Topline Trends: Granny appreciation

March 17, 2009

grannyI often write here about trends that are happening in North America, but today I’m wistfully looking across the Atlantic at the UK and wishing that a trend I’ve noted there will become more influential here.

I’m talking about Granny cuisine. Not only does Waitrose Food Illustrated have a “Guest Granny” column where they showcase an older woman and ask her for cooking tips and advice, but other Grannies get the credit they deserve in the UK, as well. (Check out the Green Grannies video below).

Is there hope for us? On the one hand, I’m not so sure. We continue to revere food scientists who strive to make food with fewer calories or more densely packed nutrients than they should have naturally. And then there’s the way so many of us fawn over potty-mouthed food network stars who talk way more than they cook.

On the other hand, I’ve seen a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Just over a week ago, I attended an event to promote the ethnic culinary uses of peanuts at the Astor Center in Manhattan where Suvir Saran, chef of Devi, was one of the cooking demonstrators. Saran acknowledges that his cooking is anything but cutting edge. Instead of trying to thrill people with molecular gastronomy and other novel approaches to cooking, he proudly proclaims that he depends on the “gastronomy of the great grandmother’s of India” for his culinary inspiration. Go Suvir!

My own grandmothers influenced me greatly in the kitchen and taught me the basics that helped me to be confident enough to pursue cooking as a career. There’s no doubt in my mind that I might not be where I am today without Grannies.

What about you? Do you have any of your Granny’s recipes or another older person you can call on for cooking advice?

And, before I sign off: Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I hope you have the luck of the Irish with you all day long!