Cooking

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Cooking is the process of preparing food with heat. Cooks select and combine ingredients using a wide range of tools and methods. In the process, the flavor, texture, appearance, and chemical properties of the ingredients can change. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely across the world, reflecting unique environmental, economic, and cultural traditions. Cooks themselves also vary widely in skill and training.

Preparing food with heat or fire is an activity unique to humans, and some scientists believe the advent of cooking played an important role in human evolution.[1] Most anthropologists believe that cooking fires first developed around 250,000 years ago. The development of agriculture, commerce and transportation between civilizations in different regions offered cooks many new ingredients. New inventions and technologies, such as pottery for holding and boiling water, expanded cooking techniques. Some modern cooks apply advanced scientific techniques to food preparation.

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History of cooking

There is no clear evidence as to when cooking was invented. Primatologist Richard Wrangham stated that cooking was invented as far back as 1.8 million to 2.3 million years ago.[2] Other researchers believe that cooking was invented as late as 40,000 or 10,000 years ago. Evidence of fire is inconclusive as wildfires started by lightning-strikes are still common in East Africa and other wild areas, and it is difficult to determine as to when fire was used for cooking, as opposed to just being used for warmth or for keeping predators away. Most anthropologists contend that cooking fires began in earnest barely 250,000 years ago, when ancient hearths, earth ovens, burnt animal bones, and flint appear across Europe and the middle East. Back 2 million years ago, the only sign of fire is burnt earth with human remains, which most anthropologists consider coincidence rather than evidence of intentional fire.[citation needed]

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