Cooking for Dummies

Apparently we’re a nation of culinary dummies. According to this article in the Washington Post, when food companies “want to create recipes that millions of Americans will be able to understand, there seems to be one guiding principle: They need to be written for a nation of culinary illiterates.”

Is this why so many food packages include instructions for the mentally challenged? (American Airlines used to have instructions on their packages of peanuts that read: “Open packet, eat nuts.”)

I laughed out loud at the following quote from the Washington Post article:

“In 1935, for example, a Land O’Lakes butterscotch cookie recipe directed cooks to “cream together thoroughly the butter and sugar.” Today, Botham said, “we don’t use the word ‘cream’ anymore. People don’t understand what that means. Instead, we say ‘Using your mixer, beat the butter and sugar.’ “

People don’t understand the word “cream”? What people? All I want to ask is this: should we be letting people who don’t understand the word “cream” near the stove or kitchen utensils? Instead maybe they should go back to school and let someone else do the cooking for them. There’s no need to dumb down the recipes for those of us who actually do know how to read.


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How has this happened? How could people become so stupified?

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