Ever wondered this: why do chefs cook with alcohol, anyway? (In other words, shouldn’t you just drink it? After all, isn’t that what it’s made for?.).
There are, in fact, a fair number of reasons why the kitchen workshop is a prime place for booze. The main reason is pretty simple. It all comes down to flavor, as fermentation intensifies and concentrates the taste of its base ingredient, infusing the dish with its essence. A good example: many common cooking extracts, such as vanilla, are actually alcohol-based themselves, ideal for alcohol cooking.
There are other reasons to incorporate alcohol that are wholly based on how the substance itself interacts with food. It chemically reacts with and releases natural flavors in certain foods, can work to tenderize some meats, has the ability to leaven breads and baked goods, and is unmatched in dramatic presentations like flambés.