Leading article: Taste the difference

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The Independent Online

The nation's favourite culinary author is cooking up another storm. Delia Smith's first book in four years, How to Cheat at Cooking, is already a best seller, despite the fact that it went on sale only yesterday. Pre-orders on Amazon have been higher than for recent tomes by Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver. There is a reason why Delia consistently outstrips her more glamorous rivals.

The public snaps up offerings from Nigella, Jamie, Gordon, Hugh and all the other "celebrity chefs" because it enjoys looking at pictures of magnificently crafted meals. But for all their popularity, we rarely try to emulate the efforts of these experts. Delia is different. People actually attempt to follow her recipes.

It's the difference between "food pornography" and the real thing. More people will always prefer the real thing. And that's why we suspect the unflashy Ms Smith, like cream, will continue to rise to the top.