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Quelling Cuisine Cravings with Cookbooks

Aug 3, 2021

By Farleigh Lichstein, Director, Education, FMI

"Cook Books" by ntwilkieI can’t be the only person who went on a cookbook buying spree this past year. Prior to the pandemic, I fell into a boring routine of salmon Mondays and Tacos Tuesdays. To break from my dinner doldrums, I would make reservations at restaurants serving a kind of cuisine I didn’t feel confident cooking myself, such as Indian or Thai food ⁠— or perhaps a nice steak. Unfortunately, with so many restaurants shuttered during this time, my ability to venture outside of my culinary comfort zone was greatly limited. Instead of giving up and resigning myself to a lifetime of Taco Tuesdays, I bought cookbooks. 

According to the 2021 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends insights, eating well and cooking well are now much higher on consumers’ list of priorities. We have all become better at-home cooking through newly acquired cookbooks, kitchen tools and techniques that have helped us discover and connect with food in new ways. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I looked forward to my grocery store trips. I would sit down at my kitchen table with a cup of tea or coffee, scouring my stacks of cookbooks to find something unique and exciting to make at home.  

Nowadays, my spice rack is full of new spices after I picked up an Indian cookbook and tried several curry recipes. I learned that chicken thighs are much tastier grilled than chicken breasts; I learned that I could make a delectable lamb kebab grilling outdoors in the middle of a freezing cold February evening; and I experimented with a wide array of different marinades and sauces. I even made crescent yeast rolls for Thanksgiving dinner. 

I can now say I am part of the 21% of people who love to grocery shop. Grocery shopping gives me the resources necessary to explore new culinary techniques, and my cookbooks give me the inspiration to put them into practice. I am unsure if I will be outside grilling next February, but I now have the skills to succeed whenever I have a hankering!