Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells in an effort to produce energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth.
Historically, people secured food through two methods: hunting and gathering, and agriculture. Today, most of the food energy consumed by the world population is supplied by the food industry.
A snack is a portion of food often smaller than a regular meal, generally eaten between meals. Snacks come in a variety of forms including packaged and processed foods and items made from fresh ingredients at home.
Traditionally, snacks were prepared from ingredients commonly available in the home. Often leftovers, cold cuts sandwiches, nuts, fruit, and the like were used as snacks. The Dagwood sandwich was originally the humorous result of a cartoon character's desire for large snacks. Beverages, such as coffee, are not generally considered snacks though they may be consumed along with snack foods. A beverage may be considered a snack if it possesses a substantive food item (e.g., strawberries, bananas, kiwis) that has been blended to create a smoothie.
A chocolate chip cookie is a drop cookie that originated in the United States and features chocolate chips as its distinguishing ingredient. The traditional recipe combines a dough composed of butter and both brown and white sugar with semi-sweet chocolate chips. Variations include recipes with other types of chocolate or additional ingredients, such as nuts or oatmeal.
New England cuisine is an American cuisine which originated in the northeastern region of the United States known as New England. It is characterized by extensive use of seafood and dairy products, which results from its historical reliance on its seaports and fishing industry, as well as extensive dairy farming in inland regions. Many of New England's earliest Puritan settlers were from eastern England, where baking foods such as pies, beans, and turkey were more common than frying as was the tradition elsewhere. Two prominent characteristic foodstuffs native to New England are maple syrup and cranberries. The standard starch is potato. Parsley and sage are common, with a few Caribbean additions like nutmeg. Due to the reliance on dairy, creams are standard. The favored cooking techniques are stewing and baking.
Native American foods and cooking methods such as corn meal johnny cakes, oysters, clam chowder, and New England clam bakes were adopted by early immigrants to New England. Many of New England's earliest Puritan settlers were from eastern England and also brought with them traditions of dairy products and baking pies and other foods. Baked beans, apple pies, baked turkey, and pease porridge became common Yankee dishes, and some are now common nationally during Thanksgiving dinners.
Chocolate chips are small chunks of chocolate. They are often sold in a round, flat-bottomed teardrop shape. They are available in numerous sizes, from large to miniature, but are usually less than 1 cm in diameter. Another variety of chocolate chips is rectangular or square chocolate chunks.
Baking powder is a dry chemical leavening agent, a mixture of a weak alkali and a weak acid, and is used for increasing the volume and lightening the texture of baked goods. Baking powder works by releasing carbon dioxide gas into a batter or dough through an acid-base reaction, causing bubbles in the wet mixture to expand and thus leavening the mixture. It is used instead of yeast for end-products where fermentation flavors would be undesirable or where the batter lacks the elastic structure to hold gas bubbles for more than a few minutes. Because carbon dioxide is released at a faster rate through the acid-base reaction than through fermentation, breads made by chemical leavening are called quick breads.
Most commercially available baking powders are made up of an alkaline component (typically sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda), one or more acid salts (such as cream of tartar), and an inert starch (cornstarch in most cases, though potato starch may also be used). Baking soda is the source of the carbon dioxide, and the acid-base reaction can be generically represented as