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They call it the ‘Masterchef effect’: The cooking TV shows that have inspired people to cook outside their comfort zones and attempt new dishes that they wouldn’t normally prepare. Cooking shows are a phenomenon these days. Everyone is watching shows such as Masterchef, My Kitchen Rules, Celebrity Chef, Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals, Ironchef and Hell’s Kitchen. We are all getting our woks, our mortar and pestles, our mezzalunas and our garlic presses out of our kitchen drawers and cooking up a storm!
We are using interesting ingredients such as kale, chia seeds, quinoa, miso, aji amarillo, saffron, porcini powder, zucchini flowers, acai, jackfruit, nori, quince, okra and goat. We are using unusual cooking techniques such as sous vide, slow cooking, pressure cooking, air cooking, methyl cellulose, transglutaminase, vapour cooking and liquid nitrogen.
Interestingly enough, our palates have changed dramatically over the past five decades. For example:
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Potatoes, carrots, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, silverbeet, pumpkins, brussels sprouts, cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, green capsicum, field tomatoes, apples, pears
Zucchini, garlic, eggplant, broccolini, Lebanese cucumber, red capsicum, fennel, Jerusalem and globe artichokes, witlof, okra, celeriac, red and black grapes
Asian greens, snow pea, snake beans, lemongrass, coriander, ginger, chilli, lime, lychee, persimmon, red papaya, nashi pear, starfruit, mango
Medjool dates, figs, dried apricots, pomegranates, seedless lemons, almonds, pistachios, walnuts
Kale, sweet potato, beetroot, black garlic, drinking coconuts, Atlantic salmon, lentils, goji berries, blueberries, blood oranges and gold kiwifruit.
According to an article in the Telegraph UK newspaper titled ‘Home Cooking Is Back In Fashion’ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1527568/Home-cooking-is-back-in-fashion.html:
“Cooking the family meal from scratch has become a priority for mothers as they spurn unhealthy convenience food, a report released yesterday has suggested”.
“The claims about fresh ingredients replacing takeaways and processed food are made on the basis of an analysis of buying habits in high-street stores and supermarkets by the Meat and Livestock Commission”.
“The change in consumer attitudes is the result of an increased interest in healthy eating, possibly led by television programmes such as those by Jamie Oliver and Anthony Worrall Thompson”.
So even though some of us are sick to death of yet another cooking TV show, it may be just what we need to fight the obesity epidemic which is rife in our country and in other parts of the western world. I always say educating people as to how to eat a healthy diet and getting them off their butts and exercising are the keys to preventing this epidemic. If this entails watching Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals or the novice cooks on Masterchef doing battle in the kitchen, well then this is a good thing!
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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