If you know me, you know I'm a little bit of a magazine whore. One of my favorite pleasures is to sit with a pot of tea and flip through magazines -- an indulgence I don't do often enough. Of course I spend a lot of time with food magazines, and here's a few favorites. Subscriptions to any of these would make a lovely holiday gift (hint, hint).
OK, confession: The first issue of Lucky Peach irritated the shit out of me. Now, I'm hooked. Sure, Anthony Bourdain's cinema rants are blowhardy, the content can be a little too industry-chefly, and all of it needs a good editing -- they do like to ramble on. But on the flip side, I think they're doing some daring things with design and presentation that compensate for it. It ain't cheap ($12 an issue!), but they're thick volumes on heavy stock with no ads.
Purrrty. Started by local blogger buddies Stephanie Shih and Anita Chu, Sated is a real labor of love. Gorgeously designed with spectacular photography (I really love the dark, moody, anti-Donna Hay thing they've got going on in the inaugural release -- it is, after all, the dark chocolate issue). Again, pricy, but ad-free and substantial. Plus, you're supporting independent artists.
Wherever your giftee lives, there's probably an Edible publication for their region. With editions in nearly 70 regions, each issue is a celebration of local foods, farms and faces. Yes, I'm mildly biased because I've been featured in Edible San Francisco and was invited to be a panelist at the Edible Institute conference this year. But still. Subscribe.
They've had their ups and downs over the years, but Saveur seems to be back on track lately. When they focus most on what they do best -- the intersection of food, travel and culture -- they can really knock it out of the park. This year's Mexico-themed issue was one example of that. It's a keeper, one worthy of holding onto as a reference.
Brain food. Gastronomica takes on weighty food topics, and gives them ample thought, approaching them with essays, prose, poetry, photography and illustration. Sort of like the New Yorker for food. It's probably every food writer's aspiration to land a piece in Gastronomica.
Sometimes even loftier, and yet never loses sight of the fact that food is fun, sensual, engaging and irrevocably tied to who we are. Art of Eating delves to the root of what makes the best food and wine what it is. This is the magazine for people who really geek out on the hows and whys of where food comes from (like me).
Do you like cheeese? Sure, we all do! You might not think rotten milk would be enough of a topic to support an entire magazine, but it absolutely is. What it is, what it's made from, where it's made, how it's made and by whom, what to eat and drink with it -- all here. Don't blame me if you develop a casein addiction.