Two-thirds of parents use traditional recipes passed down by family

More than half of Americans still follow their original family recipes exactly as written, according to new research.

In a poll of 2,000 parents, 71% say their family has its own traditional recipes, and 37% know how to make these recipes themselves.

Almost three-quarters (71%) of respondents have been given a recipe from their parents, and 52% have gotten one from their grandparents.

Some even went further back in the family tree, as 42% of parents have received recipes from their great-grandparents.

The poll, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Coleman Natural, also explored how and why parents are bringing their traditional recipes into the 21st century.

When asked to reflect on their own childhoods, 37% remembered their parents or grandparents “always” cooking from scratch, but only 24% of today’s parents said they do the same.

Even though four in five respondents would rate their cooking skills somewhere between “average cook” and “master chef,” 71% agree that traditional recipes are harder to perfect than modern ones.

More than four in five (83%) of respondents agreed that traditional recipes require more work than modified ones, and 46% modify them to increase efficiency.

Other popular modifications included ingredient sourcing, such as canned vs. fresh (58%); ingredient amounts (57%); and substitutions for wheat or animal products (55%).

Parents also cited altering a recipe to make it healthier (52%), to cater to a food allergy or sensitivity or to adhere to dietary restrictions (44%).

“People are much more aware of what is in their food these days, whether it’s because of a dietary restriction, lifestyle choice or a simple desire to feed their families a little bit better,’’ said Mel Coleman, Jr., a fifth-generation member of the family that founded Coleman Natural Foods. “With more than half of parents looking for healthier meals for their families, the increasing availability of clean, natural ingredient products at your local grocery store makes it easier to get what you need to bring a memorable meal to life.”

According to 41% of respondents, their favorite reason to whip up these traditional dishes is because of the memories they hold.

To accommodate a crowd, almost two-thirds (63%) of respondents have made two versions of the same dish as a way to accommodate their family’s dietary needs.
To that end, 81% of parents that modify traditional recipes, believe their modern, modified dish is better than the original.

“Despite what’s going on around us, if we all get a simple meal on the table and gather our family for a short moment during the day, we can feel a small sense of accomplishment and continue to make memories,” said Coleman.

MOST POPULAR RECIPE SUBSTITUTIONS AND MODIFICATIONS

Types of ingredients (canned, fresh, homemade) — 58%
Ingredient amounts (less sugar, more salt) — 57%
Substituted ingredients (animal products, wheat) — 55%
Added more ingredients — 52%
Cooking/baking time — 47%
Removed ingredients — 45%

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