• Hinton Magazine

Professor Green & AJ Odudu on food, culture and their newly discovered heritage


YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT: NEW DNA BASED DINNER 

  • Half the nation would be more excited to try new flavours if they could connect them with their heritage

  • Many wish they had access to recipes from previous generations

  • New DNA dinner kit allows curious cooks to dine with their family tree as part of a new special-edition offering developed with Living DNA and Gousto

Half the nation admit they would feel more excited to try new flavours if they could connect them with their heritage, and a third would like to be able to pass dishes onto future generations. 

New research by Gousto has found that when it comes to dinner time, many people stick with home-grown favourites, with 74% saying they would primarily cook British dishes. Most of the nation rely on cooking the old favourites like bangers and mash, roast dinners and spag bol... but wish they were more adventurous with what they eat and cook. 

With half wishing they had an old family recipe passed down to them, so they could recreate the food their grandparents used to make for them.  

The findings come as Gousto, launch a new dining experience called DNA Dishes, for Brits to uncover their hidden heritage, and discover new dishes and recipe inspiration based on the results.  

They have teamed up with genealogy biotech experts Living DNA after 8 in 10 (84%) revealed they are in the dark about their family origins. 

Nearly two thirds (61%) wouldn’t know how to cook dishes from their heritage. While six out of 10 of those surveyed revealed they have fewer than 10 recipes in their cooking repertoire, including sausage and mash and beans on toast.

Curious cooks can sign up for a free at-home DNA Dishes kit at https://dnadishes.com. Taking part is as simple as sending a test swab to Living DNA for expert analysis, with Gousto then dishing-out personalised recipe ideas inspired by your results. 

Daring to dine more adventurously, much to Professor Green’s surprise - as footage reveals - he’s not Scottish or Scandi as he thought, but of French (35%) and Northwest Germanic (20%) descendancy, with a dash of a Irish (12%) in him. 

Commenting on his discoveries, Professor Green said: “I’m genuinely so surprised by my DNA Dishes results; none of my family knew we had French blood in us, or German and Irish. I was convinced I was Scottish, if anything. Finding out I have these connections has definitely made me want to be more experimental with my cooking as I’ve always been a bit of a pizza, pie and mash man, but I now I want to try new dishes from these countries.” 

TV presenter AJ Odudu, who discovered that she has ancestry from Nigeria and Cameroon added: “Both my parents are from polygamous homes so I thought there might be some mysteries in my family history.

I’ve always been certain I’m Nigerian through-and-through, but to find out about my DNA down to my ethnic ancestry is really cool!

“Having never met my grandparents, I now feel like I can connect with them further in some way through the food I cook, and I’m mega excited to get my mum around for dinner to cook some of the new recipes I've learnt.”

The latest innovation from Gousto was created to help people connect with family through food after research revealed that half of the nation only know their origins as far back as two generations, and nearly two thirds (61%) of respondents wouldn’t know how to cook dishes from their heritage. 

Kathryn Huxtable, Food Director at Gousto commented: “We’re always looking for new ways to bring variety and inspiration to dinnertime, and this latest innovation gives home cooks a more personalised dining experience, inspiring them with their heritage. Through DNA Dishes we’re hoping to add a sense of meaning and adventure to mealtimes as people discover new dishes with family connections.”

When it comes to dinner time, many people stick with home-grown favourites, with 74% saying they normally cook British dishes. Italian cuisine (60%) was the next most popular followed by Chinese cuisine (48%) and Indian meals (47%). 

There are plenty of cuisines left to experience by home cooks, with Ethiopian (71%), Peruvian (69%) and Lebanese (56%) topping the list of dishes never tried before and what better way to experience them.