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  • Survey: Are traditional cooking skills declining?

    At Ulster Weavers, we love to cook. There’s nothing quite like a home-cooked meal to make you feel better at the end of a long day. However, we’ve started questioning in recent years whether cooking is a skill that’s dying out in the UK.

    To check whether there was any truth to this, we recently worked on a piece of research, asking people from across the UK, from all walks of life, whether they thought traditional cooking skills were dying out. We also showed them all a list of 30 classic cooking skills, including making béchamel sauce and creaming butter and sugar, and asked how many of them they could do. The results were surprising, here are a few of the skills, and what percentage said they could do them:

    While most people surveyed could do most, if not all, of the traditional skills mentioned, only 18.2% could do everything, and some basic skills, such as making a basic béchamel sauce could not be achieved by more than half the people surveyed.

    So why have these skills shown signs of decline? 80% of the people surveyed admitted they don’t have enough time to cook from scratch, with 78% relying on convenience foods such as ready meals and pre-chopped vegetables in order to get by.

    Shifting Tastes:

    Alongside this decline in cooking skill has come a marked shift in what people tend to cook and eat. British classics of the 1970s, such as toad in the hole and Lancashire hot pot have declined in popularity considerably, while global flavours, such as Thai curry, have seen a large growth:

    What could this mean?

    Overall, this survey has raised worrying questions about future generations. As people’s working lives get busier, the less they cook. Which means they won’t be able to pass their skills onto their children, which could lead to these skills dying out.

    If you’d like to read the full survey for yourself, you can download it here.

    Have any thoughts on this survey? How did you learn how to cook? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter.

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