If you're tired of super glossy food magazines or the relentless commercialism that is much of food television, you might consider taking a look at Gastronomica, a food magazine which combines stunning photography with articles, reviews, stories and even (gasp) poetry.

Edited by Darra Goldstein, who is professor of Russian poetry at Williams College, and published by the University of California Press, the magazine is more scholarly (it has been called “The New Yorker” of food) than most, and runs articles like

“Andy Warhol's Production Kitchen,” “China's Dongbei Cuisine,” and “Vegetarianism in the Early Unity School of Christianity.” Sound too esoteric? Well, there's also “Making Chipas in Paraguay” and “The Contraceptive Café.” (All five of these titles are from the Spring 2009 issue, which should give you an indication of the range and depth of this quarterly publication.)

Goldstein, who has published four cookbooks herself, founded Gastronomica in 2001, after realizing that “my world was getting smaller and smaller; I wanted my world to expand… food is a way to do that.” (Hear more in this 2008 interview.)

Gastronomica is available both in print and online. However, online subscriptions are only available for institutions, not individuals; check out your local bookstore or library if you don't want to buy a subscription.

LA Weekly