Tiny Wiki :
Fast loading, text only version of Wikipedia.
Cuisine (from French ''cuisine'', "cooking; culinary art; kitchen"; ultimately from Latin ''coquere'', "to cook") is a specific set of cooking traditions and practices, often associated with a specific culture. It is often named after the region or place where its underlining culture is present. A cuisine is primarily influenced by the ingredients that are available locally or through trade. Religious food laws can also exercise a strong influence on cuisine.
A traditional cuisine is a coherent tradition of food preparation that rises from the daily lives and kitchens of a people over an extended period of time in a specific region of a country and which has notable distinctions from the cuisine of the country as a whole.
The foods and methods of preparation traditional to a region or population. The major factors shaping a cuisine are climate, which in large measure determines the native raw materials that are available to the cook; economic conditions, which regulate trade in delicacies and imported foodstuffs; and religious or sumptuary laws, under which certain foods are required or proscribed.
Climate also affects the supply of fuel; the characteristic Chinese food preparation methods, in which food is cut into small pieces before being cooked, was shaped primarily by the need to cook food quickly to conserve scarce firewood and charcoal. Foods preserved for winter consumption by smoking, curing, and pickling have remained important in world cuisines for their altered gustatory properties even when these preserving techniques are no longer strictly necessary to the maintenance of an adequate food supply.
World cuisine is traditionally divided into regions according to the common use of major foodstuffs, especially grains and cooking fats. In Central and South America, corn (maize), both fresh and dried, is the staple. In northern Europe, wheat, rye, and fats of animal origin predominate, while in southern Europe olive oil is ubiquitous and rice becomes important. In Italy the cuisine of the north, featuring butter and rice, stands in contrast to that of the south, with its wheat pasta and olive oil. China likewise can be divided into rice regions and noodle regions. Throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean there is a common thread marking the use of lamb, olive oil, lemons, peppers, and rice. The vegetarianism practiced in much of India has made pulses such as chickpeas and lentils as important as wheat or rice. From India to Indonesia the lavish use of spices is characteristic; coconuts and seafood are used throughout the region both as foodstuffs and as seasonings.