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The MacBook is the new cookbook

4th August 2009 Print

Most of Britain’s kitchens have a designated place for recipes – be it books on a shelf or a page torn from a magazine; the vast majority of us have turned to them at some point – for inspiration, novelty or to impress that certain someone.

Despite the continuing sales of the ‘Delia, Jamie and Nigella’ era cookbooks, a new generation of food lovers are going online to expand their culinary repertoire. Two-thirds of women and more than a third of men have used the internet to find a recipe, whilst a fifth of us have watched an online cookery show. This trend is particularly strong among the young (nearly a third of 16-24 year olds have clicked on an online cooking tutorial), but by no means exclusively so.

Whilst the recession is forcing many of us to think twice about dining in our favourite restaurants, recent figures have highlighted that some consumers are prepared to spend more money on food and drinks products with a quality stamp of approval. Discover the Origin’s three year campaign recognises how important this is and believes that education of provenance is the key to fully understanding and appreciating the diversity and quality of some food and wines.

Furthermore the rise of online food blogging and sharing of recipes and cooking ideas means we’re getting more creative in the kitchen - particularly when it comes to entertaining guests. One in five of us now consider the internet to learn about food in order to impress - the focus for Discover the Origin being on enjoying food and wine at home; getting people to take the time to enjoy the finest quality products that Europe has to offer, together.

Recipes aren’t the only source of important food information –issues of quality and production are also key, as are the history and provenance of what we eat. Whilst poorer quality substitutes can be tempting for their price, our European neighbours are well-known for their food for a reason.

From Burgundy and Douro Valley wines, Port to Parma Ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, knowing where our food comes from and that it is of the highest quality and flavour is essential, which is why Discover the Origin is educating people on the EU’s ‘PDO stamp of approval’ attributed to these five food and drink products certifying that they are unique to a particular region and of the finest standard.

Fine food and wine are one of life’s great pleasures and should be explored in all their glory through whatever means – online or otherwise. Here is a fantastic European recipe idea, which can help you to create a restaurant style meal within your own home, put together by top chef Ed Baines.

In this video, Ed Baines cooks Porcini mushroom risotto with peas and rocket scattered with Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings.

For more information, visit