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Cooking-An Art Or A Science?

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A cook sautees onions and peppers.

Image via Wikipedia

Cooking is an art. Nooooo! It is a science.

Cooking is a science. Nooooo! It is an art.

This is a never ending argument that takes place between parties, who do not see eye to eye on their opinion about cooking.  What do you think? Do you look at  it as an art or is it more of a science for you? Let me know by participating in this poll. The poll would be open for a month’s time, at the end of which the results would be revealed. As a precautionary measure to avoid voter’s bias, the poll status will not be visible to the readers, any time in between.

Today is 18-4-2012 and the poll has been closed. A majority of people (60%) who took part in this poll opined that cooking is a science. Only 20% of those who voted considered cooking as an art. The remaining 20% expressed their love for cooking and eagerness to know the results of this poll in the comments.

The way some go about cooking with swift chopping, deft tossing, flawless balance of flavours and beautiful garnishing in mouthwatering dishes, make us believe that cooking is an art. However, on calm reflection, we will understand that every step in cooking is fostered by science. But it is so much an integral part of our kitchen routine that we fail to recognise it as science. Salting of pickles for preservation, baking foods at specific temperatures, using particular proportion of ingredients to prepare a batter (eg. Idli or savoury cake) – allowing it to ferment later – using an appropriate method of cooking (steaming), awaiting the expected colour change, texture, taste or flavour to check for doneness of the dish – what are all these, if not science? Everybody follows science in cooking, knowingly (understanding the principle behind it) or unknowingly (by mere execution of a sequence of steps, but fully aware of what to expect as the result of each step).  Once we have nailed the basics, we can hope to develop it into an art with constant practice and perseverance. Art comes only after Science in cooking.

To me, kitchen is just an extension of science lab; recipe, a simplified version of experiment protocol.

The Final Verdict: Cooking is a Science.

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