Press release

Italian cuisine named as nations' favourite foreign food, Saga survey finds

Tuesday 11 March 2008

Britain has become a nation of 'Master Chefs', with Italian food being voted as the public's favourite cuisine to cook at home, according to a new survey by Saga.

The survey has found has found that travel to cultural destinations is influencing changing tastes. After visiting a foreign country nearly two-thirds of people (62 per cent) are more inclined to try and make food from that country for themselves at home.

Drawing inspiration from the cuisine they sampled abroad, more than one in three people (37 per cent) claim that Italian was the food they most like to serve up at home. Indian ranked the second favourite food to cook in the kitchen, with 20 per cent of people saying it is their number one choice, followed by 16 per cent saying they prefer to cook Chinese. Thai and French complete the top five, but polling just four per cent and three per cent of the votes respectively.

George Streeter – Executive Chef aboard Saga Ruby said: "One of the many pleasures of cruising is fine dining. I look closely at the itinerary and to try and create a number of dishes that reflect the local cuisine of the places our passengers visit. For this we need to buy fresh ingredients in port and I like to step ashore to do some food shopping, so passengers on a Mediterranean cruise could find themselves savouring an Italian-style lunch or tapas, while Russian dishes often make an appearance on Baltic cruises."

Saga customers will be able to enjoy the flavours of Italy on Saga Ruby's Celebrated Cities of the Mediterranean , which departs from Newcastle on June 12 (or Dover on June 13) 2008. Rome and Florence will be among the cities passengers will have the opportunity of visiting during the 17-night cruise, which also visits Toulon, Barcelona, Lisbon and Vigo. Prices for the cruise start from 2225 per person based on two people sharing a guaranteed main deck inside cabin. Terms and conditions apply.

Price Includes:

• All meals, entertainment and activities on board

• Travel insurance and cancellation cover

• All gratuities on board

• All port taxes

• A full mainland UK travel service including a private car service if you live within 75 miles of Newcastle / Dover for both journeys, first class rail travel, coach travel, or UK connecting flights, or car parking at the port.

-ENDS-

For further details on this and other Saga cruises please call 0800 056 5880 or visit www.saga.co.uk/travel-shop

Please note:

* Saga cruises are for people aged 50 and over. A travelling companion may be aged 40 or over.

* All prices quoted are subject to availability and are the lowest available at time of going to press

* Saga cruises are available direct and through branches of Thomas Cook

Fact Sheet

After visiting a foreign country are you more inclined to try and make food from that country yourself at home?

Region

Yes (%)

No (%)

Not applicable

East

55.7

28.3

16

London

67

25

8

Midlands

60.4

25.7

13.9

North East

53.1

32.7

14.3

North West

65.3

19.5

15.3

Northern Ireland

50

41.7

8.3

Scotland

57.5

31

11.5

South East

66.5

25.3

8.2

South West

62.8

23.3

14

Wales

69

23.8

7.1

Yorkshire

60.5

27.2

12.3

Nationwide, the full top five list of foreign cuisine to cook at home is follows:

• No. 1 is Italian 37%

• No. 2 Indian 20%

• No. 3 Chinese 16%

• No. 4 Thai 4%

• No. 5 French 3%

Regional table

Region

No.1 (%)

No.2

No.3

No.4

No.5

East

Italy (46.2)

Indian (14.2)

Chinese (13.2)

Thai (3.8)

French (3.8)

London

Italy (49.1)

Indian (13.4)

Chinese (12.5)

Thai (8)

French (0.9)

Midlands

Italy (30.6)

Indian (26.4)

Chinese (14.6)

Thai (5.6)

French (5.6)

NE

Italy (30.6)

Chinese (30.6)

Indian (22.4)

French (2)

Spain (2)

NW

Italy (28.8)

Indian (22.9)

Chinese (19.5)

Thai (2.5)

French (2.5)

N Ire.

Italy (50.0)

Chinese (25.0)

Indian (8.3)

Spain (8.3)

N/A

Scotland

Italy (42.5)

Chinese (13.8)

Indian (12.6)

Thai (3.4)

French (3.4)

SE

Italy (26.6)

Indian (25.3)

Chinese (15.8)

Thai (6.3)

French (4.4)

SW

Italy (20.2)

Indian (20.2)

Chinese (17.1)

French (3.9)

Thai (3.1)

Wales

Italy (28.6)

Chinese (23.8)

Indian (21.4)

Thai (4.8)

French (2.4)

Yorks

Italy (42.0)

Chinese (18.5)

Indian (13.6)

Thai (2.5)

Spain (2.5)

Over 50s:

Among those aged between 50 and 64, Italian is the favourite foreign food to cook at home at 28 per cent compared to 46 per cent of 16-24 year olds who nominate it as their top choice.

Gender split:

The survey found that while Italian cuisine is the overall favourite, it is significantly more popular among women than men, with 42 per cent of females voting it their top choice compared to 28 per cent of males. Indian cuisine meanwhile ranks more favourably among men than women, 25 per cent of men claiming it is their favourite compared to 17 per cent of women.

* Research conducted online by Tickbox.net on behalf of Saga amongst 1,038 UK adults (aged 18 )

For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771118.

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