There are exceptions, of course. Some cookbook authors are particularly adept at writing engaging headnotes. They pull you in with descriptions of the food, ideas for serving it, and stories that explain unfamiliar ingredients. These headnotes enhance the recipe and give it context. (By the by, the headnote pictured above comes from Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It by Karen Solomon, which had some of the best headnotes I've read in a long time!)
Dianne Jacob, author of Will Write for Food, had an interesting post about this very subject a while back. There were lots of opinions on what makes a good headnote:
• What Makes a Recipe Headnote So Good You Want to Rush Into the Kitchen? from Will Write for Food
Do you always read the recipe headnotes? Do you think we need them?
(Image: Emma Christensen)