Cooking is the process of preparing food, often with the use of heat. Cooking techniques
and ingredients vary widely across the world, reflecting unique environmental, economic,
and cultural traditions.
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.