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Poll: Do You Buy Cookbooks That Don't Have Pictures?

Do You Buy Cookbooks That Don't Have Pictures?

With the movie Julie & Julia nearing release, I've taken a renewed interest in all things related to the premise. For instance, PartySugar lent me her grandmother's vintage copy of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking from 1967 to peruse for culinary inspiration. Julia is full of knowledge and great at explaining classic kitchen techniques in detail, but I can see how today's home cooks could be deterred from buying her book, because it contains no photographs whatsoever.

For those of you with your own copy of Mastering: Does it bother you that the book is all text? And are you willing to pony up pennies for a cookbook if it doesn't have any pictures in it?

Join The Conversation
PinkNC PinkNC 7 years
No. I do like to see the photographs of way I'm cooking. I like it when they show the step by step color pics.
Kalliefornia Kalliefornia 7 years
I feel like if it doesn't look like the picture, then I probably didn't make it right and it probably doesn't taste the way it should taste. But yeah thats probably a little extreme but oh well.
bekbork bekbork 7 years
I buy both. The only requirement in my cookbook purchasing is that I be interested in the topics discussed in the book.
goddessru goddessru 7 years
A huge part of food and cooking is visualization. Naturally, we are attracted to pictures and colors. Sometimes I find myself drawn to a dish and a desire to make it because of the way its pictured, not necessarily the name or ingredients.
muse2323 muse2323 7 years
Mostly, though, I seem to get most of my recipes online.
muse2323 muse2323 7 years
I answered no, but I do have a few pictureless cookbooks because I knew I'd love the recipes (one I just rec'd as a gift: The West Point Market Cookbook).
Steinerboo Steinerboo 7 years
I'm a serious cook, and something of a starving artist, so any hard-bound cookbook I buy had better be a solid reference in addition to providing great recipes. Many, if not all of the "essentials" (Joy of Cooking, Julia Child, Bittman's books, etc.) don't have full-color photos of the end results. But they were worth every penny I spent on them. That being said, pretty pictures will get me to make an impulse buy of "Gourmet" or "Cooking Light" in the magazine aisle. I guess that makes my pound-wise, penny-foolish. ;)
dani17731 dani17731 7 years
I usually go for cookbooks with pictures, just because I like to see in which direction I should be going, and also I'm an avid reader and sometimes I just read cookbooks and even menus because I love food. Crazy, right?
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I do buy cookbooks with no pictures in them as well, only because I don't really care one way or the other whether or not they show what stuff looks like when it's done. I like cookbooks that have detailed descriptions of what you have to do and why...which is why I don't usually like those cookbooks that are put together by say, the ladies at work or the church groups because they're usually a collection of very poorly written recipes. Most people don't realize how difficult it is to write a recipe that people other than you can duplicate.
laurelm laurelm 7 years
It depends, I would say for the books that I care about technique, advice from a master, I dont care about the pictures. Like Julia Child's, Craig Claiborne, Joy of cooking, are essential to my library and have no pictures. But I love food porn, and love beautiful cookbooks with pictures.
CoconutPie CoconutPie 7 years
No. But I would buy a book with only food pictures, no recipes.
richkidblues richkidblues 7 years
I am an amateur too and I like to see what its supposed to look like! Im also more interested in a recipe if there's a picture of what it looks like. I am also very visual and enjoy seeing the picture of food. Thats why I love all of Jamie Olivers cookbooks.
Zulkey Zulkey 7 years
I really don't care either way--I mean I think the pictures are helpful but like I said I don't seek out cookbooks, they come to me. But I take issue with comments like "most people don't know why butter is mixed with flour, they will just do it because they want a nice cake." What's wrong with that! I like food, not food science and I cook for myself and my loved ones, not a table of judges. But I'm going off-topic.
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
i have to have pictures in my cook book. i'm very visual and if i can't see what it's supposed to look like in the end - then there's no way that i'll be successful. (ok i can't say 'no way' but it's less likely)
HaterTot HaterTot 7 years
@Zulkey, that's actually all the more reason why pictures shouldn't matter. Julia Child's The Way to Cook (which has some pictures, but they're more instructional than anything) and Mastering the Art of French Cooking are the kinds of cookbooks people wishing to improve their skills should be referencing. The Joy of Cooking and Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything are also excellent, simpler, references. Cookbooks should be reference texts, first and foremost. There's nothing wrong with a beautiful cookbook (particularly one like Keller's French Laundry Cookbook, which is both beautiful and instructional) but the pictures should be secondary, at most.
WildStrawberry WildStrawberry 7 years
Cookbooks these days are mostly entertainment, not about how to cook. They show you a recipe, but most people don't know why butter is mixed with flour, they will just do it because they want a nice cake. I like old, vintage cookbook, the one that teaches how to cook!
mommie mommie 7 years
A serious cook needs the classic bibles such as Julia. Also, no cook should be without a copy of "The Joy of Cooking". These are reference materials. The Joy of Cooking was my first cookbook along with a Time Life series. Those are what got me hooked.
Zulkey Zulkey 7 years
I AM an amateur!
HaterTot HaterTot 7 years
It's a little amateurish to care if a cookbook has pictures. I don't care one way or the other. My cooking has mostly evolved to the point that I don't really use them at all for cooking, except perhaps as reference. I do use them for baking, but again - unless the "picture" is more a diagram of some sort; pictures are nice, but irrelevant.
istoria istoria 7 years
The more important question for me is "Does the cookbook have nutritional information with the recipes?" Most of my cookbook choices lately are based on that answer.
Zulkey Zulkey 7 years
I don't buy cookbooks, oddly. I am given them. I
flyowsley flyowsley 7 years
Joy of Cooking Baby!
Food Food 7 years
Chancleta, that book sounds so intriguing!
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