Cooking is the process of using heat to transform raw ingredients into safe, edible food products. A large part of the process involves water and liquids, which help make the nutrients in the food more accessible. As a result, cooking changes the taste, colour and texture of the food.
The changes can be beneficial or disadvantageous. For example, frying can increase the bioavailability of antioxidants. However, it can also create undesirable compounds. In addition, cooking can reduce the nutrient value of some foods.
One of the oldest methods of cooking, baking, consists of placing raw food into a heated oven. After a specified amount of time, the food will be ready to eat. Some common baked goods include cakes, doughnuts, bread and pastries.
While most ingredients in cooking come from living organisms, a few plant and animal sources are used. These include spices, herbs, and grains.
Although most types of cooking can be classified into one of three different categories, each method can create different effects. It is important to understand the differences between these approaches, as these can help you to create flavorful and nutritious dishes.
The roasting method involves dry heat cooking in an oven. Unlike the other two methods, roasting requires a smaller cook time and shorter cooking temperatures. This allows for a softer product with a light crust.
Boiling is similar to simmering, but uses higher temperatures. Both methods produce tiny bubbles, which carry heat to the food and nearby ingredients.