Fine Cooking’s last issue

Even though I knew the end was coming (I wrote about Meredith Corp.’s acquisition of Fine Cooking in October 2020), it was still a sad day when I received a postcard in the mail a couple of weeks ago announcing that Fine Cooking Magazine was no longer going to be published. As the magazine continued to hit my mailbox for almost two years following the acquisition, I could pretend that DotDash Meredith (DotDash purchased Meredith in 2021) changed its mind and was keeping this premier publication.

The longstanding plan to end Fine Cooking could not be stopped by my wishful thinking, however, and so I must bid farewell to one of my favorite magazines. With each announcement of a magazine that ceases print publication or folds altogether it gets harder to write about the demise, because it feels like a part of my life that I always assumed would be there is disappearing. Perhaps carriage aficionados felt the same way during the transition from horse and buggy to automobiles. Soon I might be be shaking my fist and yelling “You kids get off my lawn!”

I am thankful I had the foresight to purchase a DVD containing back issues of Fine Cooking from 1994 to 2017 so I will have my favorite recipes even if the website, which is currently operational, disappears (again). Now I only have to hope that the archive’s format survives the next few iterations of Windows updates.

Speaking of the website, in a recent comment on a “Meet the New Fine Cooking.com” article (from the site’s revamp in 2017), one reader noted that “…it appears Meredith has primarily been reusing old BH&G recipes. Every recipe I’ve googled has shown up as a recipe published in BH&G years ago.” I have noticed that some recipes seemed to echo those from other publications, so I would not be surprised if recipes are shared among the magazines. They may even be contained in a master database accessed by the various websites. This is merely speculation – I have no insight into how DotDash Meredith organizes or stores the vast amounts of data it has acquired in recent years.

DotDash Meredith is offering Fine Cooking’s current subscribers an automatic rollover to Food & Wine Magazine. If they do not wish to receive Food & Wine, subscribers can call 1-800-333-6569 to request a refund. I will give Food & Wine a whirl, but I know it will not be the same. RIP, Fine Cooking.

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10 Comments

  • lauren424  on  May 5, 2022

    That’s sad, I really liked that magazine.

  • lgroom  on  May 6, 2022

    Oh, man. This was my favorite magazine to sit and page through. So sad. I have loved all of the Tauton Press magazines since they began.

  • lbielefeld  on  May 6, 2022

    I don’t understand the business model that would lead Meredith to buy Fine Cooking and then kill it. It seems like they are doing this with other magazines as well, like Cooking Light. It’s one thing if they kill the magazine but use the content in another format, but they are not doing this. I was already a Food & Wine subscriber (although I’m now thinking of cancelling my subscription) but it is a completely different (and lesser, IMO) magazine.

  • nfsnow  on  May 6, 2022

    I have subscribed for many years. Agree with others, it is sad.

  • janichkokov  on  May 7, 2022

    That explains why I haven’t been able to find this magazine on the shelves in so long. Very unfortuntate. Food and Wine is ok but not nearly as good as Fine Cooking. RIP.

  • SatuWyvern  on  May 7, 2022

    I have every issue of Fine Cooking. In the past year the recipes certainly have not been up to Fine Cooking’s standards. In addition to going backwards on measurements (no weights for flour, etc). I think it is better to go out now than to ruin the Fine Cooking name.

  • JFReiss  on  May 8, 2022

    I completely agree First Cooking Light, then Eating Well, and now Fine Cooking. They’ve taken away all the good food magazines. I’m still awaiting my refunds

  • AmyDamey  on  May 9, 2022

    I have had a subscription to Fine Cooking for about 20 years now. Love it!! I was slightly upset when Cooking Light was stopped. The recipes had degraded for some time. I was a bit more upset at the loss of Eating Well. But I am devastated to lose Fine Cooking. There is nothing to replace it.

  • SerenaYLee  on  May 13, 2022

    While I’m sad to hear about another food magazine’s demise, I must say that Fine Cooking’s best days were long past. I loved it when it first came out and each issue was very much focused on mastering techniques for making the featured recipes. When it moved away from that focus, it really lost what made it one of the best food magazines around.

  • LUmbro  on  May 20, 2022

    OMG I was heartbroken as well! When Meredith took over, I was sad that the beautiful glossy was history THEN the magazine shrunk!

    Recently I have received no longer publishing post cards from Health, Martha Steward Living, Eating well and now Fine Cooking. So glad I have most of the back issues! Good luck with your DVD, a real treasure!

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