Don't forget cooking is an ingredient

“People are very used to cooking,” and want to feel productive and make something, but say they don’t have the time. “They always say they wish they could cook more but feel like they don’t have the time for it.”

Munchery CEO and co-founder Tri Tran told TechCrunch in a blog post today on Munchery’s new service to provide ingredients and recipes delivery in addition to their pre-made meal service.

I hate to be this guy, but come on, there’s more to it than that.

I’m not criticising Munchery’s service, in fact it’s a fantastic idea, particularly for couples or families looking to do something together around food that’s more than picking up takeout. People do want the experience of cooking, and the service takes the overhead out of shopping and specifically choosing what to eat from the endless options at the grocery store. Or as Munchery calls it - the “so-called grocery market.” Who says that? Were grocery stores somehow a contentious topic? Does pushing against competitors require political devaluation? Anyhow...

Plus people don’t seem to know how to portion things like onions and rice if they don’t cook a lot. And that’s really the trouble with this service - most folks don’t know how to cook well, particularly when stacked against other competitors.

This is essentially take out at the end of the day, and an expense in money and time with reduced service. Flavor from the raw vegetables / grains / proteins aren’t the only ingredients. Your teriyaki down the street tastes so damn good because the cook there has grilled more chickens that people he’s met in life, and the grill itself, charred with the flesh of thousands of thin chicken breasts, isn’t something you can whip out for date night.

Damn - generally people don’t even know how to brown meat. I’m not trying to be a critical, it’s  true, check your meat the next time you pan fry something. The recommended heat and fry times from your Munchery bag aren’t gonna help much either unless you have the test kitchen the recipe was prepared in.

Part of the reason people don’t have time to cook is typically because they don’t know how to cook effectively. So unfortunately there’s gonna be some disappointment. After all, a home cooked is more than take-out deconstructed.