The pandemic certainly changed life as we knew it in 2020, when millions of us were forced to quarantine at home. This change in lifestyle spawned the resurgence of heritage cooking – cooking that is represented by long-time family recipes, perhaps tweaked a bit but non-the-less still recognizable to great aunt Aggie.
If you recall, an interesting reaction to sheltering in place occurred—the surprising uptick in the number of
people baking at home. Did you notice that everyone on the planet suddenly started making homemade bread? Social media was filled with fledgling bakers proudly showing off their creations. The new craze even resulted in the country experiencing a flour and wheat shortage. And soon—sometimes unconsciously, other times intentionally—we began branching beyond bread. We began creating the comfort foods based in family tradition.
And we are not alone in our curiosity about this trend. A poll conducted in September of 2020 by Mintel revealed that poll participants reported eating comfort meals five times a week, and nearly 70% said they would continue to eat the same amount of comfort food, post pandemic. Similarly, two-thirds of Mintel respondents who eat globally at home say authentic or traditional flavors are the most important factor when buying provisions in this category.
CNN's Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy tells the story better than we. The series best underscores that that cuisine rooted in one’s personal culture or cultures visited brings family and food together and is just another example of the urge to return to our culinary roots.
One of our favorite people, renowned chef and caterer extraordinaire Chef Covas @chef~covas gives her take on the trend,
"Heritage cooking is all about cooking from your roots those true flavors and unique dishes you grew up on. From my business to any competition I have been part of, I always cook what I know, and stay true to myself which is that little Portuguese girl in the kitchen with her mom & her Ova."
In case you are wondering, Chef Covas has competed in and won: Food network's Chopped and
Food Network's Supermarket Stakeout.
As restrictions continue to loosen and restaurants fully reopen, you’ll likely see refreshed menus with dishes that celebrate broader, less stereotypical cultural dishes (think Italian dishes that move beyond lasagna or Chinese offerings beyond sesame chicken). Heritage cooking will celebrate the various facets of
cultural dining reflecting our evolving population.
And, when you sit down to enjoy the dish you have lovingly prepared you know the meal is about more than the food.
It’s about memories.
It’s about friends and family.
It’s about celebrating a cultural experience.
It is a representation of the tenacity of the human spirit, the love people have for a variety of cultures, and the desire to share the deliciousness…and perhaps the stories…with others.
WHERE TO FIND INGRETIENTS FOR HEARITAGE COOKING:
Some of our favorite global markets listed are out of our Asbury Park to Bay Head area. But nearly all have mail order options needed to help you recreate family favorites (yours or others) from the past:
Asian Food Markets (several locations) www.asianfoodmarkets.com
Kam Man Market www.kammanmarket.com
Ando West Indian Market https://wego.here.com/
Original Kaneshie Market, Parlin https://originalkaneshiemarketnj.com/
Tropical Sun https://www.thetropicalsun.com/
Asian Food Market http://www.asianfoodmarkets.com/
Sweet Green Market https://sweetgreenmarket.com/
Little Divisoira https://www.facebook.com/LittleDivisoriaKusina
foods from countries such as Bulgaria, Albania, Russia and Romania
Amira Fresh Fruits and Vegetable https://www.facebook.com/amiramarket/
Broadway Food Palace https://www.facebook.com/BroadwayFoodPalaceNJ/
Fiesta Oriental Food https://www.facebook.com/FiestaOrientalFoodStore/
Ehmer Quality Meats https://karlehmer.com/
Kocher’s Market https://kochersmarketfortlee.com/index.html