The Postedia

Why Cookbooks Continue to Succeed in the Internet Age

Last year, a small publishing house answered the prayers of hundreds of Asturian readers who had almost lost their faith. Delalla has re-released two volumes – Red and Blue – The art of cooking, cook and teacher Maria Luisa Garcia’s cookbook, has been out of print for years. They were only found in flea markets or second-hand bookstores, although there were not many copies because “Maria Luisa books” were passed down from generation to generation in families, like dishes or photo albums. Many Asturians in the diaspora marched in a suitcase, partly to survive in the kitchen, but also as a small representation of their emotional education. There is no tortilla foam or liquid nitrogen on its sides, but the necessary steps to make sweet croquettes, beans or veal “a la moderna”, explained without much flourish or precision, and it should also be said: “juicy”. “Dishes” or “water you need” is a common expression. And there is always garlic, parsley and white wine on hand.

You may be surprised, but at the age of cooking grandmothers who Become famous on TikTok Grandkids or avid cooks with thousands of subscribers on YouTube, the paper recipe book still has a place. “I liked taking them out because I saw people in their bookstores asking to give them away or renew them, because cookbooks, if they are used, are usually recycled or destroyed,” says Ana Rosa Iglesias, Delallama’s editor. “I reached an agreement with the heir of the rights [la autora murió en 2019 a los 100 años de edad], who is his nephew Ignacio Alonso, and we started with the first volume last year and released the second this year.” The reception was very good, even outside the community, because he was able to verify it at book fairs such as Leon or Madrid. “When they see them, people tell me a little story about them, like their mother gave them or that they fondly glued together,” says the editor.

In an age of grandmas cooking on TikTok and avid cooks with thousands of YouTube subscribers, the paper recipe book still has a place

María Luisa García was not an ordinary woman during the period in which she lived. Born in 1919 in a town in Asturias, in the late 1950s, when he was already over 30 years old, he was able to move to Madrid to study. When he returned to his land, he became a cooking teacher and in time came to teach classes in Asturian centers opened abroad. He even fed Pope John Paul II in 1989 during the pontiff’s visit to the Basilica of Covadonga. menu? Chorizos in cider, Cantabrian hake, stewed meat and casadielles, among other delicacies. In the 70s, she began editing the recipe books that would make her go down in history, hand-in-hand with her husband, a shining example of the do-it-yourself philosophy: she developed the recipes and then bound, edited, and distributed more than half a million copies to date. The art of cooking.

“We relaunched the books, we didn’t even have the plates, and we had to scan them all,” explains Anna Rosa. “At first I thought about doing them differently, more modernized, but everyone told me not to think about it, that they should be the same as the photos from the seventies,” he says. Beyond the nostalgia or love one may have for them, the editor believes Maria Luisa’s volumes continue to be successful because “when you start her recipes, they come out. In addition, there are many vegetables in the ingredients and the seasons of the products are taken into account. Now that we are dealing with local consumption, it will come in handy.”

When people see the reissue of The Art of Cooking, they tell me their little history with the books

Ana Rosa Iglesias
Delalama’s editor

Together with María Luisa García, Simone Ortega decided to save her grandmother’s recipe book and publish it with her husband José Ortega Spotorno, founder of Alianza Editorial. Last year marked the 500th anniversary of its release 1080 cooking recipes, a total sociological phenomenon, amassing three and a half million copies sold (according to the publisher, it is “the best-selling cookbook – and probably not the only cookbook – in democratic Spain”). The Catalan’s success lies in the precision with which he explains the measurements of the ingredients and the subsequent steps, the opposite of the Asturian cook. But she also made the dishes included in her tome — about three times — to confirm that the recipes really worked.

His daughter Inés Ortega knows the gastronomic publishing sector well. In fact, she inherited her mother’s love for cooking and published several books with her sister-in-law Maria Riva, e.g. Our desserts or Gluten-free, egg-free and lactose-free preparationin both alliances. For her, there’s a reason cookbooks still have a place in this age of video recipes online And the gastro challenges are that “recipes on the Internet don’t always turn out well. You have to see them several times and sometimes you are too lazy to keep them.” As for Mother’s title, she believes the secret to its success is that “it’s an affordable book, the recipes are all proven, with ingredients you can easily find and whose combinations can make a healthy diet easy.”

High kitchen

In 2015, the Planeta publishing house launched the Gastro label, and in May 2016, its first title was released. Since then, 120 books have been published annually in 15 or 16 volumes. Some of his biggest hits were Mother’s kitchen by Joanne Rocca What came with this dish? by Ferran Sainteles, Unlimited vegetables Jose Andres or Simple recipes for beginners and cooks By Javier Gutierrez. “Big names attract, but, for example, Xabi Gutierrez was not a household name in the popular sense, although he was in the gastronomic world. And Ferran, when we published it, was not as famous as it is now, and yet the book sold and sold. There are no mathematical formulas for success,” says David Figueras, editor of Planeta Gastro.

The format of these books is a bit premium and is intended for gastronomy professionals and serious enthusiasts. A more transversal society chooses more commercial books and, in this area, a great representative is Carlos Arguinano, “to whom we all tip our hats because he is a master,” affirms Figueras with genuine admiration. “He. He simply sells more than every other author in this country combined. Not only is he covered in the media and popular, but he is as good a chef as any famous Basque chef. And obviously it has an absolutely unique communication skill associated with it,” he comments.

Recipes on the Internet do not always turn out well, you have to look at them several times, and you are too lazy to save them

Ines Ortega
Daughter of Simone Ortega, pioneer of recipe books in Spain

Arguinano made his small screen debut in 1991 with a daily program Every day’s menu On Spanish television, a formula that has been repeated by different channels all this time, such as Telecinco or Antena 3, where the name is now Open kitchen By Carlos Arguinano“. Every year it publishes something new and sells 100,000 copies every year,” Figueras explains. It was the last part of it Simple and rich cuisine (Planet, 2022).

The editor of Planeta Gastro believes that the Internet has not changed cookbooks, because “in the case of a recipe book, you have to look at it all the time and the experience is better than on paper.” He thinks that shared content about gastronomy on social networks helps the public – including the youngest who access it, for example through TikTok – to be positive “as long as it’s quality”. In the end, the path of a person interested in cooking probably ends in a bookshop dedicated to the subject or, directly, in a space like Milhojas, the only bookshop in Barcelona that specializes in gastronomic topics.

The internet hasn’t changed cookbooks because with a recipe book, you have to look at it all the time and the experience is better than paper.

David Figueras
Editor of Gastro Planet

It is owned by Montagud Editores, whose origins date back to 1906. On October 15 of the same year, they published the first issue of the magazine. Mill and bakery and 1930 Spanish pastry (Both merged in 2013 Pastry Revolution Notebook). They are still publishing Apicius, Cuaderno de Alta Gastronomía and books. Its current catalog has 150 titles, among which are The practical form of a pastry chef It was first published in 1933 vacuum kitchen or CRC From El Celler de Can Roca books by Aponiente, Quique Dacosta, Eneko Atxa, Jesús Sánchez or Francis Paniego. “We like to say that we tell stories that will be the history of gastronomy. We have published excellent reference works by Spain’s most important chefs,” says Javi Antoja de la Rosa, editor and CEO of Montagud Editores.

In the bookstore, which opened two years ago, they have about 1,000 titles, as well as wines, oils or gadgets, and celebrate book signings and other events related to literature and gastronomy. According to Antoja de la Rosa, her customers respond to very different profiles: “There are those who are looking for a limited edition or rarity, those who want the latest innovation, those who want to specialize in a certain area, those who are curious. About vegan cooking, cheese or meat. ” The publisher’s target is more defined: these are large-format books with many images, aimed at professional readers or people with a special sensitivity to gastronomy.

These specifics make it difficult for the internet frenzy of kitchens to gain full public attention. But beyond that, Montagud’s editor makes an observation related to books by María Luisa or Simone Ortega: “One thing our readers say about our works, with very strong authorship, is that they always come out. What’s more: they don’t repeat at all.” “Many observe how certain preparations are made, or observe others to ultimately configure their own dishes. In my opinion, there is a forgiveness of persistence, learning and guidance that can only be on paper,” he assures us. So, it doesn’t matter whether it’s from traditional or molecular gastronomy: the secret to the resistance of cookbooks is that the recipes “pop”.

Source: El Diario





related posts

Post List

Hot News