Modern mothers 'better cooks than their mothers'
Modern mothers are much more adventurous in the kitchen and can prepare 25 per cent more dishes than their mothers, research suggests.
A study carried out across two generations dispels the myth that modern mothers serve up only fast food and ready meals.
They know 25 per cent more recipes than their counterparts in the 1970s and 1980s and are far more adept at making exotic foreign meals, it found.
On average they know 21 recipes off by heart and, although they favour British cuisine, they are happy to try more difficult international dishes.
Women aged 20 to 35 serve up meals such as Mexican fajitas, Chinese vegetable stir-fry and curries to their families regularly, it emerged.
Thirty or so years ago their mothers’ staple dishes included meat and two veg, pork or lamb chops and shepherd’s pie.
The study of 1,000 mothers found that those in the 1970s and 1980s had a repertoire of 17 dishes which they knew well and cooked on a regular basis for their children. Jacket potatoes, fish fingers and chips and chicken casserole were particular favourites.
While today’s mothers cook many of the meals they enjoyed as children, they have a more varied menu, which includes home-made pasta dishes and home-made pizzas.
The survey found that 57 per cent of mothers aged 50 and over admit their daughters cook a wider range of dishes for the family now than they ever did.
Whereas 70 per cent of modern women cannot remember eating anything other than British cuisine as a child, 61 per cent claim to use more recipes than their mothers. Eighty-four per cent also think it is important to encourage their children to try as many different foods as possible.
The survey suggests that the rise in cookery-based television shows has influenced the types of meals modern mothers are prepared to cook.
Four in 10 take tips from celebrity chefs, and 33 per cent have celebrity recipe books. The surge in food-related websites has also prompted women to rethink their menu.
The survey was carried out for Birmingham Food Fest, a 10-day event which takes place next month,
Emma Gray, a festival spokesman, said: “The findings completely dispel the myth that today’s mothers aren’t particularly into their food, and have other priorities they consider more important than cooking.
“But the opposite is true, mums actually love to cook, love to see their families enjoying good hearty meals, and mums are becoming more adventurous with their cooking than ever before.
“Mothers of 30 years ago very much had to rely on word of mouth and their own inventiveness to produce meals, and as such were more likely to cook the same things over and over.
“Although mothers of that generation were brilliant cooks, and relied on scratch cooking methods to feed their families, it meant they weren’t as knowledgeable about foods from different countries.
“Today’s mothers have grown up with a culture of eating out and with a wealth of information at their fingertips have a real desire to impress both family and friends with their cooking abilities.’’