We’ve all gone bananas for banana bread: how lockdown reunited us with home-cooking

The pandemic got lots of people heading into the kitchen for the first time..and helped us discover great home-cooking talent.

It comes as no great surprise that as a nation, we’ve been cooking less and less. As life moves at a faster pace and home-cooked dinner is traded off for the convenience of a takeaway in just a few clicks, there continues to be a noticeable shift in the way we are eating at home. The important cultural practice of home-cooking is beginning to get lost amongst the noise of everyday life.  

Ordinary people have started making extraordinary food in their own homes

Then suddenly the pandemic caused a huge shift in our daily lives, and for most, our cooking practices. Not only did lockdowns see a surge in ‘stock pilling’, leaving many reliant on Jamie Olivers’ guidance to ‘keep cooking and carry on’- many of us were forced to return to very trusty home-cooking habits. Using the tins at the back of the cupboard and old pasta shapes, replacing one vegetable with another and hoping for the best… the list goes on. More than anything, the pandemic gave a huge number of people the time and freedom to turn their attention to cooking for the first time. For some, this meant returning to a previously neglected hobby, and for others it sparked a completely new passion for experimenting in the kitchen.

Our social media feeds were certainly not short of cooking inspiration and amongst the reels and recipes we saw national food trends emerge. For the first few isolating months the labour of love for the humble sourdough loaf attracted the masses, including one of our home-cooks, Anne, who was drawn to the logistical challenge of getting her sourdough bread just perfect. 

Then we went bananas for banana bread and mad for fermenting and pickling things – kimchi, kefir..even alcohol! People were making new and exciting food in their own homes, and with the help of zoom classes, Instagram lives and cook-book borrowing, new home-cooking talent was starting to emerge.

“A friend and neighbour handed me a jar of what looked like slime encouraged me to get baking with it... I've been practicing and discovering ever since"

Bristol is one such example of a city brimming with post-lockdown cooking talents waiting to share their lockdown creations with neighbours and friends. Giuseppe lives in South Bristol and was left without work during the first lockdown, so decided to turn his downtime into productive time and pursue something he had always dreamt of- selling his own home-cooked food. Lockdown gave Giuseppe the opportunity to get busy making his favourite Neapolitan style pizzas, and he started sharing them with neighbours which helped bring his community together during a difficult time.

“Giving a pizza is like giving a smile, and people needed that during the lockdown. This is besides crucial, but an important point to me, because I do think that cooking has a social role to play, bringing happiness and connecting people"

Once he was completely happy that he had perfected his pizzas, he began asking his neighbours to give him feedback and was overwhelmed with how much they loved them. Giuseppe’s pizzas were getting rave reviews, from the delicious tomato sauce to the quality of the crusts and freshness of the organic toppings. Since the launch of All About The Cooks, he has started selling his pizzas to the people of Bristol- taking his lockdown hobby and turning it into a full-time side-hustle. 

When the world started to crumble, having fun in the kitchen offered calm and control to a great number of people during a very tricky year. It may be difficult to see any silver linings from this pandemic, but we have seen many positive food-related changes, particularly in the big rise in home-cooking and confidence with cooking skills. 

Home-cooking is creatively fulfilling, empowering and brings communities together – definitely a lockdown habit that we hope sticks around for good.

If you are interested in learning more about kimchi, kefir, sourdough or any other fizzy fermented business why not visit our friends at Every Good Thing in the Cargo shipping containers in Bristol.

We’ve teamed up with them to bring you an exciting giveaway. For a chance to win their Gut Booster Bundle, pop us a line at info@allaboutthecooks.co.uk with the subject ‘Every Good Thing’ and tell us what your favourite fermented food is. Make sure to include your name and a contact number. Good Luck!

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