Is it normal that i think cooking from scratch tastes better?

When I cook things from scratch, I think it tastes way better, so for example when I am cooking something like a curry it tastes better than those same old tasting things you get in restaurants or when I create ice cream from scratch I personally thought it tasted better than ones you find in a local supermarket. Maybe I am weird but I just think takeaway food is just meh now, perhaps I haven't been able to find good ones but I know its besides the point. All I'm trying to say is cooking food from scratch is better for me.

Is It Normal?
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  • Have you tried making cakes and frosting from scratch? It tastes waaaay better than boxed cake mix and store bought cake. 😋

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  • I make almost everything my family eats from scratch - I even bake all of our bread and make our preserves.

    It's much nicer than anything that you buy, because it's all fresh and made exactly to your own tastes. Once you realise this it is hard to go back to to store bought shite.

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  • I home cook from scratch virtually all of my meals due to a long list of food allergies.

    Yes, in almost all cases home cooking from scratch tastes better.

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  • I feel that this is very normal!

    When it comes to restaurant food, I think it probably depends on the restaurant since a high quality one can definitely make some great made-from-scratch food that is hard to recreate, but if you're going by the typical chain restaurants or takeaway type places, made from scratch is almost always much better.

    I have honestly never really cared for store-bought ice cream that much, even Ben & Jerry's, which seems to be very popular. It just never has great flavor to me compared to homemade or from a good ice cream parlor.

    To be honest, it is really hard for anything pre-made or at least made with pre-made ingredients to compete with something made completely from scratch.

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  • It's all about freshness of the product, how clean the equipment and how skilled the cook.

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  • its okay but its a pain in the ass and produce rots so fuckin quick and everythin i cook kinda ends up tastin the same to me

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  • The problem with most restaurants, even places like cracker barrel now (they used to cook from scratch everything) is they use so many chemicals and additives and whatever to keep their ingredients/dishes from spoiling too fast

    I watched a video where someone made taco bell nacho cheese and mixed things I remember from chemistry class! And it looked *identical* to taco bell's, down to that unnatural looking drip and yellowness

    When you cook at home, you're incorporating much less unnecessary chemicals, so it tastes more natural, which no matter how advanced we are we're still primates/animals/mammals; natural is always gonna trump fake when it comes to food, in taste, in how savory and hearty it is, in how revitalizing it feels to digest, in how nourished you'll be

    You can really notice what I'm saying if you eat McDonald's one night then cook yourself a stew in a crock pot the next

    All fake food is good for is the experience of chewing it

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    • We went to McDonald's a couple of months ago because a busy afternoon and early evening meant we'd be getting home late, and neither I nor my wife were in the mood to cook.

      When we'd finished, my twelve-year-old daughter commented that she liked to eat at McDonald's now and then because it reminded her of how much better the food we make for her is. It's possible she was flattering us, but since she always takes quite a while to finish a McDonald's meal, I'm pretty sure she doesn't hugely enjoy them.

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      • Aww that's crazy, it reminds me about a guy who wrote about eating Vienna sausages to be humble about where he came from

        Your daughter's gonna grow up to be like a philosopher ✌

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  • Generally speaking, I agree. However, I've never been able to replicate the dishes I get in a _good_ Indian, Thai or Chinese restaurant. I can do a halfway decent job and others say they enjoy the result, but they never seem quite as good to me. Maybe there's something ingrained in the restaurant cooks that I'm missing because I didn't grow up eating that style of food. Or maybe it's simply because I don't cook those dishes constantly and so I haven't had enough practice to get them just right.

    One thing I can do pretty well is pizza. Even though it's really pretty simple, it took me literally months of experimenting with different ingredients and techniques to get it right. I also had to buy an Italian counter-top electric pizza oven along with wooden and metal peels to get a decent base and crust. It's not the same as what you'd get from a wood-fired oven, but the little oven gets up to much higher temperatures than any ordinary domestic oven, and a pizza cooks in about three minutes.

    When you cook food for yourself, you know the ingredients are good quality and fresh, and you can adjust the flavourings to suit yourself. All restaurants work on very tight margins, so there's always a temptation to cut corners with the ingredients. And a lot of prepared food tends to go heavy on salt, sugar and fats because that's a cheap way to increase its appeal to the majority of people. One thing I've noticed after eating a McDonald's meal, for example, is that while it doesn't taste extraordinarily salty while I'm eating it, I'm always very thirsty for hours afterwards.

    Finally, there is something satisfying about cooking things from scratch, particularly if you share the meal with someone else and they appreciate it and the time, effort and skill you put into it.

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    • Some tricks with dough, if I can type it accurately, is roll back as much as you push down when starting with your "edge lock" or when you first start to create your crust

      Next, which took me about 6 months to perfect, is when you're stretching the dough, keep one hand still while putting all the work into spinning/stretching it with your dominant hand, allowing that edge lock you just created to curl over your finger tips as you do so

      Doing those two things well yields a consistently thick and smooth crust, as well as even thickness throughout the pizza, preventing floppy slices

      Do you ever spin the dough on your hands? It looks like an upside down flower or a skirt twirling round

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      • Homemade pizza is yummy, heck I might even cook that with my support worker.

        - OP

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      • I don't spin; I've read some justifications for that technique that make a little sense, but it's always seemed to me mainly a show-off move. I put it in the same category as bartenders casually flipping bottles and juggling cocktail ingredients.

        I do all the dough stretching with my (well floured) hands: pressing it between my palms to flatten it, working it around to start to thin it, and then stretching it over my knuckles until the dough inside the cornicione is translucent. One of the things I don't like about pizza from Dominos and other chains is that the bottom of the crust is so crunchy. From what I've observed, that's because they stretch on a worksurface that's covered with loads of what looks to be cornmeal. I use a light dusting of coarse semolina (don't know if that term is widely used in the USA, but that's what a Brit would call Cream of Wheat) on the wooden peel so the assembled pizza slides off onto the floor of the oven, but the only crunch from the underside of the pizza is from the crust that's formed after resting on ceramic that's at around 350°C for a few minutes.

        I've tried to teach my daughter this technique, but she finds it very difficult, and not just due to a lack of practice. I'm a fairly big guy with hands in proportion, and I'm sure that makes the whole process easier for me than it would be for someone with smaller hands.

        After all the messing around that I mentioned in my first response, I came to the conclusion that the flour you use is a crucial factor. High protein content is important, but you get noticeably different results from bread flours that claim to have the same protein content. I have no idea why that is. Possibly it's something to do with small variations in the size of the flour grains. At the moment, I'm working my way through a 25kg bag of 12.5% protein flour from a mill near Naples. As you'd expect, that works well, but I also had good results with Lidl's white bread flour, which is produced in Germany.

        As far as I'm concerned, you're never going to get a decent pizza from a normal domestic oven. A stone helps, but the temperature never gets high enough to blast the pizza with enough heat. The countertop oven I use is this one: https://smile.amazon.co.uk/G3-Ferrari-G10032-1pizza-Manufacturer-Pizza-390-%C2%B0C/dp/B00YRY8UJ8/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3LA471QVZF479&dchild=1&keywords=ferrari+pizza+oven&qid=1602929348&sprefix=ferrari+pi%2Caps%2C150&sr=8-1

        It has served me well for years now. There are other companies producing similar, but I'd suggest reading the Amazon reviews closely if you're interested in upping your pizza game by investing in one. Some of the ovens are clearly pretty crap.

        As far as making the dough is concerned, I cheat without feeling any shame. I use a Panasonic bread machine's pizza dough setting, and after I dump all the ingredients in, the dough is ready in 45 minutes. I form the balls, let them rest for another 45 minutes, then start assembling pizzas. So it's less than two hours from starting the process to eating, and almost all of that time involves no effort at all. It's obviously more work than buying a chilled or frozen pizza from a supermarket and baking it, but the results are vastly better in every way. In terms of cost, it's hugely cheaper than any decent prepared pizza or the overloaded slabs of chewy dough and salty, saturated fats that you get from a pizza chain, plus you know exactly what you're eating.

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        • We call it "dustinator" lol, after about 30 orders it starts to feel like the grain from sand paper, but when it's fresh it feels like smaller beach sand

          What might work better for your daughter is to, we call it slapping the dough out; especially with my edge lock technique, most of the thickness is left in the center, and it's easier to slap the dough in the middle than going for specific points you'd have to account for, these two facts make it easier slap dough, which is to hold the dough skin and throw it between your hands forming an infinity insignia

          I say it might work better for your daughter because she'd be using centripical force to her advantage, she wouldn't need muscle strength, and she's like 7 or 9 right? She probably has the motor skills to do it, and reinforces critical thinking

          You know I truly envy the people who can make bread, pasta, and even dough balls. Like I splurge on Italian penne, but that usually means moths, but that's just because it's like impossible for it not to happen while being shipped here, or so I've been told. I bet the stuff you make tastes so much more fresh

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