The Middle Class Cook
Occasionally, I like to vary the types of posts here at Macheesmo and try new things. While I primarily post recipes, sometimes I also like to flap my philosopher wings and start a discussion.
A common statistic used to site the health of the economy is the status of the middle class. If it is growing then that is generally seen as a positive thing. If it is shrinking then the average salary difference between citizens is growing, which is bad. That’s a pretty basic summary, but you get the idea.
I’ve been thinking recently how this idea could be applied to a subject like cooking. Would you rather have a society where most people are average cooks or one where there are huge swings in people’s cooking abilities: a select few have great expertise and most can’t turn on a stove.
To me it seems like a nation of average cooks would be an alright thing, but maybe I’m a kitchen socialist.
What is a Middle Class Cook?
A middle class cook is someone who has enough kitchen skills to follow a recipe and make a pretty decent meal on any given day. They might have a few specialized dishes that they can make from scratch, but the middle class cook relies on recipes and trial and error.
The Upper Crust
Meanwhile, an upper class cook obviously includes most trained chefs. I have a friend that I would consider to be an upper class cook even though he isn’t a trained chef. He works in a restaurant, makes a bunch of stuff from scratch – including corned beef and bacon, and he is French (ha!). Being French is not a requirement, but a desire to learn more about food is.
Is Rachel Ray an upper class cook?
What’s an oven? Like a microwave?
The other side of the spectrum would be the person who knows practically nothing about food prep. Ironically, sometimes these same people are sometimes the pickiest eaters.
It is very much a goal of mine with this website to hand these individuals the tools to get in the kitchen!
The benefits of a cooking culture
Are there benefits to a culture where more people cook more often? I think so, but I’m a bit biased. If people are more knowledgeable in the kitchen I would argue that they will also be:
- Healthier. It easier to cook healthy meals than buy healthy meals because you have more control over ingredients.
- Wealthier. Stop giving your money to processors and restaurants and get in the kitchen!
- Happier. When I cook I feel better and happier. It can’t just be me.
- Safer from zombies. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You will want to know how to cook when zombies attack.
A cooking revival. I really want there to be a cooking revival in our country. With the success of mainstream cooking shows, thousands of cookbooks released every year, and even more websites devoted to food, a part of me says it is happening.
And yet McDonald’s still posted a rise in sales last quarter in U.S. restaurants…
What are your thoughts? Do you think the middle class cook is disappearing or just starting to grow?