Monday March 19, 2012
Cooking class books
EDOUARD Cointreau, organiser of one of the biggest cookbook fairs in the world, offers up a blunt assessment as to why cheap, quick recipes and comfort foods continue to be the most sought-after cookery books around the world: because the baby boomer generation never taught their kids how to cook.
Instead of learning the secret to making a juicy roast turkey from their mum or how to correctly cook pasta al dente, younger generations are being taught kitchen basics and culinary tricks from cookbooks and food TV, said Cointreau, president of the recent Paris Cookbook Fair.
Globally, cookbooks for the home chef that offer budget-friendly, quick and easy recipes make up half of all cookbook sales, Cointreau said.
Younger generations have become more gourmand than their parents largely due to the proliferation of food TV, an entertainment trend that spans everywhere from Kenya to Uzbekistan, he said.
Young adults are turning to books to learn how to cook.
But the after-effects of the financial crisis from years ago, and the current economic uncertainty have also left an indelible mark on consumers, keeping people out of restaurants and motivating more and more people to cook at home.
And this trend hasn’t gone unnoticed by even the world’s top gastro-chefs.
Recently, a raft of haute cuisine Michelin-starred chefs have come out with cookbooks written for the humble home cook with families to feed, and little time on their hands.
That list includes master chefs like Heston Blumenthal, Ferran Adrià, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and food TV favourite Mario Batali, all of whom released cookery books designed for the harried mom or dad with a gourmand palate.
Here are some other emerging cookbook trends:
Vegetarian books: Though it may have started out as a fringe market, consumers are demanding more meatless cookbooks as “part-time vegetarianism” continues to rise. As processed and red meats continue to get a bad rap for increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and colon cancer, more and more people are also jumping on the “Meatless Mondays” trend which preaches going vegetarian one day a week.
Raging carnivores: At the same time, the other extreme is also true. Charcuterie, offal and nose-to-tail books continue to be popular as well, with serious carnivores attempting to dry age beef or cure their own ham at home.
Location, location, location: Worldly globetrotters are also driving demand for more local, regional cookbooks, Cointreau said. Instead of trying to cram the entire cuisine of France into one book, for example, publishers are coming out with books that take a more micro look at regional cuisine of Brittany, for example.