Top 10 Cultural Cuisines from Around the WorldSeptember 27, 2021
By: Ty Beamon
Food is important to all people and cultures. Each different culture brings its own unique flair to the table. Here are the Top 10 cultural dishes we’ve chosen from around the world.
Nigeria The existence of the African country of Nigeria can be traced back to colonizers engaged in trade across the region. Many African civilizations settled in what is now Nigeria – bringing along with them their own food cultures, such as the ancient Wolof Empire. Also known as the Jolof Empire – a West African state ruled by Senegal from 1350 to 1549, and introduced Nigeria to jollof rice. Jollof rice is a spicy rice-based stew made with a combination of tomatoes, onions, peppers, and a variety of seasonings. It is an iconic staple in celebratory social gatherings. This rich, dark orange bit of deliciousness can be consumed by itself or with sides such as: moin-moin,( a soft, creamy bean pudding), coleslaw, or poached or soft boiled eggs.
Mexico Mexican cultural history spans three millennia. The country was first populated by a complex indigenous population, before developing into a unique, multicultural society. Fun Fact: Mexico’s official name is United Mexican States (or Estados Unidos), because it is a federation of states. It is also the birth of street tacos. Traditional Mexican street tacos are typically sold in taquerias, but were first introduced in the silver mines in Mexico around the 19th century. Cooked meats (like barbacoa, tacos al pastor, and carne asada) are served on two corn tortillas garnished with chopped onions, cilantro or salsa. Authentic street tacos do not use lettuce, tomatoes or cheese.
North America has a complicated relationship when it comes to a signature national cultural dish, because it’s a country filled with diverse cuisines and cultures. However, one signature food dear to most Americans is the beloved buffalo wing. Buffalo wings are the invention of Buffalo, New York restaurant owner Teressa Bellissimo in 1964. Bellissimo combined leftover chicken wings in her own special hot sauce. Served with celery and blue cheese, the buffalo wing was a hit and really started to take off in the 1990s. In 1990, McDonald’s began selling “Mighty Wings. KFC introduced hot wings later that same year. Domino’s Pizza added them to their menu in 1994. Wings also correlate with American football.
Italian cuisine really started to take shape after the fall of the Roman Empire when different cities began to separate and form their own traditions and customs. Different types of breads and pastas were made during this period, such as Neapolitan pizza.In 1889, King Umberto and Queen Margherita of Savoy made a visit to Naples – a city responsible for the invention of pizza. As a tribute to the queen, local pizza maker, Raffaele Esposito, baked a pie whose colors mirrored those of the Italian flag: red (tomatoes), white (mozzarella), and green (basil). Ironically, this style of pizza gave birth to the famous New York style pizza and was first introduced by Italian immigrants in the U.S. in the early 20th century.
Indian cuisine consists of a variety of regional and traditional native cuisines. These cuisines vary and use available spices like herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Indian foods are heavily influenced by religion, Hinduism and Islam in particular – like Masala Dosa. Masala Dosa has its origins in the Indian state of Kamataka, and is made from rice, lentils, potato, fenugreek, ghee, and curry leaves. These thin pancakes or crepes are served with sambar (a spicy condiment made of fruits or vegetables with vinegar, spices, and sugar). It made its debut in Udupi restaurants in Mumbai in the 1930s.
Find out what the other Top 10 Cultural Cuisines are in Soul and Salsa Magazine