The Basis of Cooking


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
A little absurdo ad reductum for play.

What do you think the basis of all cooking is?

While not a well defined question, let me illustrate with my attempt at the answer.

There's an adage that life developed just to move water around.

In many ways, cooking is the same. As the meat or starch cooks, the way they interact with water changes in a way that defines when the item is done. Protein denatures and allows the water to move, for example. How much water you allow to move out defines how done a cut of beef is. (Correlates to temp to, but I find the action of water in cooking fascinating).

If you know what the water is doing in what you're cooking, you should be able to cook it well.

Joined Jan 5, 2001
Ah, gastronomical creationism vs. culinary evolutionism. Good topic! it witnesses the gradual shift in thinking away from unproven myths to culinary science. That said, I'm not yet sure how to answer. I'll get back to you...
Joined Aug 29, 2000
Eating is a method of moving plant seeds around. :D

Cooking makes it more palatable and provides yet another means for delineating work and competing with others.

Well, you said "absurdo ad reductum"!
Joined Oct 13, 2001
My friends also remember that cooking can be done chemically. Take to heart the mexican dish sevichee(Im sure I spelled it wrong) which is raw seafood which is litterly cooked by citrus juices.What about brining,sun drying and fermentation! Is not this cooking also?Just a thought here.Doug............
Joined Jun 11, 2004
:chef: The basis (or reason?) for cooking. On a biological level, we really don't NEED to cook. Our bodies will do just fine with raw foods, even if from a modern perspective that would seem 'gross'. As cave men, perhaps some cluts of a neanderthal knocked a dead sabertooth into the camp fire, and cooking was invented--a lucky accident. I guess the same could have happened if they found a mamoth struck by lightning, liked it, and then tryed to re-create the effect. At least this would give credit to some human ingineuity, not dumb luck. In modern days, cooking may just be a form of art-perpatrated on the masses by us frustrated artists, or even a scheme by the oil companies to get people to eat cooked food, so they can sell propane, and other cooking fuels. That may explain the great ridicule pointed at the naturalist (raw food) diets, and the vegans!! Or maybe its just something we do to feed our families. Hey, you wanted absurd--enjoy (and watch out for those black helicopters!!) :)
Joined Nov 29, 2001
Combining two or more ingredients that would not normally cohabit? (This covers cooked and raw foods.)


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Reminds me of this one guy I know who refused to work the pantry station.

"Chef, you hired me as a cook!"

Needless to say he was fired. :)
Joined Aug 14, 2000
I think I disagree :) Cooking, by definition involves heat. This is from Webster's Online Dictionary.

Main Entry: cook
Function: verb
intransitive senses
1 : to prepare food for eating by means of heat
2 : to undergo the action of being cooked <the rice is cooking now>
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