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.
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.
re: Shane Greenwood
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.
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.
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.
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.