Waitrose Food & Drink report: 1 in 4 adults in UK have never boiled an egg and don’t know how to, survey finds
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More than a quarter of UK adults have never boiled an egg and don’t even know how to, according to a new report by Waitrose. The study also found that just 45 per cent have baked a Victoria sponge cake and fewer than a fifth have made a salad dressing from scratch.
The latest annual Food & Drink Report by the supermarket giant , which saw OnePoll survey 4,000 UK adults in May, revealed that while more than a third of people (35 per cent) rate themselves as “very good” or “excellent cooks”, some 27 per cent have never boiled an egg.
Nearly two-fifths (39 per cent) wish they could spend more time in the kitchen than they actually do, according to the survey, while one-fifth (20 per cent) say they are entertaining more at home due to the cost-of-living crisis. However, 34 per cent now think the term “dinner party” is old fashioned.
The idea of a traditional “showy” dinner party has been turned on its head. Four in 10 (40 per cent) are now happy to choose cheaper cuts of meat and more affordable ingredients to economise when entertaining and seven per cent will ask “friends to bring a dish or course”.
Around 46 per cent of people ignore the sell-by dates on packaging, 38 per cent use the “five-second rule’ for picking up food that has dropped on the floor, and 16 per cent are happy to scrape mould off food to eat or cook with it.
Despite the fact we’ve seen air fryers soar in popularity over the past year due to their supposed energy-saving benefits, microwaves topped the report’s list of 24 kitchen gadgets that most adults said they could not live without. Martyn Lee, executive chef for Waitrose, said people had been “looking down on microwaves for too long”.
He added: “Food is a daily joy and the cost-of-living crisis has hastened a change in how we cook. You can do so much more in [a microwave] than heat a cup of coffee. I make a great sponge in mine.
“I think it’s time to remember the enjoyment we get from the anticipation of their pinging. When you reheat a stew, or a slice of lasagne in your microwave after the flavours have had time to develop, you enjoy what’s known as the sixth taste sensation ‘kokumi’ – which is lesser known than the other five tastes – sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami.”
The survey found that one-third of would-be chefs get their ideas on what to cook from TV programmes while five per cent are looking to the future by turning to Chat GPT for foodie inspiration.