Stephen Jardine: Let’s not all share and share alike

For professionals and amateur cooks, the internet has been particularly important. Picture: Getty

For professionals and amateur cooks, the internet has been particularly important. Picture: Getty

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One of the great things about cooking is how little it changes down the years.

In a dizzying age of technology, you still chop an onion the way your mum did and her mum did. Yes there is more kitchen kit available but the basic tasks of cutting, frying, stirring and baking remain exactly the same.

That said, one technological development is changing life in the kitchen. For professionals and amateur cooks, the internet has been particularly important. Nowadays the ultimate recipe for banana soufflé is just a mouse-click away.

It’s said more images have been captured in the past year than in all the years since photography developed. I’m guessing a fair few of them will be food shots.

Schoolgirl Martha Payne showed the power of the food blog when she captured images of her school meals in Argyll and overnight became an internet sensation.

Chefs love social media. In a busy industry with long hours, it is an easy way for them to keep in touch with each other as well as with producers and the public.

I know chefs who use Twitter during service and have even responded to diners posting images and comments from the other side of the kitchen door.

So the internet is an important tool, however, for some people that’s not enough.

When a journalist called last week to ask my views on a new Dutch food website, I thought she was joking.

The idea behind www.thuisafgehaald.nl is that you share a meal with people living nearby through an online system. If you have made too much or can’t be bothered to cook, you post the meal online and people come and collect from you and pay for it.

With 40,000 users in Holland, it is now apparently heading our way. Good luck with that.

In the wake of the horsemeat scandal, we are more concerned than ever about where our food comes from so the idea of eating a meal from some random bloke down the road goes against every instinct.

On the subject of health and hygiene the share-your-meal website recommends keeping a clean kitchen if you are supplying and having a good look to reassure yourself if you are collecting.

But have they washed their hands and is the chicken really fresh or something that has been sitting at the back of the fridge for over a week ?

And in purely practical terms this is aimed at those without the time to cook, how will they find time to search the website, drive to pick it up, making sure they have the exact cost in cash in their pocket ?.

If Holland is the home of “Let’s Share A Meal”, we’re likely to stay the land of “You’ll Have Had Your Tea” for very good reasons.

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