What happened to MK Fisher? Or even to Julia Child? What I mean is, what happened to food writing? I scroll through the new WordPress page “Foodpress” and it is filled with gazillion of food blogs from all over the world. Next to the entries are five tips on how to get featured – one of them mentions photos because people want to see the food, not just read about it. I would like to disagree.
Some of the blogs are lovely, a few are quirky, many have beautiful photos and a lot feature just photos with minimal text. What I feel I am left with is a cheaper equivalent of Bon Appetit magazine. I will admit it, I am one of those disgruntled Gourmet subscribers whose magazine was pulled from under her feet, with no worthy replacement to fill the void. It happened exactly one year ago. Conde Nast fulfilled the rest of my subscription with issues of Bon Appetit that kept on coming long after I trashed all their renewal offers, until they finally got the message.
If it is true that nobody reads anymore then I am surely part of the minority that still likes the printed (or i-pad) word more than just pictures of food – as if a look alone could entice me to make a dish. My worn out copy of MK Fisher essays is still on my bookshelves unlike any food magazine that ever entered my house. There is a different and deeper pleasure in reading about somebody’s special meal or trip or market find that is more satisfying than staring at a bunch of colorful (albeit) pretty pictures. When I opened Gourmet to find the David Foster Wallace’s now famous essay “Consider the Lobster” or in-depth reporting on the tomato pickers or accounts of obscure Scottish food, I knew I could savor the writing as much as the recipes and, yes, even the photos.
I still miss Gourmet. Bon Appetit just relocated from LA to New York and hired a new Editor – we will see. For now, if I want to read about interesting food stories or food related adventures I have to scour the web or hope Ruth Reichl will write another book.