Food is the most essential commodity after air and water for survival on the earth The continuous demand and daily improvisation in the catering industry has bought to the glory of present food habits and sophistication. it was not the same since beginning. it has a history since Stone Age when the fire was invented and a piece 0 meat dropped in the fire. It was taken out and eaten and was found better then raw thus bringing in the very first cooking.
Cooking is a process of bringing the raw ingredients to a state where it can be eaten and digested easily. In this process the raw ingredients undergo certain physical and chemical changes. Colour, Texture, Taste, flavour and appearance gets changed. Cooking makes the food more palatable and appealing. Combination of ingredients cooked together makes it unique.
The decision making in heat application and withdrawal is the art of cooking; which is achieved to perfection by experience.
The term Cuisine means the place of cooking or the kitchen where it is being made. Now a day it also denotes the specialty and art behind it and reflects the whole phenomenon of that region or place. Though there are rules to cook food which means it is a science but the creativity involved makes it more of an art work. Chef’s innovation for creating new dishes gives it a different horizon. Now a days Chef is not i only a cook but has become a Designer of food.
Factors influencing Cooking:
The cooking was influenced with many factors. These factors bought changes in the cooking and slowly it attained a superb height in terms of sophistication. The main factors influenced cooking are as under:
– Invasions and Wars
Primitive humans severed roast meat by chance when the flesh of a beast was killed in a forest fire. It was to be more palatable easier to chew and digest then raw meat. The discovery of fire marked the beginning of the cookery.
At very early stage the first civilization Egyptians, Mesopotainians, Romans, Aryans and Greeks developed an art of Cookery for their Kings. Different Kings appointed Cooks/Chefs for their royal kitchens. These cooks use to make royal food for them. Their main aim was to please the Kings and Emperors. They used best possible raw material to produce best food for the Rulers, their family and guests.
9000 B.C. plant cultivation begin in Middle East. Onions , Radish and Garlic was in the diet of Egyptians, 4000 B.C., In 3000 B.C. farmers of Mesopotamian were growing crops and is treated as the agricultural revolution in the Roman empire. 500 B.C. sugarcane and Banana was cultivated in lndia. With the development in the field of agriculture, new crops of different grains, pulses, vegetables and fruits brought variety in the menus. New recipes were tried at home and in the kitchens of Kings and Emperors Using these ingredients. Agriculture also brought sense of new tastes, colours and flavours.
Invasions & Wars:
The Greeks led by Alexander the Great in 326 BC bought their ingredients and cooking techniques to India. The Spanish invasion in 1521, bought its influence to the Mexican Food, in 1830 French invasion of the costal areas of Algeria was effected by spices and cooking methods bought by Europeans. Baguettes and Cauliflower Gratin are some of the heritage French left in Algeria lands. Indian food which has clear and visiBle effect on food habits and preparations bought by Turkish and then Mughal Invasions. British occupancy has influenced the style of continental food served in India. Muglai Food is still very famous and enjoys a status of specialty food of India.
Different religions like Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Zoroastrianism are faiths that demonstrated on the choice of food Vegetarianism and Non Vegetarianism also originated from these faiths. These religions have given their own inputs to make the cooking and food more elaborate. Example; the Hindus basically will follow vegetarianism, Muslims will follow non vegetarianism.
Travelers bought their style of food with them and took some styles from that place to their origin. Pilgrimages were important in the creation of the first roadside Inns and eating places. Marco Polo’s trip in China is the reason why pasta is nowadays the national Italian dish
Development of Modern Cookery:
Today we have reached a stage where food is not only cooking but is an artistic work done with lots of creativity. This is called modern cookery and following are the factors that made it possible:
– New Equipments
The economical growth bought improvement in the standard of living since 1950 onwards. People started spending on travel, holidays and eating out for leisure purpose. This change in the society was the main cause of growth of the catering. Soon it became an industry and professionals gave it a colour of sophistication.
Organized industrialization created the need of the first Industrial Catering unit. Scientific research contributed greatly to modern cookery. Though most of the cooking techniques were passed from one generation to another but due to the increasing demand in catering the large number of innovations in the field cooking started, and were accepted by the end users. From here onwards the catering became a profitable business and people started their own establishments to cater the need of their customers. In today’s world the same feeding people business is an industry in it self.
It was golden Era of Tourism, which bought the new concepts of cooking from one place to another. Food from different part of world traveled along with the tourists. To cater tourists, new cooking techniques were learnt by the local chefs. Later on these chefs started serving same food to locals thus the acceptance of food from other parts of the world started. Today we love to eat Chinese food and our Indian Food is relished in the other parts of the world.
The pioneer of Modernization was, August Escoffier. He not only established the first scheme of kitchen organization by section together with task apportioning system but also wrote book on cooking. His contribution in the field of cooking brought the modern trends. Chefs started following guidelines laid by him. This brought uniformity in cooking throughout the Globe. He also gave chefs a chance to improvise on the set lines.
After some time the chefs came up with their own innovative ideas to make the food a complete delight. Today in the world of Internet and Television we see many programs on cooking of food and related topics.
Up to the end of last century, the only fuels used in the kitchen were coal and wood. The few existing machine then’ were manual.
With the town gas or LP gas or natural gas, oil, electricity and new cooking equipments the cooking is becoming less complicated. Most of the tedious jobs are done quickly without using too much of manpower. The new equipments and machines are user friendly. They are easy to maintain and easy to clean, thus transforming working conditions completely. Less manpower more of electricity powered machines have considerably reduced human work, without speaking of time saving. It’s a new era of modernization in the history of cooking.