Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Magazine of Good Living

I had a brilliant thought the other day, and thanks to Ebay, I was able to follow through with my ingeniousness. Gourmet Magazine, as I am sure you know by now, is no-longer. The last issue hit news stands this month and then we'll have to rely on our saved copies for culinary inspiration. But this got me to thinking.... Maybe I should buy some old issues - not so much for the possible collector's pay-off one day, (but that would be nice), it was more the idea to scoop a few beauties up before they become obsolete. So, I logged into Ebay, bid on a few magazine collections and a few days later, I was flipping through the past. Oh, what fun! My most prized issue is from April, 1952, (then, 35 cents), and it's fascinating to me to not only see what types of articles were being written about food, but the advertisements are a mid-century marvel. (Don Draper would be so proud!). Most if the ads are for some type of booze - mostly brandy, scotch, whisky, and cigarettes, (again, Mad Men, anyone?), and my issue smells like an old book. The contents are mostly illustrations, not at all like the photography, (food porn), we have all come to love of the modern day Gourmet. Articles themselves are very classically French in theme: meringue, pot-au-feu, etc and the only travel ad happens to be from the French Government's Tourist Office. An article about the avocado, The Aztec's Treasure, romantically showcases the "exotic" fruit. There are restaurant reviews, all of which are in Manhattan, and a "Sugar and Spice"section where readers can write in and have their comment or question answered is full of useful cooking tips. Gourmet transformed into an entirely different magazine as editors changed and food trends evolved, (this era of food never really stood out as being particularly delicious), but flipping through these yellowed, musty pages of history kinda gets me in the mood for a martini. Dry.

Speaking of Mad Men, did you see the season finale?? Here's a great article reviewing it.

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