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Because we're not quite ready to say goodbye to The Piglet, our longtime, salty internet friend Shit Food Blogger gives us a 2015 Tournament of Cookbooks recap, inspired by The Toast's All the Comments on Every Recipe Blog. Right this way.
“Why has no one shared the recipe for freebasing granulated sugar? I keep seeing pictures, but somebody needs to pony up the goddamn recipe because Daddy has needs.”
“Please stop asking reluctant bakers to review baking cookbooks. These always end with the reviewer learning to love measuring and weighing and I will never care about that storyline.”
“Hey reviewer, maybe don’t congratulate yourself on how great of a cook you are and then tell us that some of these techniques might be difficult for most home cooks. We’re not here to stroke your ego, you special little snowflake.”
“This is a good review. Thanks!”
“I would like to find out how I can join Emily Gould’s cooking society. Emily is smart and thoughtful and I am both of those things, and I feel like I would just 'fit in' if I were invited to participate. I can be witty and charming, and while I’m socially awkward in small or mid-size gatherings of humans (but not dogs because I GET them in ways most people don’t), I know deep inside my soul that I would shine -- like really come into my own in a way that most people wouldn’t understand -- because I read Emily’s writing when she was at Gawker and that was a long time ago and I know we’ve both grown and I have not read any of her novels but I have a strong intention to put them on my Amazon wishlist and I will be sure to buy them and skim them if I could just get an invite to the next cooking society meeting, I am so alone.”
“Thanks for choosing people to review your cookbooks who don’t cook regularly. Obviously this makes them wonderful choices for determining which book deserves to win a contest that serves a community devoted to cooking.”
“Remember this important kitchen equation: 2 NPR reviewers = 1 1/2 too many. I’m joking. Please get the teams of This American Life and Bullseye and Radiolab and Fresh Air to judge next year’s tournament. I would love that very much.”
“Dorie Greenspan is the master of my heart for reasons only she and I will ever know.”
“Stop allowing your reviewers to phone it in. Please. I have no use for reviewers who fail to make two recipes from each of the books. Why even say yes to writing a review if you can’t meet the minimum level of expectations? But more importantly, why does Food52 agree to publish these failed reviews? I know the competition is opinion-based. I know it comes down to preference. But come on. Treat these books with some level of fairness. Some sense of decency. Let the authors experience a modicum of respect. When you set up a competition, you take on certain responsibilities. Not the least of these is a moral obligation to be fair to the authors. You chose these books, Food52. You made a commitment to considering and celebrating and criticizing them. We don’t need reviewers to wear kid gloves and pull punches when criticism is deserved. But show at least a minimum level of respect. Entire teams of people work for years on a book, and Food52 picks some incompetent -- I’m sorry, but it’s true -- reviewer who cannot devote enough time to the competition to make two recipes. If the reviewer fails to deliver, then get a new reviewer. Yes, these things take time and you have to work far in advance, but your system is flawed. You need to fix it. I know Food52 needs to drive traffic, and I want you to succeed as a platform, community, brand, merchant of pretty things I cannot afford. You are kind people. But feeding off the numbers that are driven by a completely arbitrary competition and then not following a consistent moral code of how you will treat authors and books seems off-brand at best and immoral at worst. But I love The Piglet!”
“I’m so glad this cookbook lost because one time I made a recipe from it and it was not good. Not good at all.”
“Every cookbook is a promise and a lie. Most adults know this. It’s always messy when we forget.”
“Maybe next year, Food52 and reviewers will understand that no matter how much they try to tell themselves how fair they are and how funny they are and how level the playing field is in this fundamentally unfair tournament, telling a woman she’s fair game for criticism because of how she looks and how she is dressed is very dangerous territory.”
“Has anybody noticed how much more we talk about the books that lost than the books that won?”
“I won’t say which one, but I love the cover of this book, and I am very excited to check it out from my library. I will never buy it.”
“No one should ever try to be funny in a review ever again.”