The great mass of detail seems to have prevented its organization in the shape of a logical system, and it became, consequently, a matter of great difficulty to teach and use it in practical life with celerity and ease.
In the present treatise it has been attempted to produce such a system of general rules as will enable those who thoroughly master them to perform the principal culinary operations without reference to the frequently unintelligible records of the details of mere empiricism. These rules are based in the first place upon unimpeachable scientific data or fundamental truths which admit of no circumvention or compromise, but have to be obeyed under pain of certain failure. This obedience has at once its ample reward in clearing the subject of a mass of errors and delusions which disfigure it as a science, and impair its utility, and in placing into the hands of operators the means of attaining their object with certainty and elegance.
Physiological deduction proves that perfect cookery is the greatest economy, and that no cookery is rational which does not attain the utmost theoretically possible effect, namely, the production of the highest physiological force. Physicians have many opportunities for observing the effect of various kinds of food and different modes of preparation upon the several classes of society, and have not rarely to advise on their selection and use. By combining with this function the study of individualities and their possible idiosyncrasies they practise the art of dietetics.