Sorted – Cookbooks – Link – February 1st

Sorry I didn’t make it into class today.  Wouldn’t want to get you all sick.

Forget Charlieissocoollike, his friends at SortedFood are way cooler (though their video featuring him is fun).  This is a YouTube channel featuring a few clueless guys in a kitchen that makes me so jealous I want to KILL SOMEBODY.  Anyway, the deal with them is that they make little cooking tutorials for starving students like us about how to avoid eating all your meals at a cheap kebab house (admittedly not an option for us – shoot me) or out of a shrink-wrapped package.  They also have a web site where they post all their recipes (which range from weird things like chocolate cake baked in a microwave, in a mug, to pasta carbonara), and it’s worth having a look.  I like them because they’re not preachy health nuts, the videos are very polished and professional, and they have silly recipes like jelly shots, too.  I was very surprised when I started watching SortedFood, because it didn’t irritate me nearly as much as American food shows do.  So, that’s nice.  Hopefully you’ll agree.

On another note: my first career goal was sort of crushed when I realized (decided?) that Cookbooks, along with the rest of printed media, Are, if not Dead, terminally ill. Morbid and cynical eleven-year-old that I was, I told myself that this society was already closing the Terri Schiavo-esque debate and turning off the life-support on books.  Yet people still give them to me all the time and I think you’re an idiot if you take your laptop into the kitchen to read recipes off it.  But I’ll still search a food blog to find what I want before leafing through the index of a heavy book, even if I trust it more.  What are the books you and your families still use faithfully? I will never abandon The Gourmet Cookbook’s yellow cake or Joy’s choux pastry.  And what about food magazines (RIP, Gourmet Magazine.  Conde Nast, may you burn eternally in Hell!)?  I love Cook’s Illustrated in paper form, but a lot of food publications are being read online rather than ordered lately.

Of course, there’s cross-over.  I received for my bat mitzvah a book called Eat Tweet, a Twitter cookbook, a 5 X 7 inch volume that fits about eight recipes on each page.

Feedback, people.  Is the age of the cookbook over?

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One Response to Sorted – Cookbooks – Link – February 1st

  1. Mr. Sturdy Knight says:

    Interesting find, Imogen. Definitely a food show aimed at the youtube generation. They’re a little more blase about cooking than I might like, but there is an undeniable appeal to their approach and methods. I can see why you like them.
    As for your question: I’m gonna go ahead and say, “no,” on that one. The idea that recipes or food writing of any kind must be restricted one medium is silly. Of course there will always be a place for well tested, well written cookbooks, just as there will always be a place for potentially untrustworthy online recipe aggregators. Both have their ups and downs.
    The one thing I do think is on its way it the printed food magazine (Gourmet being a prime example). In many ways, a digital platform just lends itself better to multimedia writing (i.e. photographs and text) than an ink-0n-paper format. Computers can provide images that you can rotate, zoom in on, and download and save for later, plus hypertext, instant access to related dishes, and all other kinds of neat things to enhance the experience. To my mind, if food is a multi-layered and customizable experience, then reading about it should be likewise.
    That said, printed volumes still have a place on my bookshelf. The time and care that go in to researching and writing a good cookbook really pay off. Tried-and-true recipes are often a better bet for the inexperienced or cautious cook (or one with limited resources), and they tend toward simplicity, leaving more room to improvise. Perhaps most importantly, I don’t feel too bad if I accidentally splatter my book with hot caramel. With my laptop, that would be a nightmare.

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