Friday, January 29, 2010

I got the February issue of Bon Appetit in the mail today, opened it to the masthead, and saw a little slash under the the Editor-in-Chief, where I used to see the name of someone I knew - Kristine Kidd, Food Editor. So, the rumors are true, she's gone.

Laid off, I heard.

So, I'm flipping through it, noticing one nit-picky flaw after another. And, noticing that a lot of the articles are being written by freelancers, which is great, for freelancers. It opens up more opportunity for other culinary expert contributors, like Bruce Aidells writing in this issue, for example.

Many other thoughts simultaneously flew through my head about the writing of recipes, their simplicity, whether they are actually obsolete at some degree thereof, and whether most mothers even cook anymore.

Anyway, I felt like the overall journalistic integrity of this issue was weak, and I really hope that this isn't a trend that persists. I was a loyal reader of Gourmet, and that might be what I'm comparing this to, but still...

A few things that rubbed me the wrong way:

P. 76 - A photo and recipe for "Piquillo Pepper and Sardine Tartines." First of all, these ingredients are clearly Spanish (a classic pinxo/tapa combination), and a tartine is French. They even go on to define tartines as "French open-face sandwiches." Since when is a slice of baguette enough to be considered a sandwich?

P.100 - I thought it was odd that the caption of the photo of an "artisanal tofu maker" in Japan didn't name the artisan, giving him credit.

P.102 - There is a description of various Japanese cooking ingredients in this article about tofu in Japan, but under the description for red and white miso, it just describes them as a "soybean paste." Nothing about them being fermented, which is an integral part of gives miso umami.

Also on that page, is a description of bonito flakes, "dried tuna...a garnish sprinkled over everything from plain white rice to complex dashi soups." Um, dashi is a broth that is a base for soups, pretty much made from steeping bonito flakes, not garnished with them. It seems to me that if they're trying to educate their readers, they might as well be thorough...lots of white space on that page.

Okay, I'm done, time to go to something more productive with myself.

Yes, this is what I do a Friday night.

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