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If you can't stand the heat

Do you know what a spatula is for? Or are your cooking skills on a hiding into nothing? A new survey says Mersey teens haven't got a culinary clue. But is it right?

Published on January 16th 2007.


If you can't stand the heat

Two workers overheard in Sainsbury's Walton last Sunday: “I'm going to my Nan's for a roast dinner after I finish here.”Operative No 2: “Aw, they're sound them, aren't they. Them roast dinners. I had one once.”

A true tale, so we weren't surprised to learn that Liverpool is heading for a cooking crisis, with teenagers here revealing “a shocking ignorance of basic culinary skills”, in a brand new survey commissioned by, er, Sainsbury's actually.

Liverpool kids, it seems, come bottom of the UK heap when it comes to knowledge on how to throw together a roast dinner (just 18 per cent). A quarter of children in the city cannot identify a colander; 60 per cent have never seen a spatula and the same number believe a sauté is - wait for it - a type of French dance.

On the bright side we're a techno-savvy bunch, and everyone recognises a microwave, the survey found.

The UK poll of 1,655 children was launched as part of The Active Kids Get Cooking campaign by the British Nutrition Foundation.

And while only 11 per cent of children in Liverpool claim they are taught cooking in school, the rest (89 per cent) insist they are really eager to learn. But don't look to your parents, kids. Two thirds of Mersey mums and dads admit they would rather heat up food in that shiny microwave than prepare a meal every day. Another fifth prevent their children cooking at home as they believe it to be too messy or dangerous, while even more children (25 per cent), believe this to be the case too.

But it's not all bad news surely. Now Liverpool Confidential has compiled its own quick quiz.

So tell us: are you a fast foodie or a gastronomic guru?

1. Is a tango?
a) An Argentinian dance
b) A sun-kissed-in-an-instant spray-over
c) Your favourite fizzy drink

2. What do we mean by parboiled?
a) A place up by Wigan
b) Something that Hannibal Lecter did to his dad
c) A method of partly cooking food by simmering before baking or roasting

3. Is a Sayer's pasty?
a) Lunch every day
b) The official delicacy of Capital of Culture year
c) Something in Celebrity Leo's underwear drawer

4. What is “au lait?”
a) The train to Fazakerley
b) Something that you chant over and over at a football match
c) A French culinary term meaning “with milk”

5. What is a melon baller?
a) A useful gadget that you buy at a specialist kitchen and catering store
b) (That's enough, Ed)

OK. So are you mostly a? Mostly b? Mostly c?

Blimey, we can't work it out, but if you do know the right answers, well done and all back to yours for Sunday dinner.You're sorted. Or should that be sauted?

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