America's Culinary Dumbing Down
If you are foodie, you should pay attention here. If there were ever a time ... a moment where the news provides me with reason to do what I do, it is now.
The Joy of Cooking cookbook is being rereleased for its 75th anniversary of the first printing. While the book was being edited, the writers and editors had lots of quarrels about the terminology used in the instructions. Do you say "Saute," or do you say "cook on low while stirring."
WASHINGTON – At Kraft Foods, recipes never include words like "dredge" and "saute." Betty Crocker recipes avoid "braise" and "truss." Land O' Lakes has all but banned "fold" and "cream" from its cooking instructions. And Pillsbury carefully sidesteps "simmer" and "sear."
The article is accurate. The masses are dumbed down, and for good reason. Let's get to the heart of the matter: women. Compared to 50 years ago, there are more women in the workplace, and their daughters and granddaughters haven't been handing down their cooking knowledge to their sons and daughters. It's a downward spiral that ends with prepacked, preprepared meals, or just eating out. It's not sexist, it's just the facts. And this is not to say that we ARE stupid or we ARE dumb or that we lack common sense. It's just that particular realm of knowledge is not being passed down from generation to generation.
Have you ever watched Everybody Loves Raymond or Home Improvement? If you have, then you know one of the running jokes on those shows is that the wives can't cook. They always joke about how awful Deborah's or Jill's cooking is. Yet, the grandmother figures can make the best food in the world.
A survey conducted by Betty Crocker Kitchens in 2004 showed adults don't even realize how cooking-challenged they've become. The national survey of 1,500 adults found that 70 percent rated themselves "above average" in cooking knowledge, even though only 38 percent scored above average on a 20-question cooking-skills quiz.
It's not sad ... it's just a dilemma. It's a terrible trend that needs reversing. I've never been more dedicated to Men in Aprons than right now after reading that article. This is the WHOLE BIG FREAKIN' POINT here. I am trying to inspire and encourage everyone to get in there and cook, and I also try to provide basic core knowledge that you can use in your own cooking.
I would like to take this opportunity to plead for you to pass along your knowledge to your children (whether you have kids now or later). Whether you are male or female, black or white, Jew or Gentile, Protestant or Catholic ... Teach them how to cook. Teach them the terminology. Teach them how to solve problems. Pass along your knowledge. Let's take back the learning from Pillsbury and put it back into your hands.