For some time now I have thought that food magazines are on the rise. Maybe it’s something to do with the recession – eating is our only comfort? After my recent trip to GmbH, the new mag store in Glasgow, I came back with no less than 5 new food-related titles, and there are more out there too.
Put a egg on it is a great little zine from the States. Printed on a pale green uncoated stock, it gives the food pics an otherwordly quality, but is peppered with fun illustrations and tips for the kitchen. Smells great too (but in a printer’s ink kind of way). It really reminds me of Fire & Knives, which is produced this side of the Atlantic and now into issue 4. I have to say, I just love this mag, as it ignores any kind of food photography in favour of illustration and typography. It really works visually, and is a fascinating read, with off-beat features on ghost signs, found shopping lists (strangely compelling) and confessions of a kitchen porter. Please subscribe if you haven’t already – as I notice an ominous double page spread entitled “Goodbye”.
A lot of reading too in Gastronomica (the journal of food and culture). Admittedly, not a new mag, but new to me, it’s been going since 2001. Produced by the University of California Press, it looks a bit like a University report, with references and footnotes, and an understated but classy design – it looks pretty serious.
Not really very serious at all, is Eat Me magazine (food and culture) from The Daily Pantry in London. I got issue three which had a picture of a lady with a sharp knife on the front cover. Turns out she is Gizzi Erskine – up and coming TV chef – so what do I know? In an interesting attempt to interact with their readership, they run a feature on their first ever Supper Club – where readers get the chance to win a slap-up meal and a photo shoot in the magazine. A sort of Come Dine With Me, magazine style. Not sure how they picked these lovely people, but they turn out to be a selection of journalists, freelance editors, press officers and marketing officers. Mmmm, and they all scrub up well.
Over to the last foodie offering, which may actually fulfil the moniker of “bookazine” which is being being bandied around just now. Swallow magazine, with just over 120 pages, it is a case-bound book really. Published twice a year, they focus on food in a different part of the world in each issue. I am a sucker for themed issues, and this one pulls together Russia and China via the Trans-Siberian Express. Superb writing, fascinating photography and a lovely spot fluorescent pink throughout (embossed on the cover!) all conspire to make this a fantastic publication. I couldn’t put it down. It even comes with a free comic!