There are many cases where archaic lore is used to represent alchemy formulas. An anecdote to explain how thx1 was used to empty the room may suggest how it is meant to be used without telling the player in plain English or forcing them to guess.
Telling the player right away what something is as they gather can be a pretty stale delivery method. Worst case scenario, the player drinks a super growth hormone when lore said "totally radical for turtles".
If the process is long and uninspiring, and a chore, I'd rather have the option to skip after the first time. 30 minute cooking creates immersion, but it's a lot of nothing happening. If the process is really easy and builds up momentum I guess it's ok, it may even seem necessary. Use 15 of ingredient A to make 5 of ingredient B, so it can produce potion X. For this recipe alone someone's going to check their recipe list 15 times before they have 15 ingredient A.
I'm not into puzzles because the previous statement applies, but I can think of a reason they would be interesting.
I've witnessed some abstract processes, especially alchemy, represented in puzzle games, but they would only reward me with level completion. This can get a little too complicated for me and results with unproportionate sized reward-to-difficulty is a pretty big downer. If the reward was something amazing I'd be looking forward to the next.