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R.I.P. Gourmet Magazine: 1941-2009

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The truth is, I was never a Gourmet subscriber. I've come a bit late in the game to gourmet cooking, and finally now in my 30s, I know what being a foodie really means.

Gourmet Magazine tombstone

Single Mom Seeking: So, you've probably heard by now that Gourmet magazine has shut its doors.

Many readers, such as Freckled Citizen, are furious that Conde Nast shut down Gourmet over Bon Appetit:

"... I do not understand keeping Gourmet afloat while Bon Appetit (a lesser magazine by all accounts) stays as is. Maddening.

"Why, for instance, should a magazine like Gourmet, with nearly 70 years of rich history, be given the boot, when there are approximately a dozen magazines aimed at young women on the newsstands right now with a not-so-subtle mission of self-esteem destruction?"

Within a few hours of the announcement, one Gourmet fan, Kylie Sachs, launched the Twitter handle, @savegourmet.

"Gourmet is Mom and Apple Pie," writes Sachs. "You see, I am a foodie. Self-proclaimed, lover of all things food. I love shopping for it, cooking it, eating it. I have a stack of cookbooks and magazines (Gourmet!) beside my bed. If you come to my house, I will likely be cooking. Gourmet helped teach me how to create, not just consume."

Her mission? Putting "our money where our gourmet mouths are." She's asking folks if they're willing to pay $24/year+ for Gourmet to save the magazine.

Folks are speaking up. They're also openly mourning their magazine. Editor Ruth Reichl -- former New York Times restaurant critic -- had been with Gourmet since 1999. Via Twitter, she thanked readers "for this outpouring of support. It means a lot."

"While its large fan base makes it anything but a niche publication, Gourmet was not out to please all the foodies all the time," wrote a blogger who goes by Magazine Know It All. "And that's why its closure is a blow to the national conversation on food politics, farming and the practical and cultural meaning of food in our lives."

Online foodies say that you can continue to find Gourmet recipes on Epicurious.com. Even my own Aunt Marge is downloading recipes online these days, instead of clipping them from magazines.

Besides, she adds, she can always consult her cooking "bible" -- The Joy of Cooking. "If there was only one book that I would be allowed to keep, it would be that one."

So, tell us: Are you mourning Gourmet too?



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2 comments so far | Post a comment now
NumberEight October 6, 2009, 12:28 PM

Nope. I’ve picked up copies over the years and always found it to be a bit pretentious. No thanks.

Brenda J. Butler, M.D. October 6, 2009, 1:43 PM

I have been a subscriber to Gourmet Magazine since 1983. I have given Gourmet as a gift and also subscribe to The New Yorker and Smithsonian Magazine. Conde Nast has certainly benefitted from my business.
More importantly, my years have been nourished and punctuated with the recipes and journies I have taken through the stories and images in Gourmet Magazine.
A very important rhythm in my life will be lost if I loose Gourmet and I would certainly be willing to pay $24.00 for this very valuable gift.


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