Since Cook's Illustrated sent me issues two days in a row, here's a double helping of test kitchen goodness, plus a little extra.
Cook's Illustrated is always long on substance, short on fluff, offering the results of thorough testing in the kitchen to find the right recipe, tool, or technique. The September-October issue painstakingly deconstructs the process of roasting vegetables with chicken, rates sauté pans, and gives the perfect recipe for dinner rolls. Food geek heaven.
Buy it? Yes, quickly! Subscribe? Good idea.
In the November-December issue Cook's Illustrated looks at olive oils, knife sharpeners, no-bake pumpkin pie, spices, their usual roundup of wonderful tips and much, much more. (They recommend the same spice grinder we wrote about last week - the Krups Fast-Touch 203.)
Buy it? Oh yes. Subscribe? Definitely.
Gastronomica is a splendidly literate publication, issued 4 times a year and focused on the sensual and intellectual. Most of their content is only available to paying subscribers, but each issue offers a few sample articles online. Of note in the summer issue: Feeding Desire, a reflection on low-calorie salad sprays, and Richard Reynolds' funny and wistful account of his descent into espresso obsession, Make That a Ristretto: A Caffeinated Journey to Espresso Nirvana (and Back).
Other article titles give you a tantalizing taste of the magazine's depth: "The Masala Dosas in My Life", "Ode to Campari", and "The Dark Side of Culinary Ephemera: The Portrayal of African Americans."
Buy it? If you can find it. Subscribe? Great holiday gift.