5@5 is a food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
For most of my career, I’ve been writing about food for digital publications. Twitter, Instagram, cat GIFs (pronounced “jif,” we now know) and endless e-mails are all part of my daily routine.
But when it comes to my own culinary reading list, a surprisingly heavy percentage is dedicated to cookbooks. Not apps, not e-books. Physical printed cookbooks. It was a realization that recently led me to take a break from the digital landscape and launch a printed cookbook series called Short Stack.
Why, some may ask, when you can just as easily find recipes online and for free? Here are five answers to that very question.
Five Reasons to Care About Cookbooks in a Digital Age: Kaitlyn Goalen
Overall, cookbooks tend to be safer bets. They are written by experts, either chefs or writers who have been in the business for years. And secondly, the recipes are almost always tested to ensure that they will work for readers. With cookbooks, you’re buying into the promise that you can cook at the level of the author, just by following his or her steps.
And I give everyone Suzanne Goin’s "Sunday Suppers at Lucques" because that restaurant was pivotal in my learning to love food and the community it engenders. (I can’t wait for Suzanne’s new book!) You can’t wrap a website in a bow.
3. Cultural History
Cookbooks are also records of personal identity, since they tend to be kept and passed down among family. I have all of the community cookbooks my grandmother edited for her Junior League and her church, and each is full of notes she wrote in the margins - dates that she made a certain recipe, and tweaks she made to it. Books like these are important heirlooms, and irreplaceable pieces of our food culture.
Got an cookbook you give to everyone? Share it in the comments below.
Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.