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Who’s cooking tonight? New survey shows how Americans’ habits rank worldwide

home cooking worldwide survey world map made of food
Africa Studio/Shutterstock
The joy of cooking may cross international borders, but for certain countries more so than others, a new study finds.

Market and consumer research organization GfK queried over 27,000 people aged 15 and up from 22 countries about the amount of time, expertise, and passion they devote to kitchen duty on a weekly basis. Worldwide, those who do cook reportedly spend an average of under six-and-a-half hours per week doing so. It does vary by gender, with women claiming to log in over seven-and-a-half hours per week, compared to five for men.

So where does home cooking really sizzle? Topping the charts for busiest cooking lives are India and Ukraine, where people spend more than 13 hours weekly on home cooking, while South Africans put in nine-and-a-half hours. Indonesians devote over eight hours, followed by Italians with seven hours.

The U.S. hovers around the middle at 5.9 hours, putting in more time than Mexico, Sweden, France, and Germany. South Koreans clock in last at fewer than four hours, maybe because it’s easy to grab a bite at low-priced food carts. Or maybe it’s because they just really don’t like cooking: Only 13 percent said they do so for fun at least once a week.

GFK Home Cooking Survey Infographic

Poland, Sweden, Belgium, and Russia also ranked low for cooking zest. On the flip side, Turkey comes in seventh place to tie the U.S. when it comes to enjoying cooking chores, and Italians, Mexicans, and South Africans have the highest percentage of cooking enthusiasts. And it’s not just those who know what they’re doing who love to chop and simmer. Just 29 percent of those surveyed claim to have great knowledge and experience in the kitchen. South Africa and India coming out on top, where around half of people claim to have this trait.

Keep all this in mind the next time you invite yourself to dinner while traveling abroad.

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