What type of cook are you? Are you a great cook? Average? A studied gourmet?
I’ve always been fascinated by my fellow cooks, and their different cooking personalities and cooking likes and dislikes. Why does one prefer using packaged convenience foods, and another is compelled to use unprocessed foods in their most natural condition?
The answer lies in a study done some years back by the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University. The lab was profiling “nutritional gatekeepers” in American homes–those people who have a powerful influence on the tastes and eating habits of their families. (You know, the ones who buy fruit instead of cookies, or suggest eating salad instead of fries.) These nutritional gatekeepers could be Dads, Grandmothers, older children, or caregivers, but mostly they are Mothers, who continue to do the food shopping and preparation in 80% of the surveyed homes, according to Lab research.
Headed by Dr. Brian Wansink, a pioneer in food psychology, the study also revealed that most great domestic cooks can be grouped in one of five cooking personality types. For fun, we have taken license with the gist of this key research, and created our own survey to help you learn about your own cooking type (you who are interested in making family cookbooks using our cookbook software). Note: This is not a scientific quiz by any means, however it may be enlightening, and at the very least, entertaining.
WHAT’S YOUR COOKING TYPE?
Read the quiz questions below and choose the answer that most clearly represents you and your preferred style of cooking:
- I enjoy preparing comfort foods for family gatherings and large parties.
- I enjoy experimenting with fresh ingredients from my home garden or from local Farmer’s markets.
- I enjoy using recipes as a guideline, preferring to do my own thing instead of staying within the boundary of the recipe.
- I enjoy striving to always make dishes look and taste exactly like the recipe.
- I enjoy having everything just right for my party guests, even if it means staying up all night preparing my special dishes that everyone will rave about.
WHAT YOUR RESPONSE MEANS
If you chose #1
You are a Giving Cook! You are friendly, well-liked, and enthusiastic about cooking and rely on traditional favorites at mealtime. You prefer the known quality of recipes instead of experimenting with new dishes. Your family cookbook is likely filled with tried-and-true family favorites. About 22% of all cooks fall into this type, according to Dr. Wansink’s findings.
If you chose #2
You are a Healthy Cook! You are optimistic, book-loving, and a nature enthusiast. You often experiment with new dishes using fish and other fresh ingredients, such as herbs and organic vegetables. You would probably have a section in your family cookbook devoted to nutritional dishes with a variety of fresh garden vegetables. About 20% of all cooks fall into this category, according to Dr. Wansink’s findings.
If you chose #3
You are an Innovative Cook! You are the most creative, trend-setting of all cooks in the home kitchen. You seldom using recipes, and if you do, they are purely inspirational and a catapult for your own ideas. You experiment boldly with ingredients, cuisine styles, and cooking methods. You like novel foods, so your family cookbook includes many global tastes, and then some. About 19% of all cooks fall into this type, according to Dr. Wansink’s findings.
If you chose #4
You are a Methodical Cook! You are a talented cooking hobbyist who loves to spend long weekends in the kitchen trying new recipes. You sometimes don’t have all the skills you see on the TV cooking shows, but you turn out dishes that look exactly like the picture in the cookbook. You have the highest success rate of all cooks, and your family cookbook can be trusted to provide detailed recipes that will turn out exactly right. About 18% of all cooks fall into this type, according to Dr. Wansink’s findings.
If you chose #5
You are a Competitive Cook! If ever there was an Iron Chef in your neighborhood, that’s you. You are a flamboyant, true entertainer who loves compliments about your cooking. You are a perfectionist about food, and your cooking style is very high-level gourmet. Friends and family members have encouraged you to write a family cookbook many times. Your dominant personality gives you confidence when entering (or thinking about entering) cooking contests. About 13% of all cooks fall into this type, according to Dr. Wansink’s findings.
Chances are most of us fall into several of these categories at one time or other, depending on circumstances or moods, if you will. Can anyone figure out which type I fit in?
Dr. Brian Wansink’s research findings in 2003 and his article for the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in 2006 inspired this writing. In 2007 he was appointed Executive Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP). Be sure to check out his website and blog for more fascinating discussion about the relationships between nutrition, diet and health.