The UK’s most comprehensive survey of food lovers released today, as part of the Great British Foodie White Paper, shows that British foodies have an insatiable appetite when it comes to being adventurous with food. The national survey of over 5,000 British foodies was conducted by Great British Chefs, the award-winning online food publisher. It reveals what they like to cook, how they like to cook it and what inspires them.
British foodies are regularly cooking an impressive 44 different dishes and have close to 100 dishes in their repertoire. Far from sticking to chicken and salmon, they are cooking 31 different meats, fish, shellfish and game. Comparing the sexes, the survey revealed that while all foodies love cooking, male foodies are even more experimental than female foodies, cooking double the number of exotic animals like kangaroo and crocodile and 20% more offal. While many might have assumed that foodie TV is just for entertainment, over 95% of foodies admitted to cooking a dish that they had seen on a television programme.
WHAT WE LIKE TO COOK
The research shows that Brits are wildly experimental when it comes to their food, with a whopping 91% of those surveyed admitting they eat almost everything and anything. We’re getting adventurous with our roasts, with almost half of those surveyed having cooked goose (47%), quail (40%) and many having tackled a suckling pig at home (18%).
We’re not burying our heads in the sand when trying out unusual meats either, with 37% having cooked ostrich, closely followed by kangaroo (26%), snail (20%), buffalo (15%) and crocodile (13%). Snake (2%), insects (2%), camel (2%), llama (1%) and gooseneck barnacles (1%) are, however, yet to hold their own as a British staple!
It’s not surprising that liver and kidneys are top of the British offal list. However, foodies don’t stop there, with many having cooked cheeks (43%), heart (30%), bone marrow (25%) and trotters (20%). The passion for nose-to-tail eating has clearly expanded way beyond dedicated high-end restaurants.
THE FOODIE STORE CUPBOARD
A snoop inside the store cupboard reveals a truly global approach to cooking, with food lovers more likely to own Thai fish (63%) sauce than brown sauce (62%). Their go-to ingredients range far beyond stock cubes and tinned tomatoes, with soy sauce (92%), coconut milk (74%), harissa (51%), tahini (45%) and dried seaweed (22%) all featuring heavily in the foodie larder.
Not only are UK foodies stocking up on global ingredients, they’re cooking a huge range of dishes with them too. While foodies are still regularly cooking classics such as roast chicken (74%) and spaghetti bolognese (62%), they are also regularly making risotto (47%), fish pie (42%) Thai green curry (35%), chilli prawns (33%), tagine (21%) and paella (25%). Over a quarter have made dim sum (31%) or sushi (30%) at home and 14% have had a go at kimchi, a fermented vegetable dish from Korea.
Foodies aren’t big fans of convenience foods, with 62% saying they would rarely or never order a takeaway and a whopping 71% would rarely or never buy a ready meal. Instead, when foodies are looking to rustle up a quick meal, they overwhelmingly prefer to cook something from scratch (85%).
HOW WE LIKE TO COOK
Not content with cooking 44 dishes on regular rotation, UK foodies regularly bake their own bread (82%), make pickles (40%), brew beer (13%) and some even cure salami (5%). To do all this they’ve got a kitchen to rival the professionals as they own ice cream makers (36%), juicers (35%), smokers (12%) and sous vide machines (8%). They are preparing their produce with an army of traditional and technical gadgets, from sugar thermometers (48%) and mandolins (44%) to pizza stones (29%) and microplanes (33%)
WHAT INSPIRES US
The vast majority (82%) of foodies believe they are far better cooks than their parents, and they’re seeking inspiration from a huge variety of sources. When they are looking for a recipe they turn to their cook books (88%) or go online (85%). Their foodie inspiration comes from holidays abroad (76%), what they have eaten in UK restaurants (85%) or things they have seen on TV (83%). They are less likely to be inspired by what their friends and family have cooked for them (53%).
“Britain is one of the most multicultural places in the world, and our hunger for new ingredients, cuisines and techniques completely reflects this,” says Ollie Lloyd, CEO of Great British Chefs. “Food in the UK today is influenced and inspired by travel, migration and the growing availability of a global store cupboard – it’s no surprise that we’re cooking with more diversity than ever before. It’s phenomenally exciting.”
So if you love to eat, discuss and salivate over all things food, Great British Chefs have created the ultimate “Fanatical Foodie” quiz to test those culinary skills. (www.greatbritishchefs.com/foodie-quiz)
The full White Paper detailing the study can be found here (www.greatbritishchefs.com/foodie-white-paper)