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What is "cooking"?

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What is "cooking"?

cypressstylepie | Mar 8, 2002 12:51 PM

I always have a tough time explaining to people, with the classic examples of ceviche or gravlax, that food does not need to be heated to be "cooked". Or does it? What exactly does "cooking" mean?

I tried looking it up on epicurious. Oddly enough, the Barron's reference guide does not include this term. I guess the consider it's definition obvious. For the most part it is.

I looked it up on Merriam-Webster. The first definition includes the use of heat.

I've always considered curing or pickling a kind-of cooking. So is it that it's only sort-of cooking, or does cooking, indeed, include non-heat methods?

I realized this when reading the kimchi website, and it refers to pickles as halfway between raw and cooked food.

Or is the definition subjective? I know it sounds like I'm splitting hairs, but it's important, I think, in the consideration of these alternate (or different) methods of preparing food.

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