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Monday, March 20, 2006

Cook Books: Dumbing Down For America

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According to the Washington Post:

In a way this is a surprise, in other ways it's not. The major cookbook publishers are dumbing down their recipes. No longer will you will see blanch, sear, and cream the eggs and sugar.

They are doing this because Americans do not understand those terms. We are facing an illiteracy in the kitchen. The article from the Washington Post states on creaming eggs:

"People don't understand what that means. Instead, we say 'Using your mixer, beat the butter and sugar.' "


"Where 20 years ago a recipe for chicken might have said, "dredge the chicken in flour," today it might say, "coat the chicken in flour."'

Interestingly, it is not because Americans are actually dumber. It is a question of life style. So many of the younger generation had mothers who worked, and they were fed a diet of prepackaged prepared foods. They are at a loss in the kitchen, but may know how to use the microwave to heat things up.

And asks the question:

"Why cook when there are 925,000 places to eat out in the U.S.?"

They also report restaurants provided more than 70 billion meals in 2004. And this too hurts you right in your pocket.

Prepackaged foods are easy and quick, but they are costly. And they may not be exactly healthy. Just read the ingredients and you will find enough salt to preserve you for years.

Meals made from basic staples are not only more healthy, they can cut your food budget in half. And with a little practice take only a little longer to prepare.

We have a recipe page for you. And we will not chop our vocabulary into even smaller chunks. We have respect for you, and if you do not know what sear means, we are sure you are bright enough to look it up.


At 7:48 AM, Anonymous Melissa O. Markham said...

Great post Bob! I can't help but wonder with all the dictionaries (both the paper variety and the online variety), couldn't the cook simply look up the meanings of the words?

At 9:36 AM, Blogger Amy said...

You know I really hate this and it makes me so sad!

Cooking is an art I think that many people have never experienced and more than likely never will because of society as it is today. Grab and go lifestyle! I remember being a kid and loving to watch my grandma in the kitchen and so looking forward to the meal that she was making. What a joy it was and still is.

I love to cook and so do my children who are soon to be five and two. They enjoy being in the kitchen with me and are learning to like new things.

Great post Bob! :)


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