Like everything else, the world of food has changed over the past year, though it’s been less of a complete shutdown, and more of a pivot.
Many restaurants that were forced to close their doors started sending out recipe boxes, so people all over the country could whip up delightful dishes at home that they would otherwise never have tried. Some reopened as marketplaces supporting local producers. Top chefs shared their secrets in downloadable cookbooks, so we could bring the restaurant to our kitchens.
At home, those of us who loved cooking but couldn’t fit it into our busy working lives suddenly had an abundance of time. We rediscovered forgotten loves and fell for entirely new ones. We made a lot of sourdough and baked feta pasta. On the other hand, anti-foodies were suddenly faced with feeding themselves – and their families – three meals a day, seven days a week.
Then in October, the government voted against feeding millions of the nation’s vulnerable children. Food banks reported a 33 per cent increase in emergency food parcels since the start of the pandemic. And almost 10,000 pubs, clubs and restaurants closed down for good.
I don’t need to tell you that lockdown has changed us, and now, as things start to open, it’s changing us again.
Food might seem like the last thing on the agenda, but here on the IndyEats desk we believe it has the power to bring people together – and perhaps inject a bit of fun into our lives when we need it most.
Every Saturday, from May 15, we will send you a week’s worth of easy, affordable recipes from cuisines around the world. We’ll speak to both world-renowned chefs and up-and-coming influencers about the issues they’re tackling through their cooking. We’ll round up the best cookbooks and utensils that are worth your money. And we’ll bring you features covering sustainability, food waste, food poverty, accessibility and exploitation, so you can stay informed, while you stay fed.