Think back to when you first started using the Internet to look up recipes. I can’t recall the very first time I went online to find a recipe, but I know that the first “go-to” site for me was Allrecipes.com. I liked that recipes were added to the site by actual home cooks and that the cooks who made the recipes could rate and comment on them. There are very few recipes I’ve made from the site that have been a disappointment.
I’ve been a member of the site since 2000 (that’s really hard to believe!) and looking at the recipes I’ve saved over the past 12 years, it looks like the first recipe I made was Affy Tapple Salad. If I remember correctly, I made it for the luncheon we had after my oldest son’s baptism. My cooking attitude and behaviors have changed quite a bit since I made that salad, and I’m not alone. Allrecipes has taken a look at how things have changed since the site's inception in its latest Measuring Cup Trend Report. Here are a few of the insights and my thoughts on them:
Smartphones are now used by more than one-third of online cooks to do things like look up recipes and by 15 percent to watch videos to improve their cooking skills. Fifteen years ago, smartphones didn’t exist. I know I use my smartphone all the time for cooking. I look up recipes at the grocery store to make sure I have the right ingredients, and I pull up recipes in my kitchen when I'm cooking.
Getting “dish recommendations” is up 1,210 percent from when Allrecipes conducted its first online survey in 1999. When looking for a new recipe online, I usually skip online recipes (unless they’re from very trusted bloggers) that don’t have ratings or comments from other cooks who have made them. Those user recommendations are very important to me.
In 1999, 73 percent said recipes made cooking easier. In 2012, only 35 percent said recipes make cooking easier. There’s no explanation for this dramatic difference, but I’d take a guess that the Internet has increased the number of recipes available to people, and perhaps they get overwhelmed when Google offers them 9,340,000 recipe options for lasagna (in 0.14) seconds as opposed to the handful of options they had in the past from the cookbooks in their homes.
There’s been an increase in the use of organic and natural products. Sixty-six percent of people now pick recipes that use these products than did in 1999. I know I’m one of them. When I chose to make the Affy Tapple Salad 12 years ago, I didn’t consider the quality of the ingredients I was using.
Those in my generation, the Gen-Xers, see home cooking as a must. Millennials see it as “optional, fun and exploratory,” and Boomers don’t cook as much as they used to. I definitely see home cooking as a must, and eating together at our dining room table is a must as well.
There are lots of other interesting insights in Allrecipes report as well as a list of the top 15 recipes of all time.
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