Friday, September 01, 2006

The Return of CHOW

It should come as no big surprise that I'm a fan of food magazines, though I tend to be fickle. Over the years I've had subscriptions to everything from Food & Wine and Cooking Light to A Taste of Home and Wine X, but my interest in a title usually only lasts a year or so before I find the mag starting to repeat itself and become tired. (I'll be sharing some reviews of recent issues of some food mags in an upcoming post.)

One recent mag that I enjoyed was CHOW, a hip, fresh take on the whole food publication, though their tagline "Food. Drink. Fun." raised more than an eyebrow or two here at THG HQ where "The journal of food, drink, travel and fun" has been our mantra (in one form or another) since 1997.

Anyway, I dug CHOW and after reading its premiere issue received a gift subscription from Chris a couple years ago. Note to readers... think twice about a charter subscription to a glossy, major magazine with no apparent financial backing.

The appearance of an issue of CHOW in the mailbox was often met with "Hey, I didn't even know this was still being published" surprise. (I sound like a THG subscriber!) At one point, there was such a delay between issues that they essentially sent subscribers a zine-esque version of the mag, which I found more than a little amusing.

Several months ago I received the inevitable notice that CHOW, the magazine, was no longer being published. I can't say I was surprised, nor was I surprised that they proclaimed the mag would live on. As a website.

CHOW, the website, is now beta testing and can be found at (Duh.) Though I probably don't need another food community in my life I'm willing to give it a go. If it's anything like the magazine the site will be an interesting, entertaining and informative place to hang.

And don't confuse CHOW with the similar sounding CHOWHOUND, which it is linked to. Both sites are now owned by CNET Networks and I'm not sure why they felt the need to keep the two in their current combined, but separate, identities. Ostensibly it appears that CHOW is supposed to be recipe and food focused while CHOWHOUND will remain true to its restaurant chatter roots.

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