Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I am a long-time subscriber to Bon Appetit, and before I subscribed I would buy issues on the news stand as they appealed to me. My husband shares my addiction, and we had a pretty complete set of the magazine going back almost 20 years before we had a house fire. Now the set goes back only two years, with a couple of composite cookbooks on the shelf.

So, I've seen a lot of changes to the design of  the magazine over the years and the latest arrived in my mailbox yesterday.

I don't like it.

This doesn't mean I won't get used to it (I wasn't overly fond of the last make-over either, but I did get used to it), but I found it difficult to read and very hard to tell the difference between ads and editorial content.  The visual clues weren't there. Or, more accurately, I thought the ads looked beter than the content pages, so I was a little confused.

I also did not like the first letter from the new editor.  It reeks of a New York snobbishness I try to quell in myself unless I need it for humorous effect.  I don't think that Adam Rapoport was going for that.

I guess I found a certain comfort with Barbara Fairchild, someone who must have started out in the publishing business around the same time I got out of college and went to work for a New York publisher.  I found it easy to relate to her editorials and enjoyed her stories.  I'm not sure that the former editor of Esquire has a lot in common with me and he's unlikely to make people feel as welcomed as Ms. Fairchild.  Take for example this post that came up in a link on Facebook today.  The question asked is "Are Goyim Allowed at Your Seder?"  Mr. Rapoport's answer, related at the bottom of the article, is a resounding "No."

If my subscription wasn't paid up for the next five years, I probably wouldn't consider renewing it despite my heretofore delight in reading the articles and trying out new recipes like this Pistachio and Dried Fruit Haroseth from the April issue of the magazine, which was a huge hit at the seder I took it to on Monday night.  It is a good thing the May issue was about things Italian or it might already be in the circular file.