cooking


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cooking,

the process of using heat to prepare foods for consumption.

Many common cooking methods involve the use of oil. Frying is cooking in hot oil; sautéing is cooking in a small amount of oil; stir-frying is a Chinese technique of frying quickly in small amounts of oil in a wok; deep frying is completely submerging the food in large amounts of fat. As cooks become more health conscious, preparing foods in oil has become less desirable. With the advent of nonstick cookware, sautéing can be done at lower heats using vegetable broth and fruit juices instead of oil.

Stewing refers to cooking slowly in a small amount of liquid in a closed container. Slow stewing tenderizes tough cuts of meat and allows flavors to mingle. Another slow-cooking method is braising, in which meat is first browned, then cooked slowly in a small amount of liquid in a covered pan. Poaching is cooking food in liquid below the boiling point, steaming is cooking food that has been placed above boiling water. Sous vide (so͞o vēd) refers to preparing food in vacuum-sealed plastic bags to infuse it with seasonings and then slowly poaching it in the bag at a very low heat. Sous vide is sometimes used in conjunction with other techniques, and sometimes food is vacuum-sealed to alter it and not cooked.

Roasting means baking in hot dry air, generally in an oven. Baking refers to cooking in an oven and differs from roasting mainly in its reference to the type of food cooked—for example, one bakes a cake, but roasts a chicken. Broiling means to cook by direct exposure to heat, while barbecueing means cooking marinated food by grilling.

Dining with others is one of the most common and frequent social activities. It can involve a family dinner, a meal with friends, or form part of a ceremony or celebration, such as a wedding or holiday. In the United States, cooking has been influenced by the variety of regional and immigrant cuisines and customs (see dietdiet,
food and drink regularly consumed for nourishment. Nutritionists generally recommend eating a wide variety of foods; however, some groups of people survive on a very limited diet.
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). After World War II, cooking and dining in the United States took on aspects of an art form and wine grew in popularity. More and more people studied cooking in schools, watched how-to programs on television, and read specialty magazines and cookbooks. In fact, cookbooks as a group outsell any other kind of book except for religious works. Standard cookbooks include Fannie Farmer's Boston Cooking School Cookbook (1896) and Irma Rombauer's Joy of Cooking (1931), both of which have gone a number of subsequent editions.

See also nutritionnutrition,
study of the materials that nourish an organism and of the manner in which the separate components are used for maintenance, repair, growth, and reproduction. Nutrition is achieved in various ways by different forms of life.
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.

Bibliography

See H. McGee, On Food and Cooking (1984, rev. ed. 2004); J. Horn, Cooking A to Z (1988); S. Gershoff, The Tufts University Guide to Total Nutrition (1990); P. P. Bober, Art, Culture and Cuisine: Ancient and Medieval Gastronomy (1997); S. Pinkard, A Revolution in Taste: The Rise of French Cuisine, 1650–1800 (2008); The Joy of Cooking (75th anniversary ed. 2006); N. Myhrvold et al., Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking (2011).

References in classic literature ?
Grace Poole bent over the fire, apparently cooking something in a saucepan.
One comfort is, I have the cooking of the accounts; and my fair relative shall not fill her pockets too suddenly if I can help it.
In time the bells ceased, and the bakers were shut up; and yet there was a genial shadowing forth of all these dinners and the progress of their cooking, in the thawed blotch of wet above each baker's oven; where the pavement smoked as if its stones were cooking too.
She makes all our pastry, and does all our cooking.
Barkis, after a long interval of reflection, 'all the apple parsties, and doos all the cooking, do she?
There was a wall made of cheeses arranged like open brick-work, and two cauldrons full of oil, bigger than those of a dyer's shop, served for cooking fritters, which when fried were taken out with two mighty shovels, and plunged into another cauldron of prepared honey that stood close by.
But the day draweth on, and I have my cooking to do ere our master cometh home; so let us e'en go and settle this brave fight we have in hand.
It's lucky we started you first, for I'm hungry, and you can be cooking something for us to eat while we match the other folks together.
But, Aunty, when I begin in good earnest to learn to cook don't you think the brains that enable me to win a mathematical scholarship will also enable me to learn cooking just as well?
This bureau stood in the corner, and in the opposite corner, on the table's other flank, was the kitchen - the oil-stove on a dry-goods box, inside of which were dishes and cooking utensils, a shelf on the wall for provisions, and a bucket of water on the floor.
So Kwaque remained in the two rooms, cooking and housekeeping for his master and caring for Michael and Cocky.
Abide by thy customs, thou excellent one: grind thy corn, drink thy water, praise thy cooking,-- if only it make thee glad!