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 ?
Wragge, catching instantly at a word in connection with cookery, and harnessing her head to the omelette for the rest of the evening.
I then put it to Miss Mills, to say whether she considered that there was or was not any practical merit in the suggestion I had been anxious to make, concerning the accounts, the housekeeping, and the Cookery Book?
Do you know the difference between the cookery of the wilderness and that which is found in the settlements?
Properly pursued, the Art of Cookery allows of no divided attention," he continued, gravely.
As they entered they passed Miss Watson buttoning her gloves for church, and heard the voice of Putnam downstairs still giving a lecture on cookery to the cook.
Hepzibah had no natural turn for cookery, and, to say the truth, had fairly incurred her present meagreness by often choosing to go without her dinner rather than be attendant on the rotation of the spit, or ebullition of the pot.
The secrets of the finer cookery were revived in the breasts of matronly house-wives, and daughters were again anxious to be initiated in them.
No longer the house-boys loafed and did as little as they could; while the cook complained that "head belong him walk about too much," from the strenuous course in cookery which she put him through.
Meantime the Assistant Commissioner was already giving his order to a waiter in a little Italian restaurant round the corner - one of those traps for the hungry, long and narrow, baited with a perspective of mirrors and white napery; without air, but with an atmosphere of their own - an atmosphere of fraudulent cookery mocking an abject mankind in the most pressing of its miserable necessities.
Bella helped him with his supplemental cookery, and made him very happy, but put him in mortal terror too by asking him when they sat down at table again, how he supposed they cooked fowls at the Greenwich dinners, and whether he believed they really were such pleasant dinners as people said?
Yet it is my opinion that they surely must have performed some sort of rude cookery.
The members of the council were young; their daring digestions contemplated without fear the prospect of eating their own amateur cookery.