What's Up With Gourmet's September Cover?

gourmet-cover-september-2009-small1The cover of Gourmet's September issue is stunning and bizarre, featuring a photograph that brings to mind a macro shot of Shrek's ass. Or perhaps a gnarly pear? A scarred lunar surface? Whatever it is, food-wise, it's a little unattractive.

Conde Nast's food magazine death spiral continues, what with Gourmet's ad pages down 52% year-over-year. Deviating from the standard cover of food porn photography is either a bold, calculated move to differentiate itself on the newsstand and move some copies, or just terribly, terribly unfortunate.

(It's a quince if you couldn't tell.)

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12 Comments

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  1. what's wrong with you?!! it looks delicious!

  2. Emily

    It's like a big green turd, there must have been a prettier food to put on the cover, no?

  3. Syd

    Definitely a swing and a miss. Looks moldy.

  4. Mike

    I absolutely adore Gourmet and love their stark and simple covers. I dig that you don't know what it is at first and I double dig the use of "ugly" natural variation of "real" produce. I give the finger to pretty but tasteless fruit, and something tells me this little bad boy has a punch. I am bothered less by the photo than the word vomit sprayed all over the photo, no matter how daintily kerned. Kind of ruins a powerful image, no?

    Then again, I'm a subscriber, so they have my money already.

  5. scott

    I knew immediately that it was a quince. But then, I have a quince tree growing in the backyard. I for one love the stark simplicity of the cover.

  6. Jessica

    Hmm... I grabbed this issue at B&N last night purely *because* of the cover. And when I was paying, the cashier remarked on how striking it was. So whatever they were thinking, it worked on me.

  7. Moira

    Way back in the '80s, Gourmet put a photo of James Beard on the cover, shot from the back so that all you saw was his bald head. That was a very controversial cover, and it got a whole lot of us foodies upset because it was not the traditional pretty food cover.

    Clearly, Gourmet likes to yank our chains every once in a while. Good for them.

  8. Jojo

    I kind of hope most potential Gourmet readers could ID a quince...I think it's rad and furry. Agree about the word vomit, Mike.

  9. k

    Oh. I thought it was a tennis ball trying to be the earth.
    Or something.
    But I dont care because I think Gourmet is a very "I'm white and I'm in on the joke" kind of magazine, so it's not the least bit interesting to me...

  10. steph

    lets get beyond the cover--whats up with the entire issue? Its an all recipe issue-where is the travel Gourmet is known for? How about the recipe entitled FIGGY PIGGY? This is not the Gourmet I am used to seeing and I know I don't like it. The recipes are too simple and I wonder what they are doing. October will be interesting to see if they continue this new look.

  11. What is even more upsetting are the photographs inside which seem to be printed on cheaper paper, with wider borders. Compare the quality of the printing in September 2009 with August 2009 and see if you don't notice the decline in quality.

  12. Culinary Curmudgeon

    heaven forbid a FOOD magazine would be ALL RECIPES!
    get over yourselves, and get over gourmet.

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