It's no surprise that the culinary world has changed substantially during the lockdowns.
For one thing, a lot of people are coping on reduced incomes, and for another, we have much more time on our hands and no opportunity to eat out. This adds up to a lot of home cooking, and different home cooking from the posh foodie stuff that dominated Instagram a few months ago, leading to predictions that "Foodie Culture As We Know It Is Over".
("At an end, your rule is. And not short enough it was.")
The question for most is no longer, "How do I produce food porn and get likes?" It's, "How do I make these dry pantry ingredients taste good?"
Fortunately, this is a question human cultures around the globe have been wrestling with for quite a while. We don't have to reinvent the wheel. For that reason, several of these channels are historical cooking channels. You can learn something about the past and nick their recipes at the same time.
Still the most underrated channel despite delicious recipes, excellent research and prolific content, this is the home of ancient Roman and medieval Italian cuisine. From Roman feast to medieval peasant, there's a recipe for every circumstance, and you will be very surprised by the range of ingredients available to Italy in the past.
But even more valuable are the cooking methods that we can experiment with using whatever ingredients we have on hand. The results are often not camera-friendly, but they are always tasty. Did you know that pesto is just the modern survivor of a vast family of nut-herb-spice sauces that dates back to Roman times?
Here are just a few of the simple recipes on our to-do list:
Moretum - Roman Herb and Garlic Cream Cheese
Sweet Spelt - Ancient Roman Dessert
Lentils and Mustard Greens
We move from Italy to early modern America. Townsends brings us a vast number of recipes from the cookbooks of the time, along with reenacting knowledge and projects like building log cabins and dugout canoes and trips to historical sites.
Again, there are recipes for every occasion and budget, and plenty of inspiration for the creative chef. From the versatile boiled pudding to homemade mushroom ketchup, there are plenty of techniques we've allowed to drift out of mainstream cookery. Our pantry is never without the time period's favourite spice - nutmeg!
Here are a few examples of recipes on a budget.
Cooked Spinach with Pine Nuts
The only documentary channel on the list with multiple series, it will take you through traditional cooking and food preparation, including family recipes, from rural Europe to the busy traditional markets of Asia. For German speakers, there are plenty of documentaries in German. You will discover recipes you never imagined or thought possible.
Lech Valley - Herbal Cooking and Tyrolean Cuisine
4. Mark Wiens
Mark travels the world to bring the kind of cuisine you would never know where to look for - needless to say, he's already hugely viral. If you don't have anywhere to dig a pit oven, don't worry - you can substitute.
Some of you may be thinking that French cuisine and austerity don't mix, but you'd only be half right. The extravagant cooking that came out of the Versailles kitchens is only part of the story - there are plenty of simple and delicious recipes enjoyed by those who are not wealthy.
Lentils a la Dijonnaise