Cuisine (from French cuisine, "cooking; culinary art; kitchen"; ultimately from Latin coquere, "to cook") is a characteristic style of cooking practices and traditions, often associated with a specific culture. Cuisines are often named after the geographic areas or regions that they originate from. A cuisine is primarily influenced by the ingredients that are available locally or through trade. Religious food laws, such as Islamic dietary laws and Jewish dietary laws, can also exercise a strong influence on cuisine. Regional food preparation traditions, customs and ingredients often combine to create dishes unique to a particular region.
Cooking is the process of preparing food, by the analog skills, often with the use of heat. 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. Cooking can also occur through chemical reactions without the presence of heat, most notably as in Ceviche, a traditional South American dish where fish is cooked with the acids in lemon or lime juice. Sushi also utilizes a similar chemical reaction between fish and the acidic content of rice glazed with vinegar. Chicken, pork and bacon-wrapped corn cooked in a barbecue smoker 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. 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 The control of fire by early humans was a turning point in the cultural aspect of human evolution that allowed humans to cook food and obtain warmth and protection. Making fire also allowed the expansion of human activity into the colder hours of the night, and provided protection from predators and insects. Evidence of widespread control of fire dates to approximately 125,000 years ago and later. Evidence for the controlled use of fire by Homo erectus beginning some 400,000 years ago has wide scholarly support, while claims regarding earlier evidence are mostly dismissed as inconclusive or sketchy. Claims for the earliest definitive evidence of control of fire by a member of Homo range from 0.2 to 1.7 million years ago (Mya) All evidence of control of fire during the Lower Paleolithic is uncertain and has at best limited scholarly support. In fact, definitive evidence of controlled use of fire is one of the factors characteristic of the transition from the Lower to the Middle Paleolithic in the period of 400,000 to 200,000 BP. East African sites, such as Chesowanja near Lake Baringo, Koobi Fora, and Olorgesailie in Kenya, show some possible evidence that fire was utilized by early humans. At Chesowanja, archaeologists found red clay sherds dated to be 1.42 Mya. Reheating on these sherds show that the clay must have been heated to 400 °C (752 °F) to harden. At Koobi Fora, sites FxJjzoE and FxJj50 show evidence of control of fire by Homo erectus at 1.5 Mya, with the reddening of sediment that can only come from heating at 200–400 °C (392–752 °F). A "hearth-like depression" exists at a site in Olorgesailie, Kenya. Some microscopic charcoal was found, but it could have resulted from a natural brush fire. In Gadeb, Ethiopia, fragments of welded tuff that appeared to have been burned were found in Locality 8E, but re-firing of the rocks may have occurred due to local volcanic activity. These have been found amongst H. erectus created Acheulean artifacts. In the Middle Awash River Valley, cone-shaped depressions of reddish clay were found that could have been created by temperatures of 200 °C (392 °F). These features are thought to be burned tree stumps such that they would have fire away from their habitation site. Burnt stones are also found in the Awash Valley, but volcanic welded tuff is also found in the area. A site at Bnot Ya'akov Bridge, Israel, has been claimed to show that H. erectus or H. ergaster made fires between 790,000 and 690,000 BP. To date this has been the most widely accepted claim, although recent reanalysis of burnt bone fragments and plant ashes from the Wonderwerk Cave have sparked claims of evidence supporting human control of fire by 1 Ma. In Xihoudu in Shanxi Province, China, there is evidence of burning by the black, gray, and grayish-green discoloration of mammalian bones found at the site. Another site in China is Yuanmou in Yunnan Province, where blackened mammal bones were found in 1985 and dated to 1.7 Ma BP. At Trinil, Java, similar blackened bone and charcoal deposits have been found among H. erectus fossils, dated from 500,000 to 830,000 BP. Based on the feeding time comparison between human and nonhuman primates (4.7% verse predicted 48% of daily activity), researcher has inferred that this is due to an evolutionary consequences of food processing dating back to 1.9 million years ago. This may imply that control of fire as early as 1.9 million years ago by the Homo genus