enjoy all the other magazines mentioned but will miss Gourmet.

  2. Thanks, Audrey, for this fond farewell to an excellent cooking magazine. I made a delicious roasted tomato soup this summer with my own homegrown tomatoes and a simple, easy to follow recipe from the August 2009 issue of Gourmet. Even though I wasn’t a regular reader or subscriber, I will miss this magazine!

  3. Mmm… roasted tomato soup… I will have to look that one up! I bet a can find a yummy grilled cheese variation to go with it …

    Also, Marion, I love the Italy issues, too!

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