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Home Cooking trends this decade. What were yours?

Shane Greenwood Dec 31, 2009 07:37 AM

I am seeing lots of decade in review lists but none if them are about home cooking. I think this could be called the decade of the foodie. Since 2000, Food Network exploded, cookbooks became one of the hottest gifts, the word "localvore" was invented, Top Chef and other shows took off, Chowhound went mainstream, Omnivore's Delimma came out, etc. So what were your personal food trends, how has your home cooking changed in the 2000's?

For me, my home cooking changed dramatically this decade in a few simple but profound ways, and I suspect these are trends that a lot of folks have tapped into as well:

-Started shopping local & seasonal. Supermarkets are out (mostly), farmers markets and local purveyors are in. Got a CSA too.

-Became more adventurous with ingredients, cuisines, and techniques. My repertoire in the kitchen is 5 times bigger now and my spice rack tripled in size. I have 6 kinds of salt, 4 kinds of pepper, etc.

-Started reading ingedient labels in an effort to cut down on chemical additives and HFCS

-Acquired a ton of cookbooks but get my recipes from the Internet.

-Cook more for pleasure than for fuel.

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  1. JEN10 RE: Shane Greenwood Dec 31, 2009 07:53 AM

    I now shop at the Farmer's Market, have cut back even further on prepackaged food, I had to give up gluten and dairy, so that has really changed the way I cook. It has been a huge transition, I am exploring breakfast options.

    1. sbp RE: Shane Greenwood Dec 31, 2009 08:08 AM

      New stuff:

      Smoking
      Curing my own meats (bacon, pastrami, prosciutto so far).

      2 Replies
      1. re: sbp
        Shane Greenwood RE: sbp Dec 31, 2009 08:11 AM

        Smoking is def on my list for the 2010s. My apartment neighbors wouldn't have appreciated in the last decade!

        1. re: Shane Greenwood
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          mendogurl RE: Shane Greenwood Dec 31, 2009 08:36 AM

          Only shopping local, whenever possible. Switched to about 99% organic.
          Returning to a much simpler, rustic form of cooking. Less fussiness. Concentrating more on the ingredients than overwrought preparations.
          Started growing my own everything, got some chickens, bake my own bread, preserving produce. Started using raw dairy products.
          Mostly a response to what has been revealed about corporate foods, but also the discovery of real food, heirloom varieties of produce and meat.
          Great question, I hadn't realized how big the changes I have made, actually were.

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        Beckyleach RE: Shane Greenwood Dec 31, 2009 08:34 AM

        Although my ingredients and pantry have become MUCH more varied, my general cooking style has become much more relaxed. No longer do I try to outdo Martha Stewart. ;-)

        Ironically, we're eating FEWER organic items, because the wonderful Midwestern food cooperative that I've belonged to since 1988 (and "carried with me" when I moved from town to town, as I met new friends and formed new buying clubs) sold out to a Monster Corporation, and now they actively discourage buying clubs. I was stocking my entire pantry and fridge with organics bought at WHOLESALE prices. Now, I can't afford as much...

        On the other hand, during my brief growing season, it's easier than ever to eat organic produce--either from my own garden or from farmer's markets.

        Our olive oil use/consumption skyrocketed during this decade. Goodby, trans fats and corn oils!

        I've been cooking ethnic foods for decades, so nothing's changed, there, except that I've started looking upon the "stuffy status quo" cuisines, like French and Italiian, with a new respect.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Beckyleach
          Shane Greenwood RE: Beckyleach Dec 31, 2009 08:48 AM

          I like your comment about being more relaxed. I can second that one for sure. I'm much more likely to just toss a few simple ingedients together and let them shine.

          1. re: Shane Greenwood
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            mendogurl RE: Shane Greenwood Dec 31, 2009 08:59 AM

            Exactly. I love this trend. Cooking without stress and with better ingredients.
            So much better on all levels.

            Another note inspired by Beckleach - went back to butter and lard.

            1. re: mendogurl
              Robin Joy RE: mendogurl Jan 4, 2010 09:00 PM

              Yes, more relaxed, and less influenced by the latest fads. This may be because we're all 10 years older (and wiser, don't know about richer!). For me this means teenage children, who might not appreciate grilled yak's tongues with an anchovy and marmalade glaze.

        2. w
          wattacetti RE: Shane Greenwood Dec 31, 2009 09:26 AM

          I incorporated sous-vide and molecular techniques, which wound up simplifying my cooking because I stopped fussing with multi-ingredient preparations. Can't say that what I cook has significantly changed (French, Japanese, Chinese - hmm, reads like Iron Chef) but my sourcing has. The supermarkets are still there for staples but I rely heavily on a handful of suppliers (local bouchers and greengrocers).

          Still have a dinky kitchen but the two other great improvements have been acquiring an induction hob and doing a major knife upgrade.

          I did give up baking because I realized that it just kept me angry.

          4 Replies
          1. re: wattacetti
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            mendogurl RE: wattacetti Dec 31, 2009 09:46 AM

            LOL, why angry at baking???

            1. re: mendogurl
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              wattacetti RE: mendogurl Dec 31, 2009 09:58 AM

              You know how kneading is supposed to be a relaxing activity? I didn't find it to be.

              1. re: wattacetti
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                mendogurl RE: wattacetti Dec 31, 2009 10:46 AM

                NO Knead Bread !!!!!
                I Hate kneading and I now bake a fresh loaf of bread every few days.

            2. re: wattacetti
              Shane Greenwood RE: wattacetti Jan 4, 2010 07:13 AM

              Yeah, seems like MG was a big trend this decade, especially with the cooking competition shows. I tried a DIY sous vide a few times but stopped there.

            3. m
              mandycat RE: Shane Greenwood Dec 31, 2009 10:02 AM

              As I've posted elsewhere on this site: In 2007 I got canning supplies. In 2008 I got the Ball canning book. In 2009 I finally got the nerve. I can hardly believe it took me so long to summon up the courage to try home preserving. If you study the process and carefully follow the steps, it's as safe as it is delicious. I gave jars of mustard, marmalade, chutney and salsa as holiday gifts this year and nobody's keeled over yet.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mandycat
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                mendogurl RE: mandycat Dec 31, 2009 10:52 AM

                I started canning this year with Ball. Found the jams pretty sweet.
                Found this incredible jams in Paris and then found the book written by their maker.
                Unbelievable!!!!!

                Mes Confitures by Christine Ferber.

                1. re: mandycat
                  nomadchowwoman RE: mandycat Dec 31, 2009 11:20 AM

                  This will be my New Year's resolution: I will get over my fear of "canning." I will. I will. I love making jams and preserves, but they're always the refrigerator version as I have long had a deep-rooted fear of home preserving.

                  1. re: nomadchowwoman
                    Shane Greenwood RE: nomadchowwoman Dec 31, 2009 03:12 PM

                    We just started and it's really fun. A lot easier than expected. We took a one night class to get us going (at La Cocina in SF) and that was all it took. Pickeled cauliflower was a big hit at a Xmas party. Enjoy!

                2. eight_inch_pestle RE: Shane Greenwood Dec 31, 2009 10:14 AM

                  Learning principles instead of following instructions.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: eight_inch_pestle
                    hotoynoodle RE: eight_inch_pestle Jan 4, 2010 07:24 AM

                    more people should do this. :)

                    in the last few years, i've been braising, which i never really did before. my b/f loves those types of cuts and other than thinking ahead they are relatively fuss-free and packed with flavor.

                    1. re: hotoynoodle
                      Shane Greenwood RE: hotoynoodle Jan 4, 2010 07:30 AM

                      I also braise a lot more now than I did ten years ago. Part of the appeal of braising is that we do a lot more dinner parties now and braising is perfect for that since you can get it going earlier in the day, you don't need precision timing, and it holds well. My Dutch Oven got the biggest workout of any pot.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle
                        eight_inch_pestle RE: hotoynoodle Jan 4, 2010 11:29 PM

                        +1 on braising and, more generally, the appreciation of cheaper cuts---altho this may have much to do with miraculously finding a way to make less money the older I get.

                        1. re: eight_inch_pestle
                          hotoynoodle RE: eight_inch_pestle Jan 5, 2010 08:10 AM

                          so i;'m not the only one with income regression? i don't know that it makes me feel any better. just less alone, lol.

                    2. w
                      Welcoboy RE: Shane Greenwood Dec 31, 2009 10:26 AM

                      doing a lot more outdoor grilling, even in the winter. just can't get enough of it. that and i stopped going on the internet looking up a million different marinades for the meat. i found a simple one that works and just tweek it a little every now and then if i want someting different

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                        swoll50 RE: Shane Greenwood Jan 4, 2010 07:25 AM

                        i was a HS senior in 2000. I pretty much spent this past decade learning to cook.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: swoll50
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                          General Knowledge RE: swoll50 Jan 4, 2010 12:06 PM

                          Ha, I was reading all the above posts and agreeing - yes, I'm using more local and seasonal foods, making more things from scratch, etc. But those are all things I've started in the last 2 years. 10 years ago, I was a college freshman and the only things I ate were grilled cheese and easy mac. So yes, in the last 10 years, I have learned to cook for myself, learned to plan a weekly menu, eat vegetables, use better ingredients, and eat things that take longer than 3 minutes to prepare. (Though I did just have a grilled cheese yesterday, maybe I haven't changed as much as I thought!)

                          1. re: General Knowledge
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                            foiegras RE: General Knowledge Jan 4, 2010 01:30 PM

                            Grilled cheese can be gourmet with the right bread and cheese ;) I love them with good honey wheat bread, smoked cheddar, and whole-grain (is that what you call it, with the mustard seeds) molasses mustard. With cole slaw on the side, a very satisfying meal ...

                        2. f
                          foiegras RE: Shane Greenwood Jan 4, 2010 10:58 AM

                          In the past decade I've been using whole food ingredients, and have eliminated all the worst processed foods from my diet. Stopped drinking Dr Pepper, no more fast food, no more frozen crap, no HFCS. Lots of organics as they've become much more available. I also have better cookware than I did 10 years ago ... as my original choices have worn out, I've made better ones.

                          But even I don't eat as healthily as my dogs do! And 10 years ago I didn't have them to cook for.

                          1. shanagain RE: Shane Greenwood Jan 4, 2010 12:00 PM

                            Well, in the past ten years I've aged from 30 to (almost - in May) 40, and have seen my kids from 2, 7 and 8 to 12, 17 and 18. So, so much has changed in that time that my cooking has definitely changed alongside so many other things.

                            Convenience foods are out (so is my high-stress job which made them actually convenient), and little things I never considered "convenient" - just normal, are out, like salad dressing. No matter how ill-stocked my pantry is at any given moment, there's something in there for an amazing dressing.

                            Also, I can sneak the occasional vegetarian dish into my repertoire w/out freaking anyone in my family out. Lentil tacos? No problem.

                            Really, there've been huge changes, but they're so small I don't notice them, or see them even in hindsight! But mostly I guess, overall "healthier" but w/out making any effort to be more healthy.

                            1. b
                              brooklynkoshereater RE: Shane Greenwood Jan 4, 2010 06:50 PM

                              In the past ten years I've utilized the internet as a source of cooking advice - I've almost completely ceased relying on my cookbooks and I basically only take my recipes from chowhound, epicurious, etc. I've also learned to rely on fewer ingredients, focusing on coaxing maximum flavors out of quality ingredients.

                              1. RetiredChef RE: Shane Greenwood Jan 5, 2010 07:33 AM

                                I seem to be a bit of a contrarian on trends, don’t know why

                                Out went braising and grilling came in.
                                Small boutique shops are out – same product cheaper prices at big stores is in.
                                Organic out – sensible use of fertilizers and pesticides is in – along with an increase in crop yield and better flavors (moderation is the key)
                                Hydroponics and winter farming in
                                Long term root cellaring of crops is in
                                Cheese have made a big resurgence in my cooking
                                Simple large meals are out the joy of multi-course meals are in
                                Cuisines that left my view Korean, Japanese (esp sushi) and Italian (over-done), cuisines that increased in prominence, Latin American, Ethiopian / African.
                                Less parties for party sake – more theme parties and intelligent get-togethers.

                                1. JungMann RE: Shane Greenwood Jan 5, 2010 07:56 AM

                                  The past decade saw me mature from adolescence to adulthood (at least on paper), so I'm not certain how much of the change in my cooking style results from me becoming an independent wage-earner and how much is influenced by the foodways around me.

                                  I prefer to shop locally and seasonally, but that is partially due to the fact that I do not live near large supermarkets that simultaneously carry Mexican tomatoes and Florida grapefruits. That and the quality and price of produce is best in season. The latter also partially explains why I have moved from beef/lamb to pork as my protein of choice.

                                  I have simplified my cooking and eating habits, largely thanks to Sam Fujisaka's influence. Not that I don't occasionally make the 6-course cream-based dinner, but this has become a rare occurence. I no longer cook to impress, but I still cook to entertain.

                                  I do a lot less grilling and a lot more oven roasting. I no longer turn my nose up at fish. I grow no herbs or vegetables. These switches also coincide with moving from the nation's interior to Manhattan.

                                  What catches me more is not how much I have changed in 10 years, but how much like my parents I have become as an adult. My cabinets are full of spice envelopes that make my cupboards smell like an Indian market and the larder is filled with enough canned meat to see me through Armageddon. Now charged with cleaning my own stove every night, I wonder if my parents had it right when contrary to all good taste, they wrapped their kitchen up in aluminum foil so as to save on clean up time. My lips taste like the Indian pickle I always found so offensive on my father's plate and I long for the bittermelon I once teased around my plate while my mother scolded me to eat my vegetables.

                                  1. Niki in Dayton RE: Shane Greenwood Jan 5, 2010 11:19 AM

                                    10 years ago I still relied on Bisquick because I didn't bake much. Now biscuits, pancakes, etc. are all from scratch and much tastier than before. I've always been something of a seasonal eater, but that's because food tastes better when it's in season and fresh. I'm definitely a fan of local, sustainable foods, and I realize now I probably always was; I just didn't realize it. 10 years ago I knew the strawberries I picked in Jun were better than any I could buy, but I hadn't paid much attention to the politics of food. Heck, 10 years ago, I don't think I realized there was such thing as the politics of food! Recently my SIL asked me for my roasted asparagus recipe (I've converted her to many veggies over the years) and my reply was "First, you wait until April...."

                                    I guess awareness of where food comes from and a conscious choice to choose local food when possible (I'm not giving up coffee or chocolate anytime soon!) along with cooking almost everything from scratch are the biggest changes for me.

                                    1. w
                                      weezycom RE: Shane Greenwood Jan 5, 2010 11:36 AM

                                      I use a lot more vinegars (varieties and amounts) and a whole lot less butter and sugar -- much less baking these days. Also, a better quality olive oil for daily use and a few small bottles of flavored olive oils for playing around with. Love topping off sauteed mushrooms with truffle oil!

                                      I'm increasing my vegetable repetoire thanks to the Asian grocery near me. I have more mustards and a lot smaller jar of mayo in the fridge. I'm picky about apples now -- a decade ago, as long as it was something other than a Red Delicious, it was probably good enough.

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