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digitalimpression's avatar

What factors led to the current state of cookware in different parts of the world?

Asked by digitalimpression (9895 points ) April 30th, 2012

Stupid question #1
E.G. American cookware does have a little of everything.. but for the most part it (in the average American home) consists of standard pots, pans, and sheets.

Other countries use things like Woks and other such open bowled cookware, sticks, stones, and all sorts of other things.

What led to this “split” in technological advance? Has tradition led people to retain their current style of cookware? What’s going on with it now? Will it change for us in the future?

Not only the cookware itself, but cooking methods are similar in regional/localized areas. What’s the deal? This is the kind of thing I think about while cooking…..

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6 Answers

rooeytoo's avatar

The type of cookwear depends on the type of cooking. Asian cooking is usually quickly stir fried so the wok in the tool of choice. Indian cooking involves a lot more slower cooked meals so deep covered containers are used. Moroccans use those clay pots with the chimney on top.

So yes I would say tradition plays a large part in the type of cookwear used.

blueiiznh's avatar

It’s all about what you are cooking and what is the best tool to do the job.
So like @rooeytoo states above , it lends itself to the cuisine of the region. My kitchen is full of various tools that are used based on what I am preparing.

CWOTUS's avatar

I have four different kinds of can opener in my kitchen.

thorninmud's avatar

One major factor to consider is how deeply one’s cultural identity is tied into the cuisine of that culture. That matters because it creates a certain resistance to change in the cuisine. And the impetus for change in the cuisine will, in turn, drive the adoption of new cookware.

There are cultures in which a particular cuisine is so interwoven with the sense of what it means to be, say Breton, or Basque, or Bengal that those cuisines will have a marked inertia. The tools needed to create this particular cuisine (having evolved in parallel with that cuisine) will tend to participate in that inertia. The tools themselves come to have cultural significance.

In other cultures—and I offer America as a prime example—there is virtually no cultural identification with any particular cuisine. Because we don’t see changes to our food as messing with our idea of who we are as a people, we have no problem with shaking it all up. We’ll try anything. Put a new kitchen tool out on the market, and we snap it up because it opens up new avenues for experimentation and exploration.

janbb's avatar

@thorny Have I told you lately that I love you – even when you’re not being snarky?

thorninmud's avatar

@janbb Oh, maybe once or twice :)

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