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jgm

New trends in home cooking

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Lately I've been giving quite a bit of thought to the evolution of home cooking. My own cooking efforts started in the late 70's/early 80's, after college graduation. These are some of the things I remember:

arrival of the food processor

more cooking magazines being published

more international foods being made at home

greater availablilty of certain ingredients, especially produce

nouvelle cuisine

later, an emphasis on using produce in-season only

later, an emphasis on buying local produce only/mainly

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OK, I know there are gaps in that list. What would you add to the list to fill in the gaps?

Also, where are we headed? Are sous vide and molecular gastronomy going to influence the way we cook? What else is on the horizon?

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How about the ongoing explosion of food media?

It used to be hard to find a cooking show, maybe a half hour on PBS once a week. Now there are simply too many to keep track of.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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The biggest food trend IMO is the fear of food, paranoia of fat and calories, which started around the time you started cooking.

Soon, the food processing companies jumped on the crazy bandwagon, labeling, e.g., tomato juice "no cholesterol" and putting oatmeal in everything.

In the 50s and 60s, people reveled in rich recipes and threw lots of butter into everything. People enjoyed eating and never thought themselves "bad" because they ate rich foods. (Most weighed less on this regimen!) Anyone wishing to lose weight was cautioned to avoid "starchy food"--the forerunner of low carb?

Possibly the newest trend will be caused by our economic climate: people may return to home cooking instead of eating fast food, and discover how real food tastes, and the pleasure of eating at your own table.


Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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I have noticed home cooks really trying to find a happy medium between nutrition and taste. I was so encouraged today at Trader Joes (national chain with a bit of a Whole Foods style plus specialty items). A woman and her maybe 11 year old daughter were perusing the aisles and the mom was explaining how hummus tastes great and is so good for you, as the daughter spied pre-made fresh pizza dough, asked if maybe they could do their own pizza for dinner, and they proceeded to purchase pizza toppings and then to look for interesting whole grain crackers for their hummus. That kind of involvement and interest I think is significant. I also see an ever increasing interest in trying the foods of other cultures and taking bits of them into your home cooking format.

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Explosion of food on television. It started with PBS long ago. Then, they made a whole cable network that got more and more popular. Now you see it bleed over into reality shows on other networks (Top Chef, for example)


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Buying foods that are not "in season" or "what is that". Things that were not even really even "known" yet to our part of the world up to and including spices.

Thinking how funny it is now that there is several different types of oregano now when i was growing up it was just plain old mcCromick oregano same with olive oil.

When talking about or getting derli meats for example ham it was either bakes or boiled did not even know what Parma or pancetta could be let alone placed on a pizza?

My mother cooked what was in season because that was always the cheapest and easiest food to have on our table. Omg to see a tomato past Sept. and it be half way decent was unheard of in the late 60's and early 70's.

To me a curry was a stale curry powder that someone would dump in a sauce and pour all over a dried out chicken breast! It is no wonder i would not even anything with the world curry in it till i was in my mid-20's and in England.

I must say the best new food trend is people are asking questions wanting to know more about different types of food and being able to finding the correct ingredients.

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The thing that always astounds me about now and when I was married in 1970 is the accessability of recipes. In those early days, recipes were precious and most that I collected were hand written. I did own a few cook books: Betty Crocker for the basics and The New York Times Cook Book, but so many recipes were passed around a circle of family and friends. Now I own 150 or 200 cook books. None of them were so well-used as Mastering the Art of French Cooking which was my first written by a celebrity chef.

I had book shelves of Gourmets in my attic, catalogued by year. Now when I want to get an idea of a new way to prepare something or put a menu together, I go to Epicurious and other food sights to browse. It's so quick compared to hours of leafing through magazines.

Of course, I used to put food on the table for a week for $20. Now I run into Whole Foods and spend $50 for a few fill in items.

I used to have a box of Morton Salt to use for everything, and now I have six different sea salts plus Kosher salt. I actually had MSG in my spice rack back in the 70's!

Marie


NJDuchess

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a trend in home cooking? "home cooking" in restaurants... see devour.tv. also,more advanced techniques in the kitchen. i used to work in a restaurant where i got to interact with the guests a ton (even though I was a cook) and i was astounded at how sophisticated the home cook has become. with the huge variety of cooking magazines, shows, books, etc people are more likely to try something at home that they wouldn't have 20 years ago. this guy told me that he made foie gras torchon every Christmas. another customer told me that he wanted to buy a low end immersion circulator so that he could do sous vide cooking at home. craziness... a lot of chefs are also launching their own line of products so people can buy hydrocolloids and other substances associated with "molecular gastronomy". i think david burke has his own line of salt.

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