I was shocked and saddened to learn this morning that Gourmet magazine will cease monthly publication following the November 2009 issue. Founded in 1941, Gourmet has been a great resource over the years for delicious recipes and well written, thoughtful articles about food and travel.
I first discovered Gourmet when I was living in Montreal in the mid-90s. I was just learning to cook and my passion was growing. My husband and I were poor students so I had to find ways to learn about cooking that didn’t cost much. I clipped recipes and articles from the newspaper and looked for cheap used cookbooks. One day I was browsing the used bookstore in my neighbourhood and spotted a stack of old magazines. Someone had been moving and brought their collection of Gourmet back issues from the 1980s to the store – they were on sale for $1.00 each. Jackpot. I bought an issue and took it home, savouring every article, recipe and photograph. Each week I would return and buy another issue, taking it home to try out some of the recipes or experiment with a new technique.
In later years, I regularly bought current issues of Gourmet, including the most recent one. Unfortunately, I ran short on storage space and did a purge of all my old cooking magazines a couple of years ago (I didn’t want to end up like the people on that show Hoarders). However, I saved any that were particularly memorable and clipped articles and recipes that were of interest (it took two days for me to go through every old magazine I had – it was a huge task but also a fun trip down memory lane). Luckily, many of the articles and recipes from Gourmet are archived at Gourmet.com and epicurious.com.
I realize that times are changing but I hope print magazines don’t disappear entirely. I love to enjoy a good magazine on rainy days, by the pool, on airplanes, at cafés, while waiting for appointments or as bedtime reading. They’re portable and you can clip out your favourite articles. The internet is great for a lot of things but it can never replace print media. It’s a sad day indeed.
Here are a few of my other favourites that are still around (for now). Support your favourites so we can save print media from extinction!