Food, glorious food! With countless flavours and varieties, food really is one of the simple pleasures in life. There are those among us who take food more seriously than others, seeking out new and unusual cuisine, gourmet ingredients and go-to recipes to enrich our dining experience. Whether you’re an experienced chef or a newbie looking for some new tastes, “foodie” culture is a fun way to try new things, and you can even use it to take your next social gathering to the next level.
To help you take your taste buds on a journey, we’ve found five handy tools and resources for new and experienced foodies alike. Hopefully we can get you inspired and planning your next dish!
The key to good cooking is good ingredients, and when it comes to fresh produce and other goods such as bread, meat, honey, sauces and more, a farmer’s market just can’t be beat. If you haven’t checked out your local farmer’s market yet, now’s the time! The Australian Farmer’s Market Association has a handy Markets Directory that will help you look up the location of farmers markets in your area. Go taste the difference for yourself!
When it comes to a collection of gorgeously presented recipes, you can’t go past Gourmet Traveller Magazine. As well as recommendations for dining hotspots around the globe, their online recipes will no doubt have your mouth watering. Catering to a range of skill levels, the collection has something for everyone, even those following a vegetarian or vegan diet. Some of our favourites include the Chocolate Tart, Beef Wellington, Grilled Bean Salad and Baked Sweet Potatoes with Goat’s Cheese. Yum!
Picture this: you’ve found a mouth-watering recipe and you read through the ingredients only to discover that the recipe calls for tree nuts, which could kill you. Or perhaps a guest at your next dinner party has Coeliac disease, so the meal needs to be gluten free. Food allergies and intolerances are serious business, but you can work around them. Food Allergy Training has free, online resources that were developed with food service staff in mind, but knowledge is power, and there’s nothing stopping you from using this information to aid your own private cooking endeavours. For example, their Food Allergy Ingredient Substitution Tool contains a list of suitable substitutes, plus things to watch out for if diners are allergic to more than one thing.
While we’re on the subject of substitutions, let’s talk about kitchen gadgets. The longer you proclaim yourself to be a foodie, the likelihood of receiving specialty cooking tools as gifts from friends and family increases. For beginners and casual cooks, however, it’s likely that you’ll come across a recipe that calls for a fancy gadget that you just don’t have. After all, how many typical households these days have a meat tenderiser, egg separator, fruit juicer or vacuum sealer? You’ll find some easy-peasy substitutions for these tools and more over on Wonder How To.
Cooking takes time to learn, and while it won’t take long to get your head around how to pan fry or set the oven to the right temperature, there are dozens upon dozens of other culinary techniques that need a bit more practice. If you’re looking to add a new skill to your repertoire (or even just master the basics) then you may be interested in the online food classes available on Instructables. At the moment, there are six free classes to choose from with quality learning materials put together by experts: bread making, pasta making, cooking basics, meat, canning and preserving, and the science of baking.
Do you have a foodie tip for us? Share it in the comments.