Cooking or cookery is the art, skill and craft of preparing food for consumption with the use of heat. Cooking method and ingredients vary widely across the world, from grilling food over an open fire to using electric stoves, to baking in different types of ovens, reflecting unique environmental, economic and cultural traditions and trends. The ways or kinds of cooking also depend on the skill and type of training an individual cook has.
The expansion of agriculture, commerce, deal and transportation between civilizations in different regions offered cooks many new ingredients. New inventions and knowledge, such as the invention of pottery for holding and boiling water, expanded cooking techniques. Several modern cooks apply advanced scientific techniques to food preparation to further enhance the flavor of the dish served.
Most ingredients in cooking are derived from living organisms. Vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts as well as herbs and spices come from plants, though meat, eggs, and dairy products come from animals. Mushrooms and the yeast used in baking are variety of fungi. Cooks also use water and minerals such as salt. Cooks can also use wine or feelings.
Obviously occurring ingredients contain various amounts of molecules called proteins, carbohydrates and fats. They also include water and minerals. Cooking involves a manipulation of the chemical properties of these molecules.
Carbohydrates include the ordinary sugar, sucrose (table sugar), a disaccharide, and such simple sugars as glucose and fructose, and starches from sources such as cereal flour, rice, arrowroot and potato. The interaction of heat and carbohydrate is complex.
Types of fat include vegetable oils, animal products such as butter and lard, as well as fats from grains, with corn and flax oils. Fats are used in a number of ways in cooking and baking. To arrange mix fries, grilled cheese or pancakes, the pan or griddle is often coated with fat or oil. Fats are also used as an item in baked goods such as cookies, cakes and pies.
Edible animal material, including muscle, offal, milk, eggs and egg whites, contains large amounts of protein. Almost all vegetable matter (in particular legumes and seeds) also includes proteins, although usually in smaller amounts. Mushrooms have high protein content.
Cooking often involves water, often present in other liquids, which is both added in order to immerse the substances person cooked (typically water, stock or wine), and free from the foods themselves. A favorite method of adding flavor to dishes is to keep the liquid for use in other recipes.
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamins are materials required for ordinary metabolism but which the body cannot create itself and which must therefore come from external sources. Vitamins come from some sources including fresh fruit and vegetables (Vitamin C), carrots, liver (Vitamin A), cereal fiber, bread, liver (B vitamins), fish liver oil (Vitamin D) and clean green vegetables (Vitamin K). Many minerals are also necessary in little quantities including iron, calcium, magnesium and sulfur; and in very small quantities copper, zinc and selenium.