Don’t come dine with me!

May 21, 2012, 11:37 AM GMT+0

Food poll: 38% Brits say dinner parties 'too much time and money'; only 28% do weekly food shop

Britons' tightened purse strings mean we’re ditching the dinner party, finding the stress and expense all too much, according to our poll for cooking ingredients specialists 'Very Lazy' (whose range includes ready-chopped ingredients and pastes such as garlic, chillies and ginger) as part of its 'Cooking Census'.

  • The poll of 2,070 Brits nationwide revealed that 47% use a shortcut or two when cooking
  • 42% love to cook new dishes
  • However, despite this, 38% (a substantial 18.5 million*) don’t host dinner parties very often as they involve 'too much time and money'
  • 27% of Britons said that they avoid giving dinner parties completely because they are too stressful

The Very Lazy Cooking Census surveyed people about their cooking habits and kitchen know-how.

  • Although we say we're a nation of confident cooks, with 78% saying they're very or fairly confident in cooking ability
  • And around a third of Britons (35%) saying that they cook every day of the week
  • Just 7% of the UK could identify three ingredients from a well-loved dinner - a traditional Bologna ‘spag bol’ Bolognese sauce
  • While less than half (40%) can make a basic roux sauce
  • Only 28% do a weekly shop and know what they're planning to make most nights

Men: clueless cooks?

When it came to foodie know-how, although the TV is awash with male celebrity chefs, men proved to be the most clueless cooks.

  • Women are more adventurous in the kitchen with 46% saying they love to make new dishes, compared to just 37% of men
  • Whilst half of women said they could make a basic roux sauce, 44% of men admitted to not knowing what one is
  • While almost a quarter of men (24%) don’t have a clue what root ginger looks like, with a total of 3% mistaking it for either an artichoke, truffle or even garlic (clue: it's pictured, above right)
  • Only a fifth of men are very confident in their cooking ability – perhaps because 15% of them admit to eating at home but never cooking

Cooking across the country

As for cooking habits across the UK, Wales is home to the hardest working cooks with 43% cooking daily, compared to the lazier cooks in the North East where only 18% cook every day.

The entertaining capital of the UK is London where 19% love to host dinner parties, and Scots proved to be the most adventurous in the kitchen with 48% saying they love to make new dishes.

People in the South West are the most organised at 37% when it comes to food planning and Yorkshire and it seems that the Humber is home to the most clueless cooks where 24% of people don’t know what root ginger looks like.

Commenting on the results, Very Lazy’s Head Development Chef Rob Cottam says: “It’s great to see that the UK is so confident in the kitchen, even if some of us do need a bit more encouragement!

Our food knowledge may need some work, but don’t worry, we all have recipe books, friends and family to teach us and there are so many great shortcuts that we can use rather than struggling to remember lots of complicated recipes.

So come on Britain, let’s get cooking!”

*The population figures are calculated using the 2010 ONS population figures for those aged 18+. Total UK population: 62,262,000. Total UK population aged 18+ is 49,122,200. So 37.69% of 49,122,200 = 18,514,157 (rounded to 18.5 million people)

See the survey details and full results