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The Food Portal


Food is any substance that you can eat, usually composed primarily of carbohydrates, fats, minerals, water and/or proteins, that can be eaten or drunk and metabolized by almost all multicellular entities for nutrition or pleasure. Items considered food may be sourced from plants, animals or other categories such as fungus. Ranching, farming, fishing, hunting, foraging and other methods are ways to obtain food.

Most traditions have a recognizable cuisine, a specific set of cooking traditions, preferences, and practices, the study of which is known as gastronomy. Many cultures have diversified their foods by means of preparation, cooking methods and manufacturing. This also includes a complex food trade which helps the cultures to economically survive by-way-of food, not just by consumption. Global cuisines can be defined as cuisine based upon global, continental, national, state or local regions; essentially as cuisines of the world.

Many cultures study the dietary analysis of food habits. While humans are omnivores, religion and social constructs such as morality often affect which foods they will consume. Food safety is also a concern with foodborne illness claiming many lives each year. In English, the substance food is often used metaphorically or figuratively, as in food for thought.

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Apple pie, a dish with origins in the Thirteen Colonies.
The cuisine of the Thirteen Colonies was derived from familiar traditions from the colonist's home countries, mainly England. Many agricultural items came to the New World through trade with England and the West Indies. Certain familiar items grew better in the New World than others, and this led to a dependence on imports which drove the daily lives of the colonists. For example, the cost of items such as imported wool gave the colonists an incentive to raise sheep, not only for wool to replace imports, but for access to the meat of the older animals as mutton. However, the colonial diet was increasingly supplemented by meat and plant foods indigenous to the New World. In the years leading up to 1776, a number of events led to a drastic change in the diet of the American colonists. Taxes and tariffs levied by England increased the costs of goods and caused colonists to hold a grudge toward the British monarchy and British imports. Import tariffs and taxes, and other issues, eventually led to the American Revolution. As they could no longer depend on British and West Indies imports, agricultural practices of the colonists began to focus on becoming completely self sufficient.

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Bánh mì.jpg
Bánh mì means 'French sandwich' in Vietnamese. It may have started as a 'kitchen sink' recipe in Vietnam, where various leftovers would be tossed into a sandwich to finish them up (like a po' boy). Bánh mì is now sought after by many for its unique and delicious flavours. There are many different types of bánh mì sandwiches, ranging from chunked BBQ grilled pork, sliced pork pate, and shredded grilled chicken, to grilled and smoked fish, sardine, meatball, Chinese-style sausage, and tripe.

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Chocolate ( pronounced /ˈtʃɒklət/ or /-ˈələt/) comprises a number of raw and processed foods that are produced from the seed of the tropical cacao tree. Native to lowland, tropical America, cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Central America and Mexico, with its earliest documented use around 1100 BC. The majority of the Mesoamerican peoples made chocolate beverages, including the Maya and Aztecs, who made it into a beverage known as xocolātl, a Nahuatl word meaning "bitter water". The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste, and must be fermented to develop the flavor. After fermentation, the beans are dried, cleaned, and roasted, and the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs. The nibs are then ground and liquified, resulting in pure chocolate in fluid form: chocolate liquor. The liquor can be further processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter.

Pure, unsweetened chocolate contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, combining chocolate with sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or condensed milk. " White chocolate" contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk but no cocoa solids (and thus does not qualify to be considered true chocolate). Chocolate contains alkaloids such as theobromine and phenethylamine, which have physiological effects on the body. It has been linked to serotonin levels in the brain. Scientists claim that chocolate, eaten in moderation, can lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate has recently been promoted for its health benefits, including a substantial amount of antioxidants that reduce the formation of free radicals, though the presence of theobromine renders it toxic to some animals, such as dogs and cats.

Chocolate has become one of the most popular flavours in the world. Gifts of chocolate molded into different shapes have become traditional on certain holidays: chocolate bunnies and eggs are popular on Easter, chocolate coins on Hanukkah, Santa Claus and other holiday symbols on Christmas, and hearts on Valentine's Day. Chocolate is also used in cold and hot beverages, to produce chocolate milk and hot chocolate.

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Cookery has become a noble art, a noble science; cooks are gentlemen.
Robert Burton

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Alton Brown
b. July 30, 1962

Alton Brown, originally from Los Angeles, California, United States, is an American food personality, cinematographer, author, and actor. He is the creator and host of the Food Network television show Good Eats, the miniseries Feasting on Asphalt and the main commentator on Iron Chef America. Brown is also the author of several cooking how-to books and a regular contributor to Bon Appétit and Men’s Journal magazines.

He brings a knowledge and enthusiasm for the science of cooking and food, and a humorous approach to his shows. Bon Appétit magazine named him "Cooking Teacher of the Year" in 2004. Brown pronounces his given name "Al-ton" .

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Roasted coffee beans.jpg

Dried roasted coffee beans.

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