Give it an F+

Speaking of selling out, the New Yorker’s food issue felt, for the very first time, like the food ad issue. Half the copy seemed to have been trudgingly generated solely to break up the paid pages; the usually brilliant Anthony Lane’s in particular was like listening to teeth being cleaned. My consort noted that earlier issues used one photographer for seamless impact; the latest was a salmagundi. Which is sad, because no publication does food on a regular basis like this most unlikely of publications. The recent Burkhard Bilger noodling on matsutake hunters in the Pacific Northwest was “Beautiful Swimmers” in a nutshell, while the short stories excerpted from “Absurdistan” long ago turned me on to one of the most entertaining food books ever written. But I guess any excuse to commission a Wayne Thiebaud cover is worth toasting, and we’ll always have Roz Chast with her kitchen anxiety cartoons. Maybe the Conde Nast pimps should consider a Bon Appetit fashion issue.

Oh. Right.