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Once ‘exotic’ foods now family staples – because of mum

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Modern mums are more adventurous with their family meals than their mothers ever were, new research has shown. The study of 2,000 mums found eight in ten were raised on a staple of British classics such as Shepherd’s Pie, Roast Lamb and Toad in the Hole with food from overseas a rarity.

Nearly half of mums said that international food was deemed too ‘exotic’ or a luxury when they were a child, and just one in six can remember eating international dishes such as stir fries or curries growing up.

But now, three quarters regularly dish up curry for their youngest child and one in five say their kids relish meals like lamb tagine, moussaka and stir-fry.

While nine in ten mums said they serve-up dishes for the family from all over the world every week.

Only 4% of the mums who took part in the survey said internationally inspired cuisine was NOT a regular part of their family’s diet.

The study into the changing face of eating habits commissioned by Simply beef and lamb also revealed that, despite this shift, mums continue to have an appetite for international recipe inspiration.

Nearly two thirds of families regularly eat noodle-based dishes or meals from across the continents for their evening meal.

Chef Mark Sargeant, who is working alongside Simply beef and lamb said:

“It’s great to see that as a country our palates are constantly developing and that children are as happy to try a bit of Moroccan lamb or curry as they are to eat traditional British classics.

“With Easter just around the corner, and with spring lamb the meat of the season, it’s the perfect opportunity to try out some of our favourite international dishes.

“Research shows that lamb is a popular choice of ingredient and as it can be found in recipes from every continent, it’s readily available in any supermarket or butcher shop and holds flavour beautifully.”

The dramatic shift in our eating habits has been inspired by an ever-connected world, with holidays abroad and increased availability and pricing of global foods cited among the main reasons cited for our changing palates.

As our exposure to international flavours and the availability of international food increases, 83% encourage their family to try as many different dishes as possible.