Friday, February 10, 2006

Food Magazines Have Their Place, but . . .
I'd Rather Have a Cheese Sandwich!



On Thursday a writer at Food and Wine magazine published an article about food blogs in which he talked about a few food blogs he liked, but repeatedly stated most food blogs are about as interesting as cheese sandwiches. He even picked out a random sentence from blogs he found on Food Porn Watch as examples of why food blogs were so boring.

All this caught my attention in a big way because my blog was one of the ones that he plucked a sentence from and published as an example of boring writing. And as if that wasn't hurtful enough, he picked a sentence that referred to "herb bloggers" so that everyone in the food blog world would know it was my blog that the sentence came from.

Because I was hurt, earlier I had a snarky post in this spot, but now I've calmed down I realize that Pete Wells has a right to express his opinion, but when it comes to food blogs, he just does not get it.

 


Food Blogs are not meant to be slick and shiny like food magazines. Food Blogs are meant to be whatever that particular writer wants their blog to be. Me, I am a fourth grade teacher in Salt Lake City, Utah, who had my life changed forever by the South Beach Diet and wanted to share that with the world. Writing a blog has expanded my life in ways I never imagined possible. The longer I write my blog the more I'm learning, growing, and making connections with other people who love food and enjoy creating a story about what they are eating.

So when I got over being hurt (and it did take me a bit) I realized that whether or not Pete Wells thinks this is a good blog doesn't matter. Hundreds and hundreds of people every day like my blog and me, and that's what I'm writing it for. The people who have sent me supportive e-mails or left comments are my friends in ways that the people who read Pete Wells' magazine stories never will be. That's what makes blogs the most rapidly expanding medium in the whole gamut of media. It's the connections that are created, not only among fellow bloggers, but also between a blogger and the people who read that blog!

Starting on Thursday, February 16, you are going to see those connections exhibited in a big way as food blogs all over the world spread the word that cheese sandwiches taste better than hyper-critical food writing. Mr. Wells may wish he had never picked on such a creative and talented group of people.

If you're a blogger of any type, feel free to join in as we celebrate not only Cheese Sandwich Day, but also the joy of being part of a world-wide community of people sharing ourselves over the internet. And to add to the fun, my supportive and wonderfully creative brother Rand has produced charming icons that people can copy and put on their cheese sandwich posts if they want to.

Now, I think I'll go make a cheese sandwich. On low carb bread of course.

Note from Kalyn added later: These cheese sandwich uproar continued for a couple of weeks. If you want to read more, here is the Cheese Sandwich chronicles, a series of posts I wrote on the topic:

Cheese Sandwich Chronicles #1 Pointless Cheese Sandwich Meanderings?

Cheese Sandwich Chronicles #2 Into the Belly With The Cheese Sandwich

Cheese Sandwich Chronicles #3 Cheese Sandwiches Are Like Food Blogger Friends, You Can Never Have Too Many (includes a roundup of all the cheese sandwich posts by various food bloggers around the world.)



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61 comments:

  1. Hear hear! I love melted cheese and i love toasted bread ... what is there not to love? It's perfect.

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  2. Kalyn, I posted my response on Sweetnick's. I think your herb blogging is one of the most informative and entertaining ones out there. Here's to some mass grilling of cheesey food writers.

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  3. Sorry, just realised it was on Food Blog School. Duh.

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  4. I too love WHB for it's informative and fun way to start the weekend (even on some occassions, Monday!). Fun because we're learning so much from each other about different herbs and trying them out and enjoying them.

    Thursday it is, i will be serving a damn good cheese sandwich!!! and i'll try my hardes for a great pic.

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  5. Count me in...mmm..cheese sandwiches!! And go herb blogging! I have said this before and I will say it again, you are educating us all with the herb blogging segment. Sadly, the same cannot be said about pointless articles that come out in certain "professional" food magazines.

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  6. of course I will join in! Where can I get that logo your brother was mentioning? :o)

    Hang in there Kalyn -- this writer is obviously a self important assbag that needs to be taken down a few notches from his high and mighty food perch. We support you! :)

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  7. I can't wait for I'd Rather Have a Cheese Sandwich Day.

    And btw - the man's a pompous idiot.

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  8. Bring on the cheese!

    My theory is: blogging is so deliciously democratic! It frees the writer [and the reader].

    What do I find boring? Critics.

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  9. Wait, I completely missed this story..I need to get caught up. But I like the sounds of where you're coming from. I'm in! Alicat and I dealt with a certain someone a few months back who was a food blogger, then upon instant celebrit-itis dissed the blogging world completely. Ew, this stuff makes me so sick. I remember one of my first dinner posts was mac and cheese and tuna fish. So there snobs!! :)

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  10. Count me in! Oh wait I am a poet not a food writer. Can I play anyway? I can write a poem about it. And I adore cheese sandwhiches. That picture makes me hungry. I hope you're happy.

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  11. Wow, I am kind of overwhelmed at what great friends I have. Thanks everyone.

    Alicat, my brother is working on the icon and I'll post it here and a link on the FBS comment thread when he gets it done. We're trying to make it not too nasty (we're trying to restrain ourselves from what we really want to say!)

    Paintrushpoet, of course you can join in. Spread the word.

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  12. Listen up, bloggers: I care what you had for lunch today!

    And just who does he think he is?!

    Here's to spreading the word, Kalyn!

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  13. Kalyn--You are such a classy lady. The best response is to get creative, you have proven that!

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  14. You are a classy lady Kalyn! :o) I love the graphics. This guy may fool some unknowing readers, but for the people in the know, we all love and support you and DO CARE what you had from lunch. :o)

    Hey Mona! That is right! Down with these pompous shits. :)

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  15. I adore the logos! Can't wait to see and hear about all the cheese sandwiches...YUM! I will borrow one or both of the logos for my own post...thanks for providing them!

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  16. Those who CAN make great cheese sandwiches. Those who CANNOT make great cheese sandwiches try to convince us they're boring.

    I am with you, Kalyn, on this protest! Thursday it is.

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  17. I Had to say this. Your WHB is one of the most informative event ever. The article is not worth sweating over.

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  18. Kalyn,

    I know how you feel... literally

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  19. Kalyn, that man is an idiot, your blog is one of my absolute favorites! You can drop by and visit me on Thursday, I'll have my cheese sandwich all ready for viewing :)

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  20. I think that I will post several cheese sandwich posts this week. The man obviously hasn't understood a thing about what food blogging is about! Or WHB but who cares about him, I didn't even know he EXISTED before he burped!

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  21. Bravo Kalyn! I'll be cheering you on as I grill up my fromage sandwiches on this side of the world.

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  22. Dear Kalyn--I do believe there are more of us who understand what food blogging is about & the importance of it & the character of it than those who don't. I have an idea for my cheese sandwich that I hope I can share this week. (From a fellow Teacher of 34 years and Food Blogger of 4 months with much love, respect & admiration)

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  23. I picked up a nice block of Vermont White Cheddar today so I can make a delicious cheese sandwich! Hang in there Kalyn!

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  24. Well since my blog is probably as 'white bread' as they come, I was a little insulted at first too. But I got over it. After all, this man just thinks he speaks for everyone, we all know that isn't true. Actually, it's a bit laughable that any 'real' journalistic would write anything implying that he does speak for the entire food blog reading community but I'm sure he's regretting that now.

    Also, the truth is, some of the upper crust of the food blog community sometimes make me chuckle but that doesn't mean I don't respect them - that just isn't my thing. When I first started reading food blogs - I yearned to find someone making a cheese sandwich or anything else I could put on my own dinner table. I didn't want a three paragraph description of a bite of a cheese that was only sold in one town, on an entirely different continent.

    So yes, brush it off and keep up the good, and very appreciated work.

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  25. Hey Kayln, sorry you got picked on. I had an anonymous-but-just-barely 15-minutes-of-infamy a few years ago, and it stung. A lot. I'm sorry you had to experience that. As far as cheese sandwiches are concerned, a couple of years ago my boys asked for grilled cheese every. single. day. I was going stir crazy - until I figured out how to make mine creative and tasty. They're over that jag, but I'll try to brush off my griddle and skills and post one on/after Thursday.

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  26. Dang, spend the weekend in the kitchen and look what I miss. I received an email about the article and quickly perused it. I think I lost interest and said, whatever.

    Holy cow that article sparked some fire, didn't it?

    Someone lined me up with a few others in a real published book and told us to not quit our day jobs! My response was, YAY !! I'M IN A BOOK !!! I din't buy it though.

    Biggles

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  27. Dear Kalyn,

    I'm contributing a gluten-free cheese sandwich post on Thursday. [This whole *buzz* is prompting me to make a foccacia - which is, in and of itself, quite a challenge, without wheat flour. I've not spent much time pursuing the Holy Grail of gluten-free bread].

    But now, suddenly, I have an intense urge to make a cheese sandwich!

    ;-)

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  28. Hi Kalyn,
    Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus. Here's to cheese sandwiches!

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  29. What a lovely post. I just found your blog, and I'm sure to read it more than the writings of an out of touch journalist. And if he thinks that cheese sandwiches aren't interesting, he has a lot to learn. In LA, top eateries such as Clementine and Campanile have made grilled cheeses into treasures... not that they really needed their help. :)

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  30. Last cheese sandwich I had was several kinds of cheese (something rich and melty, something sharp, something nutty...although I can't tell you what) on slices of homemade wheatberry bread. And it was pretty darned good!

    As is your blog.

    Maybe PW is a dried herbs kind of guy? And really, that's just a sad thing to prefer.

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  31. Love your post and the images. I'm right there with you on Thursday. I can't believe I missed his comment in Food and Wine. What a silly man. He obviously misses the point. Blogs are about bringing people together and freedom of expression. I hope his March article about food blogs apologizes for his stupid comments.

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  32. Good for you, Kalyn! I totally agree with your entire spot and will reference it on my site. I also pledge to make loads of cheese sandwiches and take photos of them for porny folks. ;)

    Here's to brie and olives on rosemary bread! Here's to soy cheddar on a gluten-free pita! Here's to every mom and dad who ever made a grilled cheese sandwich to cheer up their wee kids! Here's to everyone who has ever dressed up their toasted cheese and bread with pesto and sun dried tomatoes!

    Well, I could go on all day extolling the virtues of grilled cheese and the myriad of ways to make it. But I won't.

    Instead, I will give Kalyn a standing ovation and think fondly of her comments each time I take a bite of my favorite sandwich -- grilled swiss on rye.

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  33. Kalyn,

    if it helps, I recognized your blog from his quote in a millisecond - and for the opposite reasons he cites. Your writing is as good as his. Not that I would recognize his because who reads food and wine?

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  34. It's nice to see that someone's blog is still a free speech zone.

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  35. Rand - I'm just curious, are you referring to the fact that all the comments were closed on Food Blog Scool? :o)

    PS - I love the graphics you made for Kalyn. :)

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  36. I was personally kind of frustrated that those comments not so much as closed, but disappeared all together. I think if anybody felt self concious about a comment they made they could have removed just their comment(s). I respect that people can do with their blogs as they wish but it certainly seemed like an odd flip flop. It said something about Pete Wells is entitled to share his thoughts and opinions. But I guess on Food blog'scool nobody else is. I found it puzzling. I've never seen any of this as anything but fun. Oh well. I'm just the peanut gallery anyway.

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  37. Hi Kalyn, I first read about the F&W article on Alicat's site. Pretty darn interesting. Although we are all entitled to our own opinions, and the writer expressed his, it did so in what proved to be a very hurtful way to others. You definitely have alot of people who support you and love your blog, myself included, so who cares about Pete Wells. Blah to him!!!

    And I'm soooo making grilled cheese sammies tomorrow!! And I'm gonna rock the sandwich icon! =)

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  38. Really - who needs his snarky post? I LOVE your herb blogging idea, and I cheer on your blog. Never mind the critics. I think it's a case of "those who can't do..."

    Don't be discouraged. You have readers who thoroughly enjoy your "ordinary" posts.

    Blog on!

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  39. Kalyn: I am totally with you and sorry I didnt clue in before. I have put up a new post in solidarity of Grilled Cheese Sandwich day ( the link to that page ).

    Thanks for your kind words on my blog today *hugs*

    Nika
    ______________
    http://nikas-culinaria.blogspot.com

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  40. Dear Kalyn,

    I am new to the foodblog world.

    @ Pete Wells comments...Dont bother about the criticism. You are doing a great job, sharing the low-carb recipies...I tried your coriander-lemon glaze chicken (modified it a bit) and it was delicious. Thanks a lot !

    Also about what you said :
    "I realize that Pete Wells has a right to express his opinion, but when it comes to food blogs, he just does not get it.

    Food Blogs are not meant to be slick and shiny like food magazines. Food Blogs are meant to be whatever that particular writer wants their blog to be. "

    I also think that people expect Blogs to be some classic literature or something like that...they perhaps think it is supposed be like a piece of art or test of a person's skill, and maybe that is the objective of some bloggers(& good for them!)...for me it is just my online diary or journal. As far as I go, I am not doing this (blogging) to be part of some competition & win prizes.

    Your blog is excellent & it is very nice of you to help people trying to loose weight by sharing the low-carb & healthy recipies.

    Best Wishes,
    Sonali

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  41. I read Pete Wells' article. Boring. And I asked myself if he wants critics on his work... The fantastic thing with food blogs is: It shows cooking, eating and drinking in all its daily facings.

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  42. My recent hard-drive crash couldn't have come at a worse time. I too want to join in the cheese sandwich festival. I hope that late entries will be allowed.

    What am I saying?? I can do whatever I like on my blog, can't I? I don't need to get permission to post about cheese sandwiches!

    Brava, Kalyn, for standing up to Pete.

    -Elizabeth

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  43. so, hey... my name is the same as your's! kalyn!! haha... i never thought i'd find someone with my name... but i did!

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  44. I've been a frequent visitor to Kalyn's Kitchen and LOVE your blog! Pete Wells is being an uptight ass. The truth is food blogs are popular because we're not snobbish. If he finds a post too commonplace for him, all he has to do is click! Duh! Pete Wells (and others like him) need to realize that food blogs are a matter of taste! Its as simple as that! Keep up the good work Kalyn!!
    Smita

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  45. Thank you - I LOVE your blog - and have found more wonderful recipes.. from you and 'your links' than anywhere else!
    Pete WHO? ;-D Its so much easier to be picky and critical and perhaps more difficult to start appreciating everything in life, but SO much more rewarding... so thanks again from Lakeland, Florida

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  46. Smita and Linda, thanks for the support. I do appreciate your kind words.

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  47. In response to your ete Wells hurt: I Love your blog! Your blog has completely inspired me to do something about my weight problem. It's because of YOUR blog that there's some ray of hope re: dieting for me. Thnak you, Kalyn. My family often hears me say "Kalyn said...this" or "Kalyn said...that". He doesn't know what he's talking about!

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  48. Bonnie, thanks! I've long forgiven Pete Wells, but it was a real lack of professionalism on his part. Glad you're enjoying the blog!

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  49. I found your blog about 7 months ago. And have never felt the need to comment until now. You help me. You help me eat healthier, and you help me eat healthy in a way that taste great. At least once a week I seek the guidance and wisdom of your blog. Thank you. What you have done here has changed my life. I like that when you write it feels like your my best friend telling me secret ways to have my healthy food taste great. Thank you.

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  50. GlassJars, thank you so much! Comments like that really make my day!

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  51. Ah Snap, missed it by a year (just started my own sandwich blog). Can we have a repeat february 2010? :-)

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  52. Wendie, this was in 2006, so you missed it by a few years! It was kind of fun though.

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  53. If it's any consolation to you I read your blog ALL THE TIME but have never read Food and Wine Magazine or anything by Pete Wells -- and now have even LESS desire to do so than before. Belittling someone else's work is NO way to win friends and influence people. And I ADORE grilled/toasted cheese sandwiches.

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  54. Thanks, I am pretty much over it, and I think Pete Wells probably realized he overdid it a bit, but it has turned out okay for me. Thanks for reading!

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  55. I know this entry is a bit dated, but I wanted to comment anyway. I don't always read your main page & I don't often comment, but I wanted to let you know that I have come to use your site to create yummy food every week, if not every day at times. Your site has been a real life-saver for me & helped me to stay on the south beach diet whenever I've gotten bored with it. You rock my socks. ;-)

    P.S. I just made your recipe for spicy African peanut chicken last night & I have to say it was amazing - a real moment of bliss for me.

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  56. Marcie, so glad to hear it. Thanks for letting me know. Comments like this really make my day.

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  57. Bravo, what words..., an excellent idea

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Thanks for joining the conversation! I love hearing from readers and even though I can't always reply to every comment, I will always answer specific questions on a recipe as soon as possible. Sometimes I'm answering by iPhone, so my replies may be short!

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