First published in 1941, Gourmet was the original magazine devoted entirely to wine and food. Imagine that! In the 60+ years of its printed existence, it published 815 issues devoted to hundreds of meals — everything from traditional skillet chicken to Indian curries and homemade Italian specialties, depending on the month, the year, or whatever was the currently trending fad in food. In retrospect, what a mouthful! Not one that New York-based photographers Paul Wagtouicz and Noah Fecks are afraid to take, though. Together, they're cooking their way through the entirety of the magazine's culinary canon and documenting it on their blog The Way We Ate.
In a recent video interview with Tumblr Storyboard, the duo get into detail about their enthusiasm-cum-obsession, discussing how the magazine became an unintentional catalog of significant milestones in American History, as popular eating trends were often reflective of current events. One example: early subscribers, caught in the midst of World War II, were encouraged to save their issues for when food rationing was over. Pretty fascinating stuff. (We also admit to being hopelessly charmed by anybody with a "What Would Julia Do?" tattoo.)
Each recipe the guys' publish is accompanied by a curated selection of the issue's advertisements, providing readers with historical context, more than a few chuckles, and a wondrous sense of captured time. Yes! It was totally acceptable to put pinapple on everything in 1983. No, in 1952 we had not yet learned to be afraid of (or at least moderate with) a stick of butter. But hey, if it's all in the name of history? Bring it on.
The Way We Ate from Tumblr Storyboard
A cover from the May, 1948 issue. "Thirty-Five Cents"!
Rhubarb Tart — Gourmet, May 1976
Carrot & Onion Puree — Gourmet, March 1970
Pineapple Cardinale Parizzi (Pineapple and Orange Desserts) — Gourmet, April 1983
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