Given the popularity of books, television shows, and blog that take food as their central focus, I didn’t understand why there wasn’t a good little magazine devoted to writing about food. Then I discovered Fire & Knives, edited by Tim Hayward, a food quarterly from the UK that just published its fifth issue. I know that it just published its fifth issue because it arrived in my mailbox today, all the way from London. The printing and paper are similar to those of the Believer, whose readers will recognize its familiar smell in Fire & Knives. The design is also similarly, attractively quirky. The binding of Fire & Knives, however, began to fall apart after my first read—and, yes, I read the entire thing cover to cover.
The magazine is devoted to publishing writing about food that, otherwise, wouldn’t have a home in print because it is not timely or trendy or full of recipes. The relieving result is that there are no advertisements, and the closest it comes to trying to sell anything is single book review essay on a selection of volumes about bread (mostly published over the last decade or so.) Samples of content include: a photo essay on tripe, a reminescence of a restaurant that had a (high) minimum weight requirement for entry, a history of a 90-year-old coffee street cart, a list of food and drink requests from various musicians’ riders, and an essay on war and food.