Frequently, I buy food well in advance of when I will probably eat it (~3-5 days). In order to maximize the quality (flavor, texture, etc.) of the food when I do eat it, should I cook the food as early or as late as possible? That is, would it be better to cook it early and store the cooked food, or store the raw food and cook it later?
Of course, the best would be to cook it right before serving, but assume that I can't do that--I will have to cook the food at least 24h before I plan to eat it, and reheat it then.
This scenario usually happens with vegetables, but also with meats, if that makes a difference in your answer.