I’ve been a subscriber to The Rosengarten Report for about a year now. I recommend it — with some reservations.
According to David Rosengarten, this is a “fiercely independent, passionately written newsletter on the best foods and wines in the world, all available overnight by mail order.” That’s pretty much true. He and his staff do elaborate testing of dozens of products of any particular type, and he does indeed write passionately about the results. The only downside is that his enthusiasm often goes overboard, so a particular item that sounds like the best thing since sliced bread may actually be not much better than adequate. For instance, Rosengarten raves about the unbaked Williams-Sonoma frozen croissants, which do taste good but turn out to be so laden with butter that it pools on the cookie sheet when the croissants are baked. (But maybe I got a bad batch. The trouble with shipping frozen foods is that they may not stay frozen.)
Anyway, despite my reservations, this newsletter does provide detailed information that you’re not likely to find anywhere else — at least not without extensive research for which no one has the time. It makes an interesting companion to Cook’s Illustrated, which tests in considerably greater depth (though less breadth). The big difference is that Rosengarten deals primarily with purchasing mail-order products, and Cook’s deals primarily with cooking. Cook’s is better, but really they are complementary and it is worth subscribing to both.
Categories: Food & Restaurants