Times and lifestyles have changed since Irma Rombauer first published the original Joy of Cooking in 1931, and for this 6th edition, the New Joy of Cooking, Ethan Becker, grandson of Irma and son of Marion Rombauer Becker, together with Maria Guarnaschelli, senior editor and vice president at Scribner’s, called on top food professionals to produce a new cookbook/guide that reflects what North Americans eat and how we prepare our food today.
It’s still chock full of recipes—roughly 3,000—but in the new Joy, they have been revised from earlier editions to include new cooking techniques such as grilling, food processors, microwaves, and America’s more recent passions for pizza, pasta, noodles, burritos, grains and noodles. Interests in healthy, leaner cuisine are reflected, along with ethnic cuisines.
There is much debate on the merits of the “old” Joy vs. the “new” Joy, and whether these changes—replacing information on canning and preserving with grilling and flavored oils for example—are a benefit to you as a cook. It’s a matter of personal choice… both are equally comprehensive, reliable, and trustworthy kitchen companions. You must have one.
We just keep stuffing the pages back into our copy of Joy of Cooking, and would never part with the quirky illustrations, Irma’s enthusiastic, personal comments (“on your toes when you make this”… as way of introduction for Meal-In-One Sandwich) and the cultural history on every page—after all Shrimp Egg Foo Young and Spanish Rice were ethnic dishes in the 30s, and although we’ll certainly never “slaughter and empty out the intestines of a young pig while warm”… we find this pretty compelling reading.
In short, if your tastes and cooking style are more rooted in modern times, then the New Joy of Cooking is a solid choice for you. And, when your copy is tattered and dog-eared from much use, then consider a copy of the original Joy of Cooking and have some fun with smoking or kippering your own fish, or making homemade Rose Hip Jam—just like your grandmother may have made it.
“No matter how far the new Joy has altered its initial purpose, it remains one of the most complete, all-purpose cookbooks available. Since a majority of the old recipes are gone, however, both past and current editions belong on the shelf.”—Library Journal
NOTE > see also the classic, original “Joy of Cooking” (a.k.a. the “Old” Joy of Cooking)
Categories - All Purpose, General