I got a new (old, really, ordered a used copy) cookbook that I’m enjoying very much. One of the best things about it is that it has no photos. Almost every contemporary cookbook includes a staged color photo of every recipe. This has at least three harmful results:
- It uses up space that could have been used for meaningful information;
- It greatly increases the cost of the book: Color printing, glossy paper, etc., with no corresponding benefit.
- If you make the recipe, it won’t end up looking at all like the professionally staged photo anyway.
Cookbooks that resist the photo invasion: Richard Olney’s Simple French Food; All Viana LaPlace’s books; various classics from the hippie era such as Laurel’s Kitchen. I wish I could list more.
To use a phrase from a recent rant that I cherish: How have we come to this? How did we let this happen?