The Dutch version of the Jamie mag is celebrating its 25th issue this month. Which is a fantastic accomplishment in a market that is not just over-saturated on the magazine front but a market that is also competing with the behemoth that is the foodie web. One of the reasons why 'Jamie' is succeeding is because it fully embraces the online foodie community. A magazine nowadays is nothing if it doesn't also have a great website and online presence.
Both the Dutch language version and the English Jamie magazine website do a great job cultivating that presence. I often find myself looking for recipes by particular authors online even though I have the books/magazines lying around somewhere. Furthermore some magazines make the mistake of using their website only as an announcement page for the content of the physical mag but 'Jamie' actively works to strengthen their online community by having guest bloggers and a deep integration with social media.
But this anniversary did get me thinking about the significance of food magazines in a world where there are millions of recipes at our finger tips catering to our every whims. On top of that magazines also compete with cookery books for our attention. You can take my Ottolenghi books from my cold dead hands but I have given up on keeping food mags around for more than one, maybe two months. A good book means you can open any page, cook what is there and be completely confident it will be absolutely delicious. Magazines have to walk a tightrope between the quick, flashy and sheer volume of internet content and the qualitatively meticulous and well thought out balance of good cookery books.
Jamie Oliver with the Dutch editor Suzanne Pronk
Yet despite all the challenges the foodie mag is far from dead. I don't know a food blogger who wouldn't love to write for an actual magazine (including me). And even a mediocre issue still tends to be better than a horrible book (and everyone has at least a couple of them lying on a shelve somewhere). I know I will continue reading them, be it because I know the content will be good or simply as an impulse buy at the check out.
Do you still buy food mags? Let me know in the comments
Full disclosure: I might be receiving a goodie bag for mentioning Jamie magazine's 25th issue.