Apr 25, 2009

What's Your Cooking Personality?

A recent nationwide study by the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab focused on 440 cooks in the U. S. rated as “great cooks” by themselves and by at least one other adult family member. Personality tests indicated that 9 out of 10 could be categorized as being one of 5 personality types:
  • Giving Cooks (22%): Friendly, well-liked, enthusiastic cooks who specialize on comfort foods for family gatherings and large parties. Giving cooks seldom experiment with new dishes, instead relying on traditional favorites.
  • Healthy Cooks (20%): Optimistic, book-loving, nature enthusiasts who are most likely to experiment with fish and with fresh ingredients, including herbs.
  • Innovative Cooks (19%): The most creative, trend-setting of all cooks. Seldom using recipes, they experiment with ingredients, cuisine styles, and cooking methods.
  • Methodical Cooks (18%): Often weekend hobbyists who are talented, but who rely heavily on recipes. Although somewhat inefficient in the kitchen, their creations always look exactly like the picture in the cookbook. Highest success rate of all cooks.
  • Competitive Cooks (13%): The Iron Chef of the neighborhood. Competitive cooks are dominant personalities who cook in order to impress others. These are perfectionists who are intense in both their cooking and entertaining.
What cooking personality do you have? The original test used in the study was 12 pages long. But here’s a shorter version derived from the book “Mindless Eating” (Bantam) by the study’s author, Brian Wansink:

1) When I prepare a meal, I typically:
a) Rely on classic dishes my family has always enjoyed.
b) Follow a recipe step-by-step.
c) Substitute more healthful ingredients.
d) Go all out and try to impress my guests.
e) Rarely use recipes and like to experiment.

2) Some of my favorite ingredients are:
a) Lots of bread, starches and red meat.
b) Beef and chicken.
c) Fish and vegetables.
d) A trendy ingredient I saw on the Food Network.
e) Vegetables, spices and unusual ingredients.

3) In my free time I like to:
a) Visit with friends and family.
b) Organize the house.
c) Exercise or take a fitness class.
d) Be spontaneous and seek adventure.
e) Take part in creative or artistic pursuits.

4) My favorite things to cook are:
a) Home-baked goodies.
b) Casseroles.
c) Foods with fresh ingredients and herbs.
d) Anything that lets me fire up the grill.
e) Ethnic foods and wok dishes.

5) Other people describe me as:
a) Really friendly.
b) Diligent and methodical.
c) Health conscious.
d) Intense.
e) Curious.

To determine your cooking personality, add up your chosen letters. If you tended to pick one letter more than others, you fall decidedly into that cooking personality group:

a = Giving
b = Methodical
c = Healthy
d = Competitive
e = Innovative

In case you're curious, I came in as an unequivocally Innovative cook.

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