Different countries have different kitchens

March 22Kitchen
Our way of living is shaped by the different cultures we inhabit all over the world. Every continent and every country has its own solutions to typical challenges. But the kitchen is where you see this most clearly. Blum requirements research took a closer look at the differences.

Tailored to international requirements

The requirements research team investigates how kitchens and furniture are used all over the world. The department is a fundamental part of Blum and has carried out 681 observations in 33 different countries to date. The department's findings allow the company to develop products and services that are tailored to international markets.

We can only develop the right solutions for kitchen furniture if we know what users want – in markets across the globe.

Dry and wet kitchen

Oils used in Asian cookery are incredibly important and used liberally. This causes airborne grease and odours. That is why some households have two separate kitchens. Guests are invited to the dry kitchen, but the heavy cooking and frying takes place in the wet kitchen.

People around the world have different approaches to preparing dishes and designing kitchens.

By hand or machine

In many countries, for example Finland or Russia, washing up is usually done by hand. These kitchens have a cabinet with a built-in dish rack mounted above the sink. Dishes drip dry out of sight.

Drip-dry cabinets are usually found right above the sink. Maiju Gebhard developed the concept in Finland, but it's become very popular in other countries as well.

Masala or merlot

Herbs and spices are essential to Indian cuisine. No Indian cook could do without a spice box (masala dabba). By contrast, top priority is given to the storage of wine in France. Preferably in a wine cabinet (armoire à vin) right next to the practical pull-out for baguettes.

Pairing the right wine with the right food is a must in countries like France and Italy. Special attention is also paid to its storage.

Bake or steam

Europeans will usually have a hard time finding an oven in a Chinese kitchen. Bamboo or stainless steel steamers are used instead. By contrast, North American kitchens are equipped with very big ovens so that families can cook whole turkeys for Thanksgiving.

Everything revolves around the oven in European kitchens – but they're not always as common in other countries.

Gas, grill or electric

The advantages of a gas stove are appreciated in Asia and France. In Germany, however, people prefer electric cookers with easy-to-clean ceramic or induction hobs. In Ghana, despite modern kitchens, some dishes are traditionally prepared outdoors on a charcoal grill.

People in Asia and France like cooking on a gas stove, as this gives a more precise temperature than, say, a ceramic hob.

Fresh or food stocks

While people in Asia typically buy fresh produce at the market almost daily, Europeans like to stock up for a week or so. This has an impact on their storage space requirements in the kitchen. The most spacious pantries can be found in Australia and New Zealand, where people are likely to shop less frequently because of the distances they have to travel.

Supplies are usually stored in a dedicated pantry, which can be elegantly hidden behind an inward opening door. By swapping the hinge and mounting plate positions of the hinges, the doors integrate into the kitchen front.

Large larger units such as SPACE TOWER are perfect if you don't have a pantry to store supplies. These solutions are especially popular in urban areas where small homes generally don't have space for pantries.

Take-away and street food are becoming increasingly popular around the world. People who simply use their kitchen as a place for serving food can make sure any evidence is swiftly hidden away behind the REVEGO pocket system.

Minimum or maximum

Kitchens in China often have a minimalist design because they have to fit into a small footprint. In other countries such as South Africa, kitchens of up to 50 square metres are not uncommon. They are the place where family and friends gather.

Ruby Ha's kitchen in Hong Kong measures 5 square metres – right on par with the city's average kitchen size of 3-5 square metres.

Kimchi or crushed ice

Kimchi is a Korean national dish. Koreans are so keen on the food that they might splash out on a special kimchi fridge. Talking about chilling appliances, XL freestanding refrigerators with ice and water dispensers are characteristic of the USA.

Kitchens are very different around the world, but eating together is something every culture shares.

Differences at a glance:

Some homes in Asia have both a dry and a wet kitchen.

You'll sometimes find special furnishings such as the drip-dry cabinet in Finland, a special spice box (masala dabba) in India or a dedicated wine cabinet (armoire à vin) in France.

Kitchens in China tend to have a steam cooker made of bamboo or stainless steel rather than an oven.

Gas stoves are the top choice in Asia and France, Germans prefer electric hobs, and people in Ghana traditionally cook on a charcoal grill.

Buying everything fresh at the market is common in Asia while Europeans prefer to stock up on supplies, and Australia and New Zealand are home to the most spacious pantries.

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