Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Joy To An American Classic
Can you tell which is my original Joy of Cooking from 1975? My middle-aged one from 1997? And the newest edition from 2006?
You’ve probably heard the report by now about the huge jump in calories from Joy of Cooking’s early recipes to more current ones. A Cornell professor and his co-author claim that after examining recipes from the newest edition of Joy of Cooking, they found that they contain 63% more calories than ones from the 1936 edition.
It IS true that the later editions are bigger, but only marginally.
This makes a good headline, but I certainly wouldn’t blame ONLY the Joy of Cooking for America’s weight problem. Plus, only a small number of recipes were looked at – 18 - which included ones that are rather hefty in terms of calories anyway: Beef Stroganoff, Apple Pie, Waffles, Macaroni and Cheese for example.
Of course, the professors are making a point about American eating habits in general, but I don’t want an American classic to be defamed. What they fail to note is that, yes, the calorie counts and portions sizes are undoubtedly higher than decades ago, but I would wager that there is also a lot more attention to salads, vegetables and whole grains than in the earliest editions.