Monday, December 14, 2009

12 Days of Cookbooks: Gourmet Today

When the venerable Gourmet Magazine announced abruptly just a few months ago that it was ceasing publication with the November 2009 issue, the food world, including Gourmet Magazine's competitors, shed a collective tear.

Once considered the height of chic dining and entertaining, lately it seemed to suffer from some thin content, and even worse cover photography (poorly lit, single ingredient covers without any pitching text, often left readers, including me scratching our heads, thinking "they think that looks appealing?").

The recipes, and some of the stories, fortunately live on via the website, and on, and for those who want something a little more tangible to flip through, the massive volume known as Gourmet Today: More than 1000 All-New Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen.

At just over 1,000 pages, including the index, there's something for everyone. Except photos. If you are the kind of cookbook reader that likes to flip through the glossy, styled photos, well, this is not the book for you.

If you want to toss the gooey marshmallow sweet potatoes to the curb, and kick the spices into gear with Sweet Potato Puree with Smoked Paprika (pg 633), you've come to the right place.

In fact the large sections on vegetables and grains and beans, are among my favorites. There's a new and interesting sounding flavor combination on practically every page. The sections and organization of the book make it easy enough to find what you want without becoming overwhelming due to the hefty size.

The cover price, at $40 is also pretty hefty, but either Amazon or using a deep discount coupon at Borders (I scored mine at a 50% off pre-Thanksgiving sale), make it an affordable, and now a nostalgic choice for your bookshelf.

I won't be totally surprised to see Gourmet Magazine reborn and relaunched in the future.

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