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Food is any substance that can be consumed to help the body survive, 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, grocery shopping 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.

Foodlogo.svg More about Food – its industry, manufacture, marketing, safety, cuisine, and taste

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A reservoir glass filled with absinthe next to an absinthe spoon.
Absinthe is a distilled, highly alcoholic, anise-flavored spirit derived from herbs including the flowers and leaves of the medicinal plant Artemisia absinthium, also called wormwood. Although it is sometimes incorrectly called a liqueur, absinthe does not contain added sugar and is therefore classified as a liquor. Absinthe originated in Switzerland as an elixir, but is more well-known for its popularity in late 19th and early 20th century France, particularly among Parisian artists and writers whose romantic associations with the drink still linger in popular culture. In its heyday the most popular brand of absinthe worldwide was Pernod Fils. At the height of this popularity, absinthe was portrayed as a dangerously addictive, psychoactive drug; the chemical thujone was blamed for most of its deleterious effects. By 1915 it was banned in a number of European countries and the United States. Modern evidence shows it to be no more dangerous or psychoactive than ordinary alcohol. A modern-day absinthe revival began in the 1990s, as countries in the European Union began to reauthorize its manufacture and sale.

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The title page of a 1680 edition of Le cuisinier françois.
François Pierre La Varenne
B. 1618 – d. 1678

François Pierre La Varenne ( – Dijon ) was the author of Le cuisinier françois (1651), the founding text of modern French cuisine. La Varenne broke with the Italian traditions that had dominated medieval and Renaissance French cookery during 16th century. He was the foremost member of a group of French chefs, writing for a professional audience, who codified French cuisine for the age of Louis XIV. The others were Nicholas de Bonnefons, Le jardinier François (1651) and Les Délices de la Campagne (1654) and François Massialot, Le Cuisinier royal et bourgois, (1691), which was still being edited and modernized in the mid-18th century. La Varenne introduced the first bisque and Béchamel sauce. He replaced crumbled bread with roux as the base for sauces, and lard with butter. He was the first to use the concept of bouquet garni, fonds de cuisine (stocks) and reductions. It also contains the earliest recipe in print for the dessert mille-feuille.

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The Au Jus Sandwich, also known as French Dip Sandwiches or Roast Beef Au Jus, trace their origin to a restaurant in downtown Los Angeles in 1918, when a local restaurant owner making a sandwich for a police officer accidentally dropped a French roll into a pan containing beef drippings. The officer liked the sandwich so much that he brought some friends in the next day for some of these "dipped sandwiches". From that point on the au jus sandwich has gone on to become internationally known. There are two restaurants in Los Angeles that claim to have originated the sandwich. The more popularly known is Philippe The Original and the other is Cole's P.E. (Pacific Electric) Buffet - both have been in operation since 1908.

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S cerevisiae under DIC microscopy.jpg
Yeasts are a growth form of eukaryotic microorganisms classified in the kingdom Fungi, with about 1,500 species described; they dominate fungal diversity in the oceans. Most reproduce asexually by budding, although a few do by binary fission. Yeasts are unicellular, although some species with yeast forms may become multicellular through the formation of a string of connected budding cells known as pseudohyphae, or false hyphae as seen in most molds. Yeast size can vary greatly depending on the species, typically measuring 3–4 µm in diameter, although some yeasts can reach over 40 µm.

The yeast species Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used in baking and fermenting alcoholic beverages for thousands of years. It is also extremely important as a model organism in modern cell biology research, and is the most thoroughly researched eukaryotic microorganism. Researchers have used it to gather information into the biology of the eukaryotic cell and ultimately human biology. Other species of yeast, such as Candida albicans, are opportunistic pathogens and can cause infection in humans. Yeasts have recently been used to generate electricity in microbial fuel cells, and produce ethanol for the biofuel industry.

Yeasts do not form a specific taxonomic or phylogenetic grouping. At present it is estimated that only 1% of all yeast species have been described. The term "yeast" is often taken as a synonym for S. cerevisiae, however the phylogenetic diversity of yeasts is shown by their placement in both divisions Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. The budding yeasts ("true yeasts") are classified in the order Saccharomycetales.

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A good cook is the peculiar gift of the gods. He must be a perfect creature from the brain to the palate, from the palate to the finger's end.
— Walter Savage Landor

Did you know...

...that some cultures consume blood, some in the form of blood sausage, as a thickener for sauces, a cured salted form for times of food scarcity, and others use blood in stews such as civet?
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Fractal Broccoli.jpg
Credit: Jon Sullivan, PD

Closeup of the fractal pattern in a Romanesco broccoli.

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Food list articles

See also: Category:Lists of foods and Category:Lists of drinks

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Topics related to Food

The following are topics relating to food

Beverages Alcoholic beverage, Beer, Cocktail, Coffee, Distilled beverage, Energy drink, Espresso, Flaming beverage, Foodshake, Juice, Korean beverages, Liqueur, Milk, Milkshake, Non-alcoholic beverage, Slush, Smoothie, Soft drink, Sparkling water, Sports drink, Tea, Water, Wine
Cooking Baking, Barbecuing, Blanching, Baking Blind, Boiling, Braising, Broiling, Chefs, Coddling, Cookbooks, Cooking school, Cooking show, Cookware and bakeware, Cuisine, Deep frying, Double steaming, Food and cooking hygiene, Food processor, Food writing, Frying, Grilling, Hot salt frying, Hot sand frying, Infusion, Kitchen, Cooking utensils, Macerating, Marinating, Microwaving, Pan frying, Poaching, Pressure cooking, Pressure frying, Recipe, Restaurant, Roasting, Rotisserie, Sautéing, Searing, Simmering, Smoking, Steaming, Steeping, Stewing, Stir frying, Vacuum flask cooking
Cooking schools Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of America, French Culinary Institute, Hattori Nutrition College, International Culinary Center, Johnson & Wales University, Le Cordon Bleu, Louisiana Culinary Institute, New England Culinary Institute, Schenectady County Community College, State University of New York at Delhi
Dining Buffet, Catering, Drinkware, Food festival, Gourmand, Gourmet, Picnic, Potluck, Restaurant, Salad bar, Service à la française, Service à la russe, Table d'hôte, Thanksgiving dinner, Vegan, Vegetarian, Waiter, Wine tasting
Foods Baby food, Beans, Beef, Breads, Burger, Breakfast cereals, Cereal, Cheeses, Comfort food, Condiments, Confections, Convenience food, Cuisine, Dairy products, Delicacies, Desserts, Diet food, Dried foods, Eggs, Fast foods, Finger food, Fish, Flavoring, Food additive, Food supplements, Frozen food, Fruits, Functional food, Genetically modified food, Herbs, Hors d'œuvres, Hot dogs, Ingredients, Junk food, Legumes, Local food, Meats, Noodles, Novel food, Nuts, Organic foods, Pastas, Pastries, Poultry, Pork, Produce, Puddings, Salads, Sandwiches, Sauces, Seafood, Seeds, Side dishes, Slow foods, Soul food, Snack foods, Soups, Spices, Spreads, Staple food, Stews, Street food, Sweets, Taboo food and drink, Vegetables
Food industry Agriculture, Bakery, Dairy, Fair trade, Farmers' market, Farming, Fishing industry, Food additive, Food bank, Food co-op, Food court, Food distribution, Food engineering, Food processing, Food Salvage, Food science, Foodservice distributor, Grocery store, Health food store, Institute of Food Technologists, Meat packing industry, Organic farming, Restaurant, Software, Supermarket, Sustainable agriculture
Food organizations American Culinary Federation, American Institute of Baking, American Society for Enology and Viticulture, Chinese American Food Society, European Food Information Resource Network, Food and Agriculture Organization, Institute of Food Science and Technology, Institute of Food Technologists, International Association of Culinary Professionals, International Life Sciences Institute, International Union of Food Science and Technology, James Beard Foundation, World Association of Chefs Societies
Food politics Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, European Food Safety Authority, Food and agricultural policy, Food and Agriculture Organization, Food and Drugs Act, Food and Drug Administration, Food and Nutrition Service, Food crises, Food labelling Regulations, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Food security, Food Stamp Program, Food Standards Agency (UK), Natural food movement, World Food Council, World Food Prize, World Food Programme
Food preservation Canning, Dried foods, Fermentation, Freeze drying, Food preservatives, Irradiation, Pasteurization, Pickling, Preservative, Snap freezing, Vacuum evaporation
Food science Appetite, Aristology, Biosafety, Cooking, Danger zone, Digestion, Famine, Fermentation, Flavor, Food allergy, Foodborne illness, Food coloring, Food composition, Food chemistry, Food craving, Food faddism, Food engineering, Food preservation, Food quality, Food safety, Food storage, Food technology, Gastronomy, Gustatory system, Harvesting, Product development, Sensory analysis, Shelf-life, Slaughtering, Taste, Timeline of agriculture and food technology
Meals Breakfast, Second breakfast, Elevenses, Brunch, Tiffin, Lunch, Tea, Dinner, Supper, Dessert, Snack
Courses of a meal Amuse bouche, Bread, Cheese, Coffee, Dessert, Entrée, Entremet, Hors d'œuvre, Main course, Nuts, Salad, Soup
Nutrition Chronic toxicity, Dietary supplements, Diet, Dieting, Diets, Eating disorder, Food allergy, Food energy, Food groups, Food guide pyramid, Food pyramid, Food sensitivity, Healthy eating, Malnutrition, Nootropic, Nutraceutical, Nutrient, Obesity, Protein, Protein combining, Yo-yo dieting
Occupations Baker, Butcher, Chef, Personal chef, Farmer, Food stylist, Grocer, Waiter
Other Food chain, Incompatible Food Triad

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