The New York Times Magazine has been so wearying in recent months, but today, it really produced a smash hit in its annual Food & Drink issue. Can’t think of the last time I read such a satisfying issue of any magazine (and, as a subscriber to The Atlantic, the New Yorker, and Saveur, I see lots of satisfying magazines on my bedside table). Here’s a link to the main page of the issue. Strongly encourage my foodie readers to explore. Among the many great features is a long section in which Michael Pollan answers reader questions. For example:
Q: How do we take into account cultural differences when telling people what they ‘should’ be eating?
A: I have yet to hear of a traditional diet — from any culture, anywhere in the world — that is not substantially healthier than the “standard American diet.” The more we honor cultural differences in eating, the healthier we will be.
How very Weston A. Price of him.
A New Orleans friend introduced us to a terrific new magazine about the South called Garden & Gun. It’s like Southern Living, but a lot edgier. (We also get Southern Living, thanks to my mom’s generosity; it’s pretty much the Bible for a certain kind of Southerner. We’re more Garden & Gun people, but we still enjoy the old standby. Anyway, the current G&G is also a food issue. I’ve only had time to read the Julia Reed essay, but my wife says the whole issue — the first one we’ve received — is just damn good, and she’s thrilled that we subscribed. It’s not entirely on line, but they do have up a promising story about going frogging in Louisiana.
One more thing: there’s a free monthly magazine you pick up around St. Francisville, called Country Roads. It covers culture and things to do around southern Louisiana and southern Mississippi. Though it’s more service journalism than the other mags — by which I mean it is geared primarily, though not exclusively, toward telling you what interesting things there are to do that month in the area — it’s really good. For years Julie and I have read Country Roads when visiting my family there, and we’ve always been amazed by all the great stuff going on, especially in small Louisiana towns. It’s exciting to us that soon, we can actually use Country Roads as our guidebook to what’s on in our new home.