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1 In 4 Americans Intimidated By Cooking, Seek Help From Household Members: Poll

International recipes and complex steps deter Americans from cooking, reveals study commissioned by Fresh Express.

One in four Americans admit they’re intimidated by cooking in their own kitchen.

A poll of 2,000 U.S. adults who regularly cook found nearly one-third (29%) are so overwhelmed by some recipes they’ll ask others in their household to prepare the meal instead.

Six in 10 found themselves intimidated the most by international foods they love due to recipes that have too many steps or ingredients involved (45%), seem too complicated (42%) or are easy to mess up (32%).

Forty-three percent admitted to even making the simplest recipes unnecessarily complicated.

Commissioned by Fresh Express and conducted by OnePoll, the study revealed the most popular nations producing beloved international dishes are Mexico (36%), Italy (32%) and China (25%).

Meanwhile, many respondents shared their favorite international dishes they love to eat, but fear making at home: pasta from scratch (34%), Beef Wellington (33%), sushi (27%), enchiladas (25%) and pad thai (25%).

Similarly, respondents said if they could learn to perfect just one international dish, they would choose pasta from scratch (27%), enchiladas (27%) or tacos (24%).

When it comes to exploring in the kitchen, 69% agreed they would be more likely to make international-inspired dishes at home if they were easier to make and 48% said they feel like professional chefs whenever they use international ingredients in their cooking.

Grilled eggplant during the Taste of Asia Food Festival in Markham, Ontario, Canada, on June 24, 2023.One in four Americans admit they’re intimidated by cooking in their own kitchen. PHOTO BY CREATIVE TOUCH IMAGING LTD/GETTY IMAGES 


France was named the “crème de la crème” for its desserts (26%) and Ethiopia creates the best snack foods (21%). Mexico dominated the early-in-the-day foods, named the favorite for breakfast (28%), lunch (34%) and appetizers (29%).

Over half (57%) said they like using international ingredients in recipes they’re already familiar with for better-tasting dishes — but, if given the choice to add any three ingredients or spices to make any dish taste better, they would choose garlic (58%), cheese (46%) and bacon (39%).

In addition to adding ingredients, 62% look for cooking shortcuts when trying new recipes. The top sources for time-saving inspiration for them were YouTube (53%), cookbooks (44%), online articles (39%), family members (38%), friends (32%) and TikTok (29%).

“While trying out new recipes is one of the many joys of cooking, incorporating international flavors into dishes is often easier that one might think – especially if you know where to start,” said John Wadsworth, Director of Product Development at Fresh Express. “We hope to empower people in the kitchen with convenient and consistently fresh salads that incorporate the ingredients people love, making it easier than ever to explore the flavors of the world, right at home.”


Produced in association with SWNS Research

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