Written by adam on Jan 17, 2005
America's Complex Kitchens
My father bought me a subscription to Cook's Illustrated Magazine for Christmas. I've only received one issue so far, but I love it. Already, I've read the entire issue cover to cover and made 3 of the recipes researched.
If you are unfamiliar with that magazine title, you may be more familiar with its accompanying television program America's Test Kitchen, which airs on PBS on weekends. A bunch of cooks get around and test recipes, food, and kitchen gadgets and present their findings weekly on the show and every month in the magazine.
I really enjoy reading the magazine because the recipes articles include the sage of each recipe and the research that went into it. The cooks will often tweak and futz with the recipe 5,6,7 or more times to get it right. I often wonder how much food is wasted in this effort ... but no matter. What they do produce is on the whole very tasty and very accurate to what the recipes instructs.
The mag includes no-nonsense advice and tips for the home kitchen, and plenty of reviews of products. As you may know, no-nonsense advice is some of my favorite kind of advice.
Here's my beef: the recipes in the magazine are very long and can be very complex, sometime too complex, in my opinion. The black bean soup recipe took up nearly three quarters of a page in 10 point type. This is wrong. You should never have to make people 'read' a recipe. I know their intention is to inform and enlighten, much as our mission here, but as the old addage goes "too much of a good thing can be bad."
Let me add a little prologue to that last paragraph. I made the black bean soup and it was awesome!
So, if you are looking to be somewhat of a home student of cooking or if you just want some down to earth knowledge of food, recipes, and products, look no further than America's Test Kitchen.