Why do we love cooking?

I have been spending a lot of time thinking about how to get young adults excited about cooking. Statistics show that Americans spend little time cooking. How little? In the 90’s, on average, we spent 15 minutes a day cooking. Not per meal, per day. This is incredibly sad for those of us who love to cook and appreciate that cooking for yourself is key to both your spirit and your health.

As part of my continuing research on this subject, we are going to have a little bit of class participation. I hope you are willing to indulge me with this parlor game. Most of you reading this like to cook. Why? What happened in your life to turn you on to cooking?

To start things off, I’ll give my story. My mom didn’t trust or like processed foods. And she definitely had a knack for cooking (which she presumably got from her mom, also an excellent cook). Growing up, my mom cooked almost everything from scratch. She also believed that her kids should know how to cook. We joined 4H and learned basic cooking skills. We helped at home. In high school, my mom started catering out of the house and we all pitched in. Oddly enough, I was the pickiest eater in the house and often refused to eat the food my mom cooked. But, I liked cooking it even if I wouldn’t eat it. How crazy is that? In college, my eating patterns broadened quite a bit. Certainly not because the food was so good there! I finally came to appreciate how fantastic the food cooked by my mom really was. After that, I was totally hooked on cooking and eating great food. It’s only become a bigger and bigger force in my life.

What’s your story? I can’t wait to learn something new about my friends and get more further insight into why we love to cook.

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Author: worldplatterblog

I blog about food, travel, and anything else tangentially related to food that piques my interest. I have a degree in Culinary Arts and in Operations Research (it's math). That means I'm pretty analytical and love science, but I also love art. Food is a strange place where science intersects art in continually changing ways. I love writing about all of it.

6 thoughts on “Why do we love cooking?”

  1. At age 50+, I feel like I am only just learning to cook. I started a new eating regimen this year and now focus on vegetables, fruit, protein & healthy fats. It took a few months to adjust and change my taste buds, but now I am enjoying food I once refused to eat (beets & brussels sprouts anyone?). Cooking from scratch takes time but what better way to spend your time than on feeding yourself healthy food. I'm particularly interested now in learning how to use herbs & spices. Any idea what “Hungarian paprika” is?

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  2. First, Sharon you being crazy is a different issue, that just showed itself in the cooking stuff you won't eat arena. Yes, I am qualified to comment, with the utmost love and respect of course.
    Second, for myself, my mother was not a fan of cooking ( enter stereo type J A P joke here). So I started out with my favorite meal, breakfast and cooking eggs in all the various formulas. The fact that you can mix and match so many things and come up with a wow. I was hooked.
    As life moved forward I was always happy to mix and match stuff to come up with things like “chicken ala Daryn”, bachelors choice and a hit with the ladies, when a guy cooks. Psychologically, breaking bread is good for the soul and relationships. Moving forward as I have spent many years married to your sister, some of our best times have been putting meals together. Weather it is just us or for company. The rush that comes from putting the ingredients, good stuff together and knowing who ever is going to be a part of sharing that meal is going to smile and um and ah with enjoyment as they feel the love that nurtures both the body and the spirt.
    DARYN

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  3. Linda, good for you enjoying beets and brussels sprouts. I love them both! As for Hungarian paprika, it's the same as regular paprika but of a higher quality. Paprika is ground dried red peppers. They are a particular variety of pepper grown to be made into a spice. Hungary produces some of the best paprika in the world (along with Spain). If you want to experiment with paprika, head to the Savory Spice Shop on Broadway near Pearl St. They have a number of different varieties – sweet, hot, Hungarian, Spanish, California.

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  4. Love your blog! I, too got the cooking love from my mom. I have always played competitive sports and I remember coming home from practices/training to something yummy on the stove. As an athlete, I got into cooking so I could be in control of what was in the food…but I definitely am a product of my mom's kitchen–super fresh ingredients, lots of veggies and a gasoline-style can of extra virgin cold pressed olive oil are necessities in my kitchen!

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  5. With up to 13 people in our house growing up, the goal was just to “eat and leave the table” (though Mom always made sure we each had a balanced meal). Maybe because of that, I'm not generally big on cooking and will typically just have cereal when I'm alone. However, my partner is an excellent, creative cook and that completely changes the experience. I love being with her when she's cooking, even when it involves lots of pots & pans and multiple steps — things I usually hate. So it's definitely the communal experience of making the meal and then sharing in it afterward that makes me love it.

    And of course I have to note that I love eating SHARON'S cooking and will always happily share in that!! Thanks for the blog, Sharon!

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  6. My mom wasn't a bad cook, she was just limited by time (trying to be a scientist in a non-female friendly world) and by supplies (Los Alamos wasn't exactly on any fresh produce delivery line in the 70s/80s), so she never went for making amazing meals… except for that one time of year that became my favorite holiday: Thanksgiving. This was the only time we spent time focusing on cooking and enjoying it. Sure, Christmas had some of that as well, but she was too stressed by all the other stuff to actually enjoy it. I believe both of my brothers and I caught a glimpse into the potential world of gourmet, but were largely denied it. All three of us got motivated to be decent cooks for that reason, at a guess.

    Oh, and I can vouch for Tiff's mom being an awesome cook. CHOMP.

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