What Do YOU Think?

by Cate on March 13, 2007

A few months ago, I was interviewed for this article, and one of the questions the reporter asked was whether or not I thought food blogs would replace cookbooks. My answer? In a word, no. I definitely visit a handful of food blogs regularly, but find that when doing so, it’s more along the lines of seeing what they’re up to and what they’ve been cooking lately, as opposed to looking for a specific recipe.

I think cookbooks offer things that food blogs don’t, and vice versa. With food blogs, we’re able to develop more of a personal relationship with the writer. We get to know about their families, their lives, and, quite honestly, them. That sort of connection is a bit harder to find in a cookbook.

But as a reformed cookbook addict, there’s still quite a bit of comfort in grabbing a drink, finding a cozy chair and curling up with a good cookbook. Spending time reading the history behind the recipes, drooling over the pictures and flagging recipes you want to try … it’s just a different feeling.

I think both food blogs and cookbooks have their own, individual place, each one giving us something different, both here to stay. What do YOU think? Will food blogs replace cookbooks?

P.S. Don’t forget, tomorrow is ARF/5-A-Day.

A year ago today… lousy picture taking, but good eats.
Two years ago today… Quesadilla Night.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah Caron March 13, 2007 at 1:32 am

I agree that food blogs will never replace cookbooks. But I think that cookbooks are adapting to this new world and a hybrid of print publications and online companions is emerging so that readers and authors have more contact . . .

Aside from that – awesome article. And your placement in it is noteworthy!

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Claire March 13, 2007 at 2:36 am

I agree as well. I don’t think that cookbooks will be replaced by food blogs. Just look at all the new cookbooks coming out and the “hoop-la” that surrounds them. I usually check my cookbooks first and then try blogs if I can’t find a recipe I like (or if I have a recipe in mind that I’ve seen on a blog).

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The Cookbook Junkie March 13, 2007 at 12:27 pm

I agree that food blogs might actually help sell more cookbooks by generating a greater interest in cooking. And many people just have a love books that can’t be replaced. Libraries didn’t replace individuals buying books. I still know many people who buy fiction regularly.

One thing I disagreed with in the article is that the quality of cookbook recipes is necessarily better than the quality of those found on blogs. I don’t think that’s always the case. I often run into problems with recipes from cookbooks. Absolutely no recipe works for everyone since tastes and abilities vary so much. That’s why I don’t rate recipes.

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Anne March 13, 2007 at 1:46 pm

I don’t think it’s possible. I hope, for my sake, that it isn’t! I love to sit and read through my cookbooks and sitting in an uncomfortable chair staring at a screen just isn’t the same.

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Charise March 13, 2007 at 2:16 pm

As I am young and haven’t had time to amass a big cookbook collection (I really only have one – the new Joy of Cooking), I do prefer blogs. I don’t have a lot of storage space or the time to read through entire cookbooks. I make my own “cookbooks” by filling binders with recipes I’ve ripped from food magazines and printed off blogs.

I’m sure in the future I’ll be more into cookbooks, but for now, blogs and magazines appeal to me more.

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Brilynn March 13, 2007 at 10:22 pm

I’m with you, they each offer something different. If I’m looking for something specific it’s always easier to find it in a book. But I do get a lot of recipes from blogs, I print them off and eventually remember them sometime when I’m making supper.

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Diane March 13, 2007 at 11:50 pm

food blogs will never replace cookbooks, books and blogs co-exist in media whether in print or by the internet.

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maltese parakeet March 14, 2007 at 12:34 am

this might become a generational thing and could be based on what you grew up with. i think it must be a very similar situation to e-books. i grew up with books and, with very few exceptions, i do not enjoy reading books online or on a screen; i still prefer to turn a page. however, young kids are more and more comfortable with computer screens and will probably love e-books in the future. those of us who grew up with cookbooks, may prefer those, while the next generation may feel more at home with the computer.

right now, i would say i’m 50/50 cookbooks to blogs. i like cookbooks based on themes or certain chefs or restaurants, because i don’t find that food blogs tend to give you that kind of grouping nor do they often capture the breadth of material on a certain subject all in one place. however, i prefer the internet when i’m looking for a certain recipe or experimenting with a recipe. i love to look at five or six different recipes for a certain dish and then pick and choose ingredients and techniques.

but that balance may be shifting over to blogs if my technology use is any indication. i recently got a new laptop and i put my old, banged up laptop (lovingly dubbed the craptop) in the kitchen for dedicated recipe access. the cookbooks are on a bookshelf in the living room. i’ve also been creating a virtual recipe box online using del.icio.us and i find myself consulting that more often that the cookbook shelf. the only downside i see is that del.icio.us is only as good as the links. when the links go bad, the recipes will be gone.

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