Cooking

Cooking or cookery is the art, technology, science and craft of preparing food for consumption. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely across the world, from grilling food over an open fire to using electric stoves, to baking in various types of ovens, reflecting unique environmental, economic, and cultural traditions and trends. The ways or types of cooking also depend on the skill and type of training an individual cook has. Cooking is done both by people in their own dwellings and by professional cooks and chefs in restaurants and other food establishments. Cooking can also occur through chemical reactions without the presence of heat, such as in ceviche, a traditional Latin American dish where fish is cooked with the acids in lemon or lime juice.

Preparing food with heat or fire is an activity unique to humans. It may have started around 2 million years ago, though archaeological evidence for it reaches no more than 1 million years ago.[1]

The expansion of agriculture, commerce, trade, and transportation between civilizations in different regions offered cooks many new ingredients. New inventions and technologies, such as the invention of pottery for holding and boiling water, expanded cooking techniques. Some modern cooks apply advanced scientific techniques to food preparation to further enhance the flavor of the dish served.[2]

Agdz-rosino-05
Cooking in a restaurant in Morocco

History

Diorama, cavemen - National Museum of Mongolian History
Homo erectus may have begun cooking food as early as 500,000 years ago.

Phylogenetic analysis suggests that human ancestors may have invented cooking as far back as 1.8 million to 2.3 million years ago.[3] Re-analysis of burnt bone fragments and plant ashes from the Wonderwerk Cave, South Africa, has provided evidence supporting control of fire by early humans there by 1 million years ago.[4] There is evidence that Homo erectus was cooking their food as early as 500,000 years ago.[5] Evidence for the controlled use of fire by Homo erectus beginning some 400,000 years ago has wide scholarly support.[6][7] Archaeological evidence from 300,000 years ago,[8] in the form of ancient hearths, earth ovens, burnt animal bones, and flint, are found across Europe and the Middle East. Anthropologists think that widespread cooking fires began about 250,000 years ago, when hearths started appearing.[9]

Recently, the earliest hearths have been reported to be at least 790,000 years old.[10]

Jean-François Millet (II) 005
Historical oven baking, in a painting by Jean-François Millet, 1854

Communication between the Old World and the New World in the Columbian Exchange influenced the history of cooking. The movement of foods across the Atlantic, from the New World, such as potatoes, tomatoes, maize, beans, bell pepper, chili pepper, vanilla, pumpkin, cassava, avocado, peanut, pecan, cashew, pineapple, blueberry, sunflower, chocolate, gourds, and squash, had a profound effect on Old World cooking. The movement of foods across the Atlantic, from the Old World, such as cattle, sheep, pigs, wheat, oats, barley, rice, apples, pears, peas, chickpeas, green beans, mustard, and carrots, similarly changed New World cooking.[11]

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, food was a classic marker of identity in Europe. In the nineteenth-century "Age of Nationalism" cuisine became a defining symbol of national identity.

The Industrial Revolution brought mass-production, mass-marketing and standardization of food. Factories processed, preserved, canned, and packaged a wide variety of foods, and processed cereals quickly became a defining feature of the American breakfast.[12] In the 1920s, freezing methods, cafeterias and fast food restaurants emerged.

Along with changes in food, starting early in the 20th century, governments have issued nutrition guidelines, leading to the food pyramid[13] (introduced in Sweden in 1974). The 1916 "Food For Young Children" became the first USDA guide to give specific dietary guidelines. Updated in the 1920s, these guides gave shopping suggestions for different-sized families along with a Depression Era revision which included four cost levels. In 1943, the USDA created the "Basic Seven" chart to make sure that people got the recommended nutrients. It included the first-ever Recommended Daily Allowances from the National Academy of Sciences. In 1956, the "Essentials of an Adequate Diet" brought recommendations which cut the number of groups that American school children would learn about down to four. In 1979, a guide called "Food" addressed the link between too much of certain foods and chronic diseases, but added "fats, oils, and sweets" to the four basic food groups.

Ingredients

Most ingredients in cooking are derived from living organisms. Vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts as well as herbs and spices come from plants, while meat, eggs, and dairy products come from animals. Mushrooms and the yeast used in baking are kinds of fungi. Cooks also use water and minerals such as salt. Cooks can also use wine or spirits.

Naturally occurring ingredients contain various amounts of molecules called proteins, carbohydrates and fats. They also contain water and minerals. Cooking involves a manipulation of the chemical properties of these molecules.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates include the common sugar, sucrose (table sugar), a disaccharide, and such simple sugars as glucose (made by enzymatic splitting of sucrose) and fructose (from fruit), and starches from sources such as cereal flour, rice, arrowroot and potato.[14]

The interaction of heat and carbohydrate is complex. Long-chain sugars such as starch tend to break down into simpler sugars when cooked, while simple sugars can form syrups. If sugars are heated so that all water of crystallisation is driven off, then caramelization starts, with the sugar undergoing thermal decomposition with the formation of carbon, and other breakdown products producing caramel. Similarly, the heating of sugars and proteins elicits the Maillard reaction, a basic flavor-enhancing technique.

An emulsion of starch with fat or water can, when gently heated, provide thickening to the dish being cooked. In European cooking, a mixture of butter and flour called a roux is used to thicken liquids to make stews or sauces.[15] In Asian cooking, a similar effect is obtained from a mixture of rice or corn starch and water. These techniques rely on the properties of starches to create simpler mucilaginous saccharides during cooking, which causes the familiar thickening of sauces. This thickening will break down, however, under additional heat.

Fats

Frying doughnuts
Doughnuts frying in oil

Types of fat include vegetable oils, animal products such as butter and lard, as well as fats from grains, including maize and flax oils. Fats are used in a number of ways in cooking and baking. To prepare stir fries, grilled cheese or pancakes, the pan or griddle is often coated with fat or oil. Fats are also used as an ingredient in baked goods such as cookies, cakes and pies. Fats can reach temperatures higher than the boiling point of water, and are often used to conduct high heat to other ingredients, such as in frying, deep frying or sautéing. Fats are used to add flavor to food (e.g., butter or bacon fat), prevent food from sticking to pans and create a desirable texture.

Proteins

Edible animal material, including muscle, offal, milk, eggs and egg whites, contains substantial amounts of protein. Almost all vegetable matter (in particular legumes and seeds) also includes proteins, although generally in smaller amounts. Mushrooms have high protein content. Any of these may be sources of essential amino acids. When proteins are heated they become denatured (unfolded) and change texture. In many cases, this causes the structure of the material to become softer or more friable – meat becomes cooked and is more friable and less flexible. In some cases, proteins can form more rigid structures, such as the coagulation of albumen in egg whites. The formation of a relatively rigid but flexible matrix from egg white provides an important component in baking cakes, and also underpins many desserts based on meringue.

Cuisson des pates
Water is often used to cook foods such as noodles.

Water

Cooking often involves water, frequently present in other liquids, which is both added in order to immerse the substances being cooked (typically water, stock or wine), and released from the foods themselves. A favorite method of adding flavor to dishes is to save the liquid for use in other recipes. Liquids are so important to cooking that the name of the cooking method used is often based on how the liquid is combined with the food, as in steaming, simmering, boiling, braising and blanching. Heating liquid in an open container results in rapidly increased evaporation, which concentrates the remaining flavor and ingredients – this is a critical component of both stewing and sauce making.

Vitamins and minerals

November 15, 2012, The Right Cut (8223639251)
Vegetables contain important vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals are required for normal metabolism but which the body cannot manufacture itself and which must therefore come from external sources. Vitamins come from several sources including fresh fruit and vegetables (Vitamin C), carrots, liver (Vitamin A), cereal bran, bread, liver (B vitamins), fish liver oil (Vitamin D) and fresh green vegetables (Vitamin K). Many minerals are also essential in small quantities including iron, calcium, magnesium, sodium chloride and sulfur; and in very small quantities copper, zinc and selenium. The micronutrients, minerals, and vitamins[16] in fruit and vegetables may be destroyed or eluted by cooking. Vitamin C is especially prone to oxidation during cooking and may be completely destroyed by protracted cooking.[17] The bioavailability of some vitamins such as thiamin, vitamin B6, niacin, folate, and carotenoids are increased with cooking by being freed from the food microstructure.[18] Blanching or steaming vegetables is a way of minimizing vitamin and mineral loss in cooking.

Methods

There are very many methods of cooking, most of which have been known since antiquity. These include baking, roasting, frying, grilling, barbecuing, smoking, boiling, steaming and braising. A more recent innovation is microwaving. Various methods use differing levels of heat and moisture and vary in cooking time. The method chosen greatly affects the end result because some foods are more appropriate to some methods than others. Some major hot cooking techniques include:

Sautee onions and peppers
A cook sautees onions and green peppers in a skillet.
Roasting
RoastingBarbecuingGrilling/BroilingRotisserieSearing
Baking
BakingBaking Blind – Flashbaking
Boiling
BoilingBlanchingBraisingCoddlingDouble steamingInfusionPoachingPressure cookingSimmeringSmotheringSteamingSteepingStewingStone boilingVacuum flask cooking
Frying
FryDeep fryingHot salt fryingHot sand fryingPan fryingPressure fryingSautéingStir frying
Steaming
Steaming works by boiling water continuously, causing it to vaporise into steam; the steam then carries heat to the nearby food, thus cooking the food. By many it is considered a healthy form of cooking, holding nutrients within the vegetable or meat being cooked.
En papillote – The food is put into a pouch and then baked, allowing its own moisture to steam the food.
Smoking
Smoking is the process of flavoring, cooking, or preserving food by exposing it to smoke from burning or smoldering material, most often wood.

Health and safety

Food safety

Cooking can prevent many foodborne illnesses that would otherwise occur if the food is eaten raw. When heat is used in the preparation of food, it can kill or inactivate harmful organisms, such as bacteria and viruses, as well as various parasites such as tapeworms and Toxoplasma gondii. Food poisoning and other illness from uncooked or poorly prepared food may be caused by bacteria such as pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium and Campylobacter, viruses such as noroviruses, and protozoa such as Entamoeba histolytica. Bacteria, viruses and parasites may be introduced through salad, meat that is uncooked or done rare, and unboiled water.[19]

The sterilizing effect of cooking depends on temperature, cooking time, and technique used. Some food spoilage bacteria such as Clostridium botulinum or Bacillus cereus can form spores that survive boiling, which then germinate and regrow after the food has cooled. This makes it unsafe to reheat cooked food more than once.[20]

Cooking increases the digestibility of many foods which are inedible or poisonous when raw. For example, raw cereal grains are hard to digest, while kidney beans are toxic when raw or improperly cooked due to the presence of phytohaemagglutinin, which is inactivated by cooking for at least ten minutes at 100 °C (212 °F).[21]

Food safety depends on the safe preparation, handling, and storage of food. Food spoilage bacteria proliferate in the "Danger zone" temperature range from 40 to 140 °F (4 to 60 °C), food therefore should not be stored in this temperature range. Washing of hands and surfaces, especially when handling different meats, and keeping raw food separate from cooked food to avoid cross-contamination[22], are good practices in food preparation.[23] Foods prepared on plastic cutting boards may be less likely to harbor bacteria than wooden ones.[24][25] Washing and disinfecting cutting boards, especially after use with raw meat, poultry, or seafood, reduces the risk of contamination.[25]

Effects on nutritional content of food

Rawtomatopasta1
A raw tomato sauce with olives, celery, spinach and walnuts on zucchini noodles.

Proponents of raw foodism argue that cooking food increases the risk of some of the detrimental effects on food or health. They point out that during cooking of vegetables and fruit containing vitamin C, the vitamin elutes into the cooking water and becomes degraded through oxidation. Peeling vegetables can also substantially reduce the vitamin C content, especially in the case of potatoes where most vitamin C is in the skin.[26] However, research has shown that in the specific case of carotenoids a greater proportion is absorbed from cooked vegetables than from raw vegetables.[17]

German research in 2003 showed significant benefits in reducing breast cancer risk when large amounts of raw vegetable matter are included in the diet. The authors attribute some of this effect to heat-labile phytonutrients.[27] Sulforaphane, a glucosinolate breakdown product, which may be found in vegetables such as broccoli, has been shown to be protective against prostate cancer, however, much of it is destroyed when the vegetable is boiled.[28][29]

The USDA has studied retention data for 16 vitamins, 8 minerals, and alcohol for approximately 290 foods for various cooking methods.[30]

Carcinogens

BBQ Food
Chicken, pork and bacon-wrapped corn cooking in a barbecue smoker. Barbecuing and smoking generate carcinogens.

In a human epidemiological analysis by Richard Doll and Richard Peto in 1981, diet was estimated to cause a large percentage of cancers.[31] Studies suggest that around 32% of cancer deaths may be avoidable by changes to the diet.[32] Some of these cancers may be caused by carcinogens in food generated during the cooking process, although it is often difficult to identify the specific components in diet that serve to increase cancer risk. Many foods, such as beef steak and broccoli, contain low concentrations of both carcinogens and anticarcinogens.[33]

Several studies published since 1990 indicate that cooking meat at high temperature creates heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which are thought to increase cancer risk in humans. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute found that human subjects who ate beef rare or medium-rare had less than one third the risk of stomach cancer than those who ate beef medium-well or well-done.[34] While avoiding meat or eating meat raw may be the only ways to avoid HCAs in meat fully, the National Cancer Institute states that cooking meat below 212 °F (100 °C) creates "negligible amounts" of HCAs. Also, microwaving meat before cooking may reduce HCAs by 90% by reducing the time needed for the meat to be cooked at high heat.[34] Nitrosamines are found in some food, and may be produced by some cooking processes from proteins or from nitrites used as food preservatives; cured meat such as bacon has been found to be carcinogenic, with links to colon cancer. Ascorbate, which is added to cured meat, however, reduces nitrosamine formation.[33][35]

Research has shown that grilling, barbecuing and smoking meat and fish increases levels of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). In Europe, grilled meat and smoked fish generally only contribute a small proportion of dietary PAH intake since they are a minor component of diet – most intake comes from cereals, oils and fats.[36] However, in the US, grilled/barbecued meat is the second highest contributor of the mean daily intake of a known PAH carcinogen benzo[a]pyrene at 21% after ‘bread, cereal and grain’ at 29%.[36]

Baking, grilling or broiling food, especially starchy foods, until a toasted crust is formed generates significant concentrations of acrylamide, a known carcinogen from animal studies; its potential to cause cancer in humans at normal exposures is uncertain.[37] Public health authorities recommend reducing the risk by avoiding overly browning starchy foods or meats when frying, baking, toasting or roasting them.[37]

Other health issues

Cooking dairy products may reduce a protective effect against colon cancer. Researchers at the University of Toronto suggest that ingesting uncooked or unpasteurized dairy products (see also Raw milk) may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.[38] Mice and rats fed uncooked sucrose, casein, and beef tallow had one-third to one-fifth the incidence of microadenomas as the mice and rats fed the same ingredients cooked.[39][40] This claim, however, is contentious. According to the Food and Drug Administration of the United States, health benefits claimed by raw milk advocates do not exist. "The small quantities of antibodies in milk are not absorbed in the human intestinal tract," says Barbara Ingham, PhD, associate professor and extension food scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "There is no scientific evidence that raw milk contains an anti-arthritis factor or that it enhances resistance to other diseases."[41]

Heating sugars with proteins or fats can produce advanced glycation end products ("glycotoxins").[42]

Deep fried food in restaurants may contain high level of trans fat, which is known to increase levels of low-density lipoprotein that in turn may increase risk of heart diseases and other conditions. However, many fast food chains have now switched to trans-fat-free alternatives for deep-frying.[43]

Scientific aspects

The application of scientific knowledge to cooking and gastronomy has become known as molecular gastronomy. This is a subdiscipline of food science. Important contributions have been made by scientists, chefs and authors such as Herve This (chemist), Nicholas Kurti (physicist), Peter Barham (physicist), Harold McGee (author), Shirley Corriher (biochemist, author), Heston Blumenthal (chef), Ferran Adria (chef), Robert Wolke (chemist, author) and Pierre Gagnaire (chef).[44]

Chemical processes central to cooking include the Maillard reaction – a form of non-enzymatic browning involving an amino acid, a reducing sugar and heat.[45]

Home-cooking and commercial cooking

Küche
A restaurant kitchen in Munich, Germany (Haxnbauer restaurant)

Home cooking has traditionally been a process carried out informally in a home or around a communal fire, and can be enjoyed by all members of the family, although in many cultures women bear primary responsibility.[46] Cooking is also often carried out outside of personal quarters, for example at restaurants, or schools. Bakeries were one of the earliest forms of cooking outside the home, and bakeries in the past often offered the cooking of pots of food provided by their customers as an additional service. In the present day, factory food preparation has become common, with many "ready-to-eat" foods being prepared and cooked in factories and home cooks using a mixture of scratch made, and factory made foods together to make a meal. The nutritional value of including more commercially prepared foods has been found to be inferior to home-made foods.[47] Home-cooked meals tend to be healthier with fewer calories, and less saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium on a per calorie basis while providing more fiber, calcium, and iron.[48] The ingredients are also directly sourced, so there is control over authenticity, taste, and nutritional value. The superior nutritional quality of home-cooking could therefore play a role in preventing chronic disease.[49] Cohort studies following the elderly over 10 years show that adults who cook their own meals have significantly lower mortality, even when controlling for confounding variables.[50]

"Home-cooking" may be associated with comfort food,[51] and some commercially produced foods are presented through advertising or packaging as having been "home-cooked", regardless of their actual origin.

See also

References

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External links

Bacon

Bacon is a type of salt-cured pork. Bacon is prepared from several different cuts of meat, typically from the pork belly or from back cuts, which have less fat than the belly. It is eaten on its own, as a side dish (particularly in breakfasts), or used as a minor ingredient to flavour dishes (e.g., the club sandwich). Bacon is also used for barding and larding roasts, especially game, including venison and pheasant. The word is derived from the Old High German bacho, meaning "buttock", "ham" or "side of bacon", and is cognate with the Old French bacon.

Meat from other animals, such as beef, lamb, chicken, goat, or turkey, may also be cut, cured, or otherwise prepared to resemble bacon, and may even be referred to as, for example, "turkey bacon". Such use is common in areas with significant Jewish and Muslim populations as both religions prohibit the consumption of pork. Vegetarian bacons such as "soy bacon" also exist and attract vegetarians and vegans.

Baking

Baking is a method of preparing food that uses dry heat, normally in an oven, but can also be done in hot ashes, or on hot stones. The most common baked item is bread but many other types of foods are baked. Heat is gradually transferred "from the surface of cakes, cookies, and breads to their center. As heat travels through, it transforms batters and doughs into baked goods and more with a firm dry crust and a softer centre". Baking can be combined with grilling to produce a hybrid barbecue variant by using both methods simultaneously, or one after the other. Baking is related to barbecuing because the concept of the masonry oven is similar to that of a smoke pit.

Because of historical social and familial roles, baking has traditionally been performed at home by women for day-to-day meals and by men in bakeries and restaurants for local consumption. When production was industrialized, baking was automated by machines in large factories. The art of baking remains a fundamental skill and is important for nutrition, as baked goods, especially breads, are a common and important food, both from an economic and cultural point of view. A person who prepares baked goods as a profession is called a baker.

Barbecue

Barbecue or barbeque (informally BBQ or the Australian term barbie) is a cooking method, a style of food, and a name for a meal or gathering at which this style of food is cooked and served.

A barbecue can refer to the cooking method itself, the meat cooked this way, or to a type of social event featuring this type of cooking. Barbecuing is usually done outdoors by smoking meat over wood or charcoal. Restaurant barbecue may be cooked in large, specially-designed brick or metal ovens. Barbecue is practiced in many areas of the world and there are numerous regional variations.

Barbecuing techniques include smoking, roasting or baking, braising and grilling. The technique for which it is named involves cooking using smoke at low temperatures and long cooking times (several hours). Baking uses an oven to convection cook with moderate temperatures for an average cooking time of about an hour. Braising combines direct, dry heat charbroiling on a ribbed surface with a broth-filled pot for moist heat. Grilling is done over direct, dry heat, usually over a hot fire for a few minutes.

Chickpea

The chickpea or chick pea (Cicer arietinum) is an annual legume of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. Its different types are variously known as gram or Bengal gram, garbanzo or garbanzo bean, and Egyptian pea. Chickpea seeds are high in protein. It is one of the earliest cultivated legumes, and 7500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East.Chickpea is a key ingredient in hummus and chana masala, and it can be ground into flour to make falafel. It is also used in salads, soups and stews, curry and other meal products like channa. The chickpea is important in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, and in 2016, India produced 64% of the world's total chickpeas.

Chinese cuisine

Chinese cuisine is an important part of Chinese culture, which includes cuisine originating from the diverse regions of China, as well as from Chinese people in other parts of the world. Because of the Chinese diaspora and historical power of the country, Chinese cuisine has influenced many other cuisines in Asia, with modifications made to cater to local palates. Chinese food staples such as rice, soy sauce, noodles, tea, and tofu, and utensils such as chopsticks and the wok, can now be found worldwide.

The preference for seasoning and cooking techniques of Chinese provinces depend on differences in historical background and ethnic groups. Geographic features including mountains, rivers, forests and deserts also have a strong effect on the local available ingredients, considering that the climate of China varies from tropical in the south to subarctic in the northeast. Imperial, royal and noble preference also plays a role in the change of Chinese cuisines. Because of imperial expansion and trading, ingredients and cooking techniques from other cultures are integrated into Chinese cuisines over time.

The most praised "Four Major Cuisines" are Chuan, Lu, Yue and Huaiyang, representing West, North, South and East China cuisine correspondingly. The modern "Eight Cuisines" of China are Anhui (徽菜 Huīcài), Cantonese (粤菜; Yuècài), Fujian (闽菜; Mǐncài), Hunan (湘菜; Xiāngcài), Jiangsu (苏菜; Sūcài), Shandong (鲁菜; Lǔcài), Sichuan (川菜; Chuāncài), and Zhejiang (浙菜; Zhècài) cuisines.Color, smell and taste are the three traditional aspects used to describe Chinese food, as well as the meaning, appearance and nutrition of the food. Cooking should be appraised with respect to the ingredients used, knifework, cooking time and seasoning.

Cooking banana

Cooking bananas are banana cultivars in the genus Musa whose fruits are generally used in cooking. They may be eaten ripe or unripe and are generally starchy. Many cooking bananas are referred to as plantains ( US: , UK: ) or green bananas, although not all of them are true plantains. Bananas are treated as a starchy fruit with a relatively neutral flavour and soft texture when cooked. Bananas fruit all year round, making them a reliable all-season staple food.

Cooking bananas are a major food staple in West and Central Africa, the Caribbean islands, Central America, and northern, coastal parts of South America. Members of the genus Musa are indigenous to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia and Oceania, including the Malay Archipelago (modern Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines) and Northern Australia. Africa is considered a second centre of diversity for Musa cultivars: West Africa for some plantains and the central highlands for East African Highland bananas (Musa AAA-EAHB; known as matoke in Uganda), most of which are cooked, although some are primarily used to make beer.

The term "plantain" is loosely applied to any banana cultivar that is usually cooked before it is eaten. However, there is no botanical distinction between bananas and plantains. Cooking is also a matter of custom, rather than necessity, for many bananas. In fact, ripe plantains can be eaten raw since their starches are converted to sugars. In some countries, where only a few cultivars of banana are consumed, there may be a clear distinction between plantains and bananas. In other countries, where many cultivars are consumed, there is no distinction in the common names used.In botanical usage, the term "plantain" is used only for true plantains, while other starchy cultivars used for cooking are called "cooking bananas". All modern true plantains have three sets of chromosomes (i.e. they are triploid). Many are hybrids derived from the cross of two wild species, Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. The currently accepted scientific name for all such crosses is Musa × paradisiaca. Using Simmonds and Shepherds' 1955 genome-based nomenclature system, cultivars which are cooked often belong to the AAB Group, although some (e.g. the East African Highland bananas) belong to the AAA Group, and others (e.g. Saba bananas) belong to the ABB Group.

Fe'i bananas (Musa × troglodytarum) from the Pacific Islands are often eaten roasted or boiled, and thus informally referred to as "mountain plantains." However, they do not belong to either of the two species that all modern banana cultivars are descended from.

Cooking oil

Cooking oil is plant, animal, or synthetic fat used in frying, baking, and other types of cooking. It is also used in food preparation and flavouring not involving heat, such as salad dressings and bread dips, and in this sense might be more accurately termed edible oil.

Cooking oil is typically a liquid at room temperature, although some oils that contain saturated fat, such as coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil are solid.There is a wide variety of cooking oils from plant sources such as olive oil, palm oil, soybean oil, canola oil (rapeseed oil), corn oil, peanut oil and other vegetable oils, as well as animal-based oils like butter and lard.

Oil can be flavoured with aromatic foodstuffs such as herbs, chillies or garlic.

English cuisine

English cuisine encompasses the cooking styles, traditions and recipes associated with England. It has distinctive attributes of its own, but also shares much with wider British cuisine, partly through the importation of ingredients and ideas from the Americas, China, and India during the time of the British Empire and as a result of post-war immigration.

Some traditional meals, such as bread and cheese, roasted and stewed meats, meat and game pies, boiled vegetables and broths, and freshwater and saltwater fish have ancient origins. The 14th-century English cookbook, the Forme of Cury, contains recipes for these, and dates from the royal court of Richard II.

English cooking has been influenced by foreign ingredients and cooking styles since the Middle Ages. Curry was introduced from the Indian subcontinent and adapted to English tastes from the eighteenth century with Hannah Glasse's recipe for chicken "currey". French cuisine influenced English recipes throughout the Victorian era. After the rationing of the Second World War, Elizabeth David's 1950 A Book of Mediterranean Food had wide influence, bringing Italian cuisine to English homes. Her success encouraged other cookery writers to describe other styles, including Chinese and Thai cuisine. England continues to absorb culinary ideas from all over the world.

Grilling

Grilling is a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of food, commonly from above or below. Grilling usually involves a significant amount of direct, radiant heat, and tends to be used for cooking meat and vegetables quickly. Food to be grilled is cooked on a grill (an open wire grid such as a gridiron with a heat source above or below), a grill pan (similar to a frying pan, but with raised ridges to mimic the wires of an open grill), or griddle (a flat plate heated from below).Heat transfer to the food when using a grill is primarily through thermal radiation. Heat transfer when using a grill pan or griddle is by direct conduction. In the United States, when the heat source for grilling comes from above, grilling is called broiling. In this case, the pan that holds the food is called a broiler pan, and heat transfer is through thermal radiation.

Direct heat grilling can expose food to temperatures often in excess of 260 °C (500 °F). Grilled meat acquires a distinctive roast aroma and flavor from a chemical process called the Maillard reaction. The Maillard reaction only occurs when foods reach temperatures in excess of 155 °C (310 °F).Studies have shown that cooking beef, pork, poultry, and fish at high temperatures can lead to the formation of heterocyclic amines, benzopyrenes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are carcinogens.Marination may reduce the formation of these compounds. Grilling is often presented as a healthy alternative to cooking with oils, although the fat and juices lost by grilling can contribute to drier food.

Halal

Halal (; Arabic: حلال‎ ḥalāl), also spelled hallal or halaal, is an Arabic word that translates as "permissible" into English.

In the Quran, the word halal is contrasted with haram (forbidden). This binary opposition was elaborated into a more complex classification known as "the five decisions": mandatory, recommended, neutral, reprehensible, and forbidden. Islamic jurists disagree on whether the term halal covers the first three or the first four of these categories. In recent times, Islamic movements seeking to mobilize the masses and authors writing for a popular audience have emphasized the simpler distinction of halal and haram.The term halal is particularly associated with Islamic dietary laws, and especially meat processed and prepared in accordance with those requirements.

Julia Child

Julia Carolyn Child (née McWilliams; August 15, 1912 – August 13, 2004) was an American chef, author and television personality. She is recognized for bringing French cuisine to the American public with her debut cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and her subsequent television programs, the most notable of which was The French Chef, which premiered in 1963.

MasterChef (American TV series)

MasterChef is an American competitive cooking reality TV show based on the original British series of the same name, open to amateur and home chefs. Produced by Shine America and One Potato Two Potato, it debuted on July 27, 2010 on the Fox network, following the professional cooking competition series, Hell's Kitchen.For the first 5 seasons, the series starred celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay (the co-creator of the series and Hell's Kitchen), Graham Elliot and restaurateur Joe Bastianich. From Seasons 6–8, pastry chef Christina Tosi temporarily replaced Bastianich. On Season 7, Elliot departed as a judge, and in place of a third judge, there were a series of guest judges, one of which was Aarón Sanchez. Since Season 8, Sanchez joined as a regular judge. In Season 9, Bastianich returned as a regular judge, replacing Tosi. On September 19, 2018, it was announced that the series had been renewed for a tenth season, which premiered on May 29, 2019 with Ramsay, Sanchez, and Bastianich reprising their roles as judges/hosts respectively.

Microwave oven

A microwave oven (also commonly referred to as a microwave) is an electric oven that heats and cooks food by exposing it to electromagnetic radiation in the microwave frequency range. This induces polar molecules in the food to rotate and produce thermal energy in a process known as dielectric heating. Microwave ovens heat foods quickly and efficiently because excitation is fairly uniform in the outer 25–38 mm (1–1.5 inches) of a homogeneous, high water content food item.

The development of the cavity magnetron made possible the production of electromagnetic waves of a small enough wavelength (microwaves). American engineer Percy Spencer is generally credited with inventing the modern microwave oven after World War II from radar technology developed during the war. Named the "Radarange", it was first sold in 1946. Raytheon later licensed its patents for a home-use microwave oven that was first introduced by Tappan in 1955, but these units were still too large and expensive for general home use. Sharp Corporation introduced the first microwave oven with a turntable between 1964 and 1966. The countertop microwave oven was first introduced in 1967 by the Amana Corporation. After Sharp introduced low-cost microwave ovens affordable for residential use in the late 1970s, their use spread into commercial and residential kitchens around the world. In addition to their use in cooking food, microwave ovens are used for heating in many industrial processes.

Microwave ovens are a common kitchen appliance and are popular for reheating previously cooked foods and cooking a variety of foods. They are also useful for rapid heating of otherwise slowly prepared foodstuffs, which can easily burn or turn lumpy when cooked in conventional pans, such as hot butter, fats, chocolate or porridge. Unlike conventional ovens, microwave ovens usually do not directly brown or caramelize food, since they rarely attain the necessary temperatures to produce Maillard reactions. Exceptions occur in rare cases where the oven is used to heat frying-oil and other very oily items (such as bacon), which attain far higher temperatures than that of boiling water.

Microwave ovens have limited roles in professional cooking, because the boiling-range temperatures of a microwave will not produce the flavorful chemical reactions that frying, browning, or baking at a higher temperature will. However, additional heat sources can be added to microwave ovens.

Recipe

A recipe is a set of instructions that describes how to prepare or make something, especially a dish of prepared food.

The term recipe is also used in medicine or in information technology (e.g., user acceptance). A doctor will usually begin a prescription with recipe, Latin for take, usually abbreviated as Rx or the equivalent symbol (℞).

Roasting

Roasting is a cooking method that uses dry heat where hot air envelops the food, cooking it evenly on all sides with temperatures of at least 150 °C (300 °F) from an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Roasting can enhance flavor through caramelization and Maillard browning on the surface of the food. Roasting uses indirect, diffused heat (as in an oven), and is suitable for slower cooking of meat in a larger, whole piece.Meats and most root and bulb vegetables can be roasted. Any piece of meat, especially red meat, that has been cooked in this fashion is called a roast. Meats and vegetables prepared in this way are described as "roasted", e.g., roasted chicken or roasted squash.

Smoking (cooking)

Smoking is the process of flavoring, browning, cooking, or preserving food by exposing it to smoke from burning or smoldering material, most often wood. Meat, fish, and lapsang souchong tea are often smoked.

In Europe, alder is the traditional smoking wood, but oak is more often used now, and beech to a lesser extent. In North America, hickory, mesquite, oak, pecan, alder, maple, and fruit-tree woods, such as apple, cherry, and plum, are commonly used for smoking. Other biomass besides wood can also be employed, sometimes with the addition of flavoring ingredients. Chinese tea-smoking uses a mixture of uncooked rice, sugar, and tea, heated at the base of a wok.

Some North American ham and bacon makers smoke their products over burning corncobs. Peat is burned to dry and smoke the barley malt used to make whisky and some beers. In New Zealand, sawdust from the native manuka (tea tree) is commonly used for hot smoking fish. In Iceland, dried sheep dung is used to cold-smoke fish, lamb, mutton and whale.

Historically, farms in the Western world included a small building termed the "smokehouse," where meats could be smoked and stored. This was generally well-separated from other buildings both because of the fire danger and because of the smoke emanations; the smoking of food could possibly introduce polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which may lead to an increased risk of some types of cancer; however, this association is still being debated. Smoking can be done in four ways: cold smoking, warm smoking, hot smoking, and through the employment of "liquid smoke". However, these methods of imparting smoke only affect the food surface, and are unable to preserve food, thus, smoking is paired with other microbial hurdles, such as chilling and packaging, to extend food shelf-life.

Sous-vide

Sous-vide (; French for 'under vacuum') is a method of cooking in which food is placed in a plastic pouch or a glass jar and cooked in a water bath for longer than usual cooking times (usually 1 to 7 hours, up to 48 or more in some cases) at an accurately regulated temperature. The temperature is much lower than usually used for cooking, typically around 55 to 60 °C (131 to 140 °F) for meat, higher for vegetables. The intent is to cook the item evenly, ensuring that the inside is properly cooked without overcooking the outside, and to retain moisture.

Stir frying

For the 2018 song by Migos, see Stir Fry (song).

Stir frying (Chinese: 炒; pinyin: chǎo) is a Chinese cooking technique in which ingredients are fried in a small amount of very hot oil while being stirred in a wok. The technique originated in China and in recent centuries has spread into other parts of Asia and the West.

Scholars think that wok (or pan) frying may have been used as early as the Han dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.) for drying grain, not for cooking, but it was not until the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) that the wok reached its modern shape and allowed quick cooking in hot oil. Well into the 20th century, while restaurants and affluent families could afford the oil and fuel needed for stir fry, the most widely used cooking techniques remained boiling and steaming. Stir fry cooking came to predominate over the course of the century as more people could afford oil and fuel, and in the West spread beyond Chinese communities. Stir frying and Chinese food have been recommended as both healthy and appealing for their skillful use of vegetables, meats, and fish which are moderate in their fat content and sauces which are not overly rich, provided calories are kept at a reasonable level.The term "stir-fry" was introduced into the English language in Buwei Yang Chao's book How to Cook and Eat in Chinese (1945), to describe the chǎo technique.

The Chef Show

The Chef Show is an American television cooking show presented by Jon Favreau and Roy Choi that premiered on Netflix on June 7, 2019. It is a spin-off from the 2014 Favreau film Chef.

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