How Do People Do Food Where You’re From?

One of the most interesting things about traveling for me is observing how different countries/cultures/ethnicities/religions do food.

DT30 - Food - PLet us know about the culinary traditions of your country/culture/ethnicity/religion/family—anything from the types of ingredients or dishes to the way you set the table to eating-related rituals to the time of day food is eaten. It’s all interesting!

P.S. I came up with this topic at 2:30pm on a day when I haven’t eaten yet.

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  • Keir

    Excitedly, I scrolled down to the comments section to see the wealth of knowledge being shared by all the different kinds of WBW readers- …to find that there weren’t any comment yet, because the post was only six minutes old.
    So I might as well start it off.
    I’m English, and we drink tea a lot.

    • Pepperice

      Agreed, but I think that the idea of how the English drink tea is quite apart from the reality. We tend to drink it out of mugs, not cute little cups and saucers. The best kind of tea is known as “builder’s tea” where the teabag is steeped so it is strong, and with milk and sugar added. (Not everyone adds sugar, of course, but everyone has milk.) “English breakfast tea” bought elsewhere is weak, really weak. A real English person is usually horrified by this.

      Another observation from living abroad is that English people have no idea what kind of tea we actually drink, and this baffles the rest of the world. Let me explain; when you go into a British supermarket, there will be an aisle on which the hot drinks are sold, with a large section full of different kinds of instant coffee, and a large section full of different brands of teabags. Just tea. Not fruit tea, not herbal tea, but just tea. (The herbal and fruit teas will usually be off somewhere else in the hippy food aisle, if they exist at all). You can buy decaffeinated tea, choose from round, square, or pyramid shaped bags, tea specifically for hard water, extra strong tea, but no matter what, it’s all just tea.

      So, imagine this English person’s confusion on arriving in a foreign land and visiting the supermarket for the first time. Huge aisles of multicoloured herbal, fruity, sweet, sour, bitter, mysterious, aromatic teas but not one “just tea”. I tried “black tea” but that was wrong. Somebody told me that British tea is Assam tea, so I tried that but it tasted like cat wee. In the end I was forced to pay €3 for a box of PG tips at an Asian store. So bizarre.

      Then there are all kinds of social conventions around tea. It’s a ritual as much as it is a drink. Most adults drink only tea, coffee, possibly water, and alcohol. We drink it in the morning to wake up, offer it to visitors immediately, even brief ones, especially workers (plumbers, builders, and the like). There’s a work etiquette around it, tea is made in rounds, and everyone openly but silently despises that one person who always accepts but never offers to make it. Correct tea making is judged by the colour (I used to work with a woman who preferred her tea “The colour of Dale Winton”, as though that was a perfectly normal request.) Some people get really het up over whether or not it’s acceptable to microwave a cup of tea which has gone cold, and others will practically wage war over whether it’s correct to put the milk or the tea in the cup first (The answer is of course, related to whether you’re using a teapot or a bag directly in the cup. You don’t want to add hot water to a teabag sitting in cold milk, it just boils the milk and the fat prevents the teabag from working properly.)

      In the past people drank tea with meals. We don’t do this now because we know that tannins block iron absorption, but many older people still do. We still do tea for shock or sympathy – it’s like a reflex. When something bad happens I have a gigantic urge to make everyone tea. It just makes you feel as though you’re doing something useful. A tea made with sympathy really does taste better – it’s like a hug. Just the fact that somebody cares enough to do that for you is wonderful.

      I miss tea.

  • Hanna Verbogt

    I’m from the Netherlands, (a small country between germany and belgium) Our dinner rituals are to me really normal and not special at all. it’s usually around 6 p.m. and we (the family, parents, children) just sit around a table and eat whatever the parent has made. It’s the time the family is together so the conversation is always about how the day was for everyone, what exciting and less exciting. Then the topics will start to go to politics, or funny events from people we know. When everyone has finished (And only when EVERYONE finished, which is really annoying since my sister just can’t seem to eat like a normal person and needs to talk for one hour before putting half a corrot in her mouth…) the dishes will get washed (by the kids, in my family) And that’s that. The meals in a day are devided in breakfast, unch and dinner. In between breakfast and lunch we’re expected to eat a piece of fruit. breakfast usually consists out of bread (with toppings like chocolate sprinkles, peantbutter, honey, etc etc) and so does lunch. Mc donalds is seen here as a place where tired parents go who just travelled a long way and can’t take it to cook. It’s absolutely not a restaurant where you would go with your friends and family or something, like I heard was normal in the US. Only when you’re a teenager or something you might go there, but as an adult, it’s not really seen as normal, i think. Well.. I guess that’s it. Not a lot more interesting things to say about it… Except maybe it’s weird that it’s polite and normal that you take only one cookie, one piece of cake, a thin slice… And the portions are always quite small. Yeah, that’s about it.

    • Chiel Wieringa

      From the Netherlands as well (a small country that contains Amsterdam). This is to fill in some things I missed in above summary.

      Breakfast is coffee (and it’s black, really black, not that dirty water I got served several times in NYC), coffee and more coffee oh and some food usually bread witch cheese or peanutbutter and a glass of milk but also a thing called “crushly” (a bit like cereal but less unhealthy and I don’t know how to spell it) with yoghurt. After that some more coffee. At lunch (12 o’clock sharp) there is some more coffee, and usually more bread with cheese. After that some more coffee. At 17.30 sharp (or 18.00 sharp depending on where you live) it’s dinnertime. Dinner is traditionally potatoes with gravy with vegetables and a piece of meat. But the last 20 years or so the pasta’s and rice dishes are pretty popular as well. After that the last bit of coffee of the day.

      McDonalds (or other “burgershops”) we do not consider real food. At least bye sane people. Chips (not to be confused with french fries, because that is not worthy of the name chips) are eaten WITH mayonnaise! DO NOT EVER SERVE CHIPS WITHOUT MAYONNAISE! But this is eaten when the cook (usually “Mom”) has a day off.

      Typical dutch dishes:
      “Stampotten” (stews) like “Boerenkool stampot” (kale), “Zuurkool stampot” (sauerkraut) or “Hutspot” (hodgepodge). They are usually served with a smoked sausage.
      Andijvie (endive), Spinazie (spinach), Spruitjes (Brussels (pfft.. they wish! :P) sprout) to be the vegetable with the potatoes.
      Coffee

    • Susan

      I want to stress to you and Chiel that Americans see McDonald’s the same way…hardly anyone goes out to eat there when not on a road trip. At least some people in the netherlands must like mcdonald’s or else why would it be there?

      • Jeff Lewis

        Well, I do eat at McDonald’s and other fast food places a bit more often than just road trips, but it’s almost always when I’m busy and need to grab something quick, or everyone in the family is going their own directions that night and I don’t feel like getting a bunch of pots and pans dirty just for me. But you’re right – it’s not the type of place where the whole family would go to together for dinner. Very rarely, I’ll make a special trip to McDonald’s for breakfast to pick up something for everyone and bring it home about the time everyone’s getting out of bed, but that’s only a few times a year.

  • Wousje

    In the Netherlands ; breakfast is bread with cheese or thinly sliced sausage or something sweet; e.g. chocale sprinkels (called Hagelslag) jam or pinut butter. We also have pear sirup. Usually breakfast is acompanied by a glass of Milk or orange Juice or coffee / tea. Breakfast cal also be yoghurt with muesli.
    With regards to lunch the same thing, or maybe a omelet or an uitsmijter (3 slices of bread with 3 eggs sunny side up. Sometimes ham and cheese are added).
    For dinner (around 18 o’clock) the standard is patatos, vegetables and Meat. Sometimes dinner is snackfood (Fries with mayonaise and a kroket or frikandel) or pancakes. These are much thinner than the american ones and can be bakes with bacon, cheese, Apple etc. Other Dutch foods are; stampot (mashed patatos with vegetables, for example with carrots and onions or with saur kraut or kale) we also have meatballs (acompanied with sad patatos and veggies) or as snack food bitterballen, frikandellen and kaassouffles.

    Nest to patatos, veggied and Meat we also eat pasta, Rice dishes, taco’s, pizza (italian style) etc.

    Dinner in our houdehold (me and my boyfriend) is usually eaten in front of the tv… thus also the case in a lot of Other households…When having friends or family over for dinner, you eat at the dinner table.

  • Lontar

    I’m mostly Polish and unfortunately the traditions have all but died with my parents’ generation. We still do kielbasa, rye bread and horseradish at just about every family gathering but that’s about it.

    As a bachelor I don’t have “habits” or “traditions”. I do, however cook at a soup kitchen for a living and that keeps my eating patterns interesting:

    – I don’t remember the last time I had a proper breakfast. Black coffee and maybe a protein bar or something to get me to lunch.

    – Lunch is typically a portion of whatever I made at work, typically a stew, soup, pasta or stir fry. I also have a salad and a hot vegetable.

    – Dinner is typically a nutritional disaster. Being a cook, it’s about the last thing I want to do when I get home. I’m quite fond of frozen pizzas and simple sandwiches, and usually eat out twice a week (recurring social activities– A diner one night and pizza the other).

    From a cook’s perspective, it’s an illuminating experience to (almost) never have access to top-quality ingredients. My station in life is more about gleaning, and I don’t pull down a ton of money myself. Necessarily, I find myself stitching together meals out of whatever is available, which I think is an extremely undervalued skill in lower middle-class America.

    It should also go to mention that actually sitting down to a proper place setting is exceedingly rare for me. It only happens in restaurants or on holidays with relatives. I’m jealous of German or French food culture– where proper gustation is built directly into the social norms.

  • Luis Filipe Martins Barros

    In Brasil we have a lot of deep fried fast food. And it’s delicious.
    The ‘standard’ meal here would be white rice, beans, salad (lettuce + tomato mostly), some french fries and a steak. Meat here is pretty cheap so it is common to have steak twice a day, every day. BTW we have something called ‘churrasco’ where we invite our friends and family to eat roasted meat all day long. Really, we start at 10 am and don’t stop until 6 pm or so.
    Another typical dish in Brasil ‘feijoada’. It’s black beans with some ‘less noble’ parts of pork, like feet, nose, ears and with some herbs. It used to be the food of slaves back in the 18th century, but it was so delicious that other layers of society started to eat it too. Nowadays it is pretty common to find it in any restaurant.
    In the northern states of my country food is very spicy. VERY spicy. Do remember that if you ever visit any northern states.
    I could go on all day about typical foods, but let’s see some eating-related costumes around here.
    Families here tend to have breakfast, lunch, dinner and pretty much all meals together. Usually in a table, so they can talk about their day and stuff. We like to have an afternoon break to drink some coffee & milk.
    About food-related religious stuff there is not much to say. Our predominant religion is Christian, and more specifically, Catholic. Each church has the name of a Saint or Madonna, and there is a day of the year for those saints. In the week of the day of the Saint, the religious folks set up a fair with some typical foods we commonly only find there. For exemple: ‘espetinhos’ (roasted meat on a stick), ‘maçã do amor’ (apple of love / an apple with some crunchy caramelized topping), grapes and strawberries on a stick covered with chocolate (there isn’t a name for that), hot dogs (ours is very different from the american, we put corn, fries, sometimes tomatoes, cheese and sauces in it), mini pizzas, many tipes of deep fried foods (pastel, coxinha, croquete, cigarrete, and a lot more) and many kinds of cakes and pies.

    This is not 1% of all there is to know about our food, but it’s a lot already. I really suggest you come here and try everything you can, because it’s all delicious. Trust me, I know. I’ve been everywhere and there is no better food than here. Visit us, we’ll be glad to show you everything 🙂

    • In terms of food our country is great, really. As a fellow huebrbr, I agree with you.

  • Though I’ve lived all over the western hemisphere, I was born in Baltimore, and I still think of it as “where I’m from.” As American cities goes, it’s a weird one, and it turns out weirder people: Frank Zappa, John Waters, David Byrne, Animal Collective, Tori Amos, Murdock from the A-Team…

    Following that theme, Baltimorons have one of the more off-the-wall culinary traditions in America. It’s called the crab feast, and it’s an amazing, several-hour long, social-gathering-style meal.

    Long, family-style tables are taken outside and laid with brown grocery bags or newspapers as a tablecloth, and each seat is set with a wood mallet, a nut cracker and a pairing knife as the utensils. An ice tub or cooler is set at the foot of each table, and it will be full of American-style lager or pils, in cans, packed in ice.

    On the menu there will be: steamed Maryland blue crabs as the main dish, with steamed Silver-Queen corn and possibly cucumber salad (sliced cucumbers and onions in vinegar), carrot salad (shredded carrots, raisins, cranberries and pineapple) and, occasionally, Maryland crab soup as the sides.

    For a good read about the Baltimore obsession with crab feasts, check out: http://www.baltimoremagazine.net/2014/7/1/the-perfect-crab-feast

    Looking forward to reading the comments on this one! But since I’m early, like Keir below, I’ll have to wait.

    • Jeff Lewis

      I lived in Maryland during my high school and college years, and agree that nobody does crabs as good as Maryland. I had a friend who would go crabbing from time to time and invite me over for the cookout. That was some good eatin’.

    • Emily

      I live pretty close to Baltimore (in Arlington VA). How would I go about attending one of these things? Do restaurants have them or do I just need to befriend a Baltimorean?

      • Jeff Lewis

        Obviously, the most fun way would be to befriend someone who’s having their own crab feast in their backyard, but there are plenty of restaurants and crab shacks you can go to. I’ve been away from the area too many years to have any recommendations, but I’m sure google can help you on that. And don’t feel like you’re limited to Baltimore. Most towns near the Chesapeake in Maryland have good crab shacks.

      • Jeff is dead-on, Emily. The best possibility is to be invited to a backyard feast, but there are plenty of great restaurants (around Baltimore, of course), but also in and around D.C. and all over the DelMarVa peninsula (aka: Eastern Shore).

        On the Eastern Shore, there’s, of course, in and around Ocean City, MD and DE (which taken together, are basically Baltimore in the summertime). From friends and family, I’ve been hearing awesome things about Pier Street Marina in Oxford (which is due east of you, basically right across the bay from D.C.).

        In and around Baltimore itself, I’m from the south-east side, so I’m biased: Shultz’s (Essex), Costa’s Inn (Dundalk) and Captain Jimmy’s (Dundalk).

        Here’s the most recent Top 10 list I’ve found from the Baltimore Sun.
        http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/dining/baltimore-diner-blog/bal-top-10-baltimore-crab-decks-and-patios-you-have-to-try-pictures-20130520-photogallery.html

        • Emily

          Thanks, Darryl!!

  • Antoine Aublin

    Normality is quite relative ! I’m from France, I’m white (seems like we’re supposed to precise it, isnt it?) btw… I actually think for example that strangers (in other European countries at leats) eat dinner really early in the afternoon. Here it’s usually around 8 pm…
    We always eat all together, and I guess our dinners are usually quite long… There isn’t any kind of “mystical” ritual around the table though. My parents and I usually try to cook some cool things, kinda elaborated too.

    You gotta know that Europe is split into two antagonist factions waging a war about food since the ancient times :
    POTATO VS TOMATO. Basically, Southern Europe considers tomato as one of the most basic ingredients. Same thing for the north with potatoes…
    And the thing is that France is also split into two… So even if I’m supposed to be in the potato area, I tend to prefer toamto, since my mom partly comes from Italy. I’ve seen a dutch lady in the comments below : that’s a good example of a potato country as you can see thanks to Netherland’s classic meals described in her comment.

    What else… Yeah ! We french tend to overlook most of other european country’s food (except Italy maybe)… And I partially agree : northern countries food isnt awesome (sorry guys…)

    • Luis Filipe Martins Barros

      I had no idea about that Potato x Tomato thing. Pretty interesting

      • Antoine Aublin

        Well I’m a bit exaggerating but this is still true !

    • Jessica N. Jardin

      Hey, I’m French too (quite pink at the moment), and I once read an article about the butter Europe and the olive oil Europe, as well.
      About our eating habits over here, I’d say that the most remarquable thing is that we feel guilty if we actually don’t cook it, even if it’s nothing sophisticate. Like, we wouldn’t give our kids a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. A basic lunch could be composed of chicken breasts, string beans and potatoes, for example, and we’d probably eat some cheese and bread (real, bread). Therefore, we have what we call “cantines” in schools, and menus are supervised by nurses, to ensure they’re balanced.
      (Oh, and, please, we don’t give our kids wine).
      This being said, our cooking habits are slowly evolving, and young adults are more into fusion food nowadays. More tasty, more fun. Don’t know what will happen to our stereotypes about American food, when someone will have the idea to import pulled pork. This had me at hello.

    • Chiel Wieringa

      I’d like to go a bit further and say: There is europe where food matters (usually tomato area) and europe where we just can’t cook (potato area, England being an extreme example). But that might just be my opinion.

      • Thea

        Think so too 🙂 But one thing you get in potato area is more variety and more possibilities to taste different kitchens – if the food is not great, let’s see how other countries are doing! I’m half Dutch and supermarkets over there are full of food from all over the world – Asian, French, Italian… While in Italy I really have to especially go to my little local Chinese shop to find soya sauce. Curiosity in other countries’ kitchens and traditions lacks here.

    • Thea

      ahah, loved these maps. I think I’d be obese if I lived in France, every time I go and put my hands on all those cheeses, pathés, quiches, croissants and sauces everywhere my life gets a little better and my body a bit worse 😉 I found myself wondering how come the French tend not to be fat as a people. All the typical food that comes to my mind is pretty heavy… I don’t excepect you to eat them every day (I’m italian and I think I get to eat tiramisu twice a year or something) but still, in every restaurant/bistrot I went there were tons of butter everywhere and my French friends put crème fraiche wherever.

  • 30yomomof3

    I’m from Finland, but I have been living in the Netherlands for the last 8 years and before that I used to live in Italy for a year. My Dutch husband used to live in the States for years and our circles in the Netherlands are rather international, so we have a very mixed kitchen most of the time. I cook most of the stuff from scratch, because I really like to know where our food comes from. This morning before our weekly grocery shopping I made a weekly menu for us for next week and it includes: bruschetta chicken with broccoli and fries; homemade pizza hawaii & pizza shoarma; carrot, zucchini and Finnish cheese fritters (for veggie burgers) served with potato wedges; chicken satay with rice and cucumber; stir-fry shrimp noodle wok and pasta alla bolognese. I have spent years learning to cook everyday stuff and I am always looking to try new things. I run a voluntary based international cooking circle with a few other moms, where we cook or bake dishes from everyone’s native countries and teach them to each other every few months. Our circle includes moms from Taiwan, the US, Colombia, Chile, Catalonia (nope, not Spain) and Finland, obviously.

  • Pamflet

    Denmark here. Breakfast in my house is usually oatmeal, but all kinds of cereal are popular in this country. Also yougurt is big as a breakfast type. Danes drink a lot of coffee. A lot. So that is also a standard morning intake. Not me though, I prefer tea.

    • Pamflet

      Ups. Didn’t finish. 😀

      Lunch is traditionally rye bread with diffrent kinds of cold cuts on top. Danes like pork. I think we have invented a million different ways to eat pork. There are 15 mill pigs in Denmark, we are 5 mill people.

      Dinner is by a large made from scratch although semi-precooked meals are getting more popular. It often depends on your social standing. Higher education tend to spend more time cooking. We are pretty diverse in the cooking area. Italian and french influences are apparent, but also asian. I myself eat vegetarian meals, which I make from scratch.

    • disqus_dor1YsFNCG

      Havregryn: Jeg elsker Havregryn. :=

    • Emily

      Hi! I visited Denmark last summer, and my great-grandfather is from there. Does Denmark have any signature dishes besides herring?
      My family eats aebleskivers every Christmas 🙂

  • Pierre Kabir Monserrat

    Hey I’m French and one of the biggest difference I experienced between France and other Europeans countries is the breakfast . For most of us , the first meal of the day must be composed exclusively of sweet things ( toast with jam, chocolate butter fruits ), nothing like eggs, cheese or meat. Even if we wake up very late like after a party, most of my friends and I can’t eat something else even if in an other context, it would have been lunch time ! And if I have nothing to soak my toast in, my day starts very bad and I think it’s quite french as well 😀

    • Cat.

      I was about to write the same experience. Everybody gets so surprised when I explain that Italian people eat just sweet things for breakfast (in particular a huuuge amount of biscuits dipped in milk/coffee). I live in Canada now and no one can understand except for French and Spanish people.

      • Gyo

        Romanians too: same habit as French and Italian. We typically eat jam+butter with toast/bread and a coffee or tea in the morning. Sweet stuff. 🙂

      • Tifani

        Same in Mexico, we also eat sweet bread and coffee/milk/tea in the
        morning, but there’s also a lot of other breakfast foods with meat,
        eggs…ect.

  • Emma D

    Nothing can beat a good old fry up for breakfast! I am from a the UK and it would be a weekly tradition that every Sunday morning my mother would cook a massive breakfast consisting of; fried eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, black pudding (blood sausage), toast with butter and marmalade, orange juice and tea/coffee. This feast would keep us going all day until dinner time, normally about 8pm. Every Sunday evening we would sit down as a family to eat a very typical roast. One of my favourites would be roast chicken and roasted pork belly served together with roast potatoes, peas, carrots and bread sauce with gravy! Sunday’s were great in my house!

  • girly freak

    Hey, I am from Germany – but I can not identify with “Germans” in this case.

    As a vegan I don’t like those “normal” eating habits of any culture (or at least any culture I know). I am eating even different from any other vegans I know. I need to be able to morally account for everything I eat. I do not eat, what my culture told me.

    That’s the problem about cultures. They teach you things without a good reason and you just do so. Why? Nobody really knows. There is no good reason for eating meat or milk products or eggs. I try to think logically about everything. That’s why I would also not take any drugs (especially those, which cause harm). We don’t need them to survive, contrariwise we may die because of them. In Germany there is such a high consumption of alcohol, I really don’t get it. How can anybody value such cultures?

    • jonathan

      I am like you… I don’t drink, do drugs, eat meat etc. I think a lot of people in my country just do things because they don’t question the status quo. Like, when I ask people why they eat meat they just sort of say it tastes good. Then I say how much fuel was wasted to make it and how cruel the animals were tortured they just sort of avoid eye contact. It’s really hard for people to face the truth… they think with their taste buds, not with their morality.

      I am noticing a change though… I eat vegan everywhere and luckily there are many options springing up to cater to that… Even at greasy spoons! … And many people my own age have at least realized how bad meat and animal products are in a logical way… maybe the next generation will have fully stopped this unsustainable habit.

  • Jonathan

    In Canada you commute a lot (It’s a big car-focused country) and you get breakfast at drive throughs like Tim Hortons… It’s a gigantic national coffee and donught shop… National addiction if you ask me. Breakfast foods include Bagels, Egg sandwiches, Muffins (More like cupcakes) and doughnuts. With daily meals like this, as well as fast food joints all over, our population is getting extremely fat.

    There is such a range of ethnicities here that home based breakfasts are hard to generalize. But I would wager they are about 100x more healthy than anything you could buy on the road.

  • Garry

    In Ireland we tend to honor the time old tradition of a disgustingly greasy kebab at 3 in the morning once a week. Not a potato in sight (I actually hate potatoes just for the record…)
    On a serious note though I find Ireland strangely bereft of culinary customs!

    • Rusty Shackleford

      In the US people think Irish food is cabbage, potatoes, and corned beef 😛

  • GoSox

    I live in Boston and I am from an Irish family and ever since I was a kid we ate brown bread. What throws most people off is that it comes from a can and is shaped like a cylinder. Usually it has raisins and we toast it and put butter on top. I thought this was a normal thing until I got older and nobody else had heard of it, even in Massachusetts.

  • Zach

    What is food that you are speaking of?

  • Jerome

    My family name is Swiss and my ancestry is middle Europe where the countries change their names and borders every 50 years. In short, the dinner table is meat, potatoes and veggies. Lots of butter and dairy too. It’s very hearty food but nearly everyone was a farmer back then and that is very hard work.
    The only different thing about the way we ate growing up was the meal order. I’m fourth generation Canadian and city born but before me, most were born on a farm. That meant the big meal of the day was at noon. So even though my family lived in the city we ate breakfast. a big dinner at noon and then a light supper in the evening. This was so prevalent that the schools had a 90 minute midday break so the students could have time to get home, eat a big meal, help around the house and then get back to school on time.

  • Gabriel

    I live in New Zealand, my father’s side of the family have been here for many generations since the beginning of New Zealand as a colony with Scottish and Irish roots, while my mother is English. So we have had a lot of British originated or influenced food in our household, fairly normal for people here. We are a very multicultural country with the majority being of European (mainly British) descent as well as having significant Maori (native Polynesian New Zealanders), Pacific Islander and Asian minorities, so they have a lot of their own cuisine too. We are still a very young country but we have a well developed sense of identity and take pride in what foods we have created or made our own. Major examples being the Pavlova, lolly cake and Anzac biscuits. We find we have to contest with Australians to prove what food is ours, the Pavlova has been proved to be a New Zealand invention, something we hold a surprising amount of pride in. There is a lot of beef and lamb production here, We call the evening meal ‘tea’ more often than ‘dinner’. There is a successful wine industry also. I would highly recommend google serching ‘Marmageddon new zealand’ to get an idea of how much the spread Marmite means to Kiwi’s (NZers). New Zealand also has a highly developed coffee culture, cafes can be found everywhere, I have worked in at least three in my lifetime. Meat pies and fish and chips are also a very popular fastfood, and can be found everywhere. Communal food events developed here could be a ‘hangi’ (maori meal cooked in an earth oven) or a ‘sausage sizzle’ (charity barbecue). The drinking culture is massive here, especially in Dunedin, a student city, New Zealanders can all purchase and consume alcohol at 18 years old. Iconic New Zealand alcohol brands may include Speights beer or Tui beer. One last interesting thing I’d like to mention is the ‘dairy’, not actually a dairy as such but elsewhere it would be called a convenience store or corner shop, but that’s what it has become, you can buy small $1 bags of lollies (New Zealander slang for sweets/candy), ice cream, milkshakes or groceries here. Like fish and chip shops or cafes they are everywhere.

    • Arturo Arranz

      Double Brown FTW

  • Jo.C

    Okay a pretty random country I guess – Malaysia.

    If this is not already common knowledge, Malaysia consists of 3 major ethnic groups – Malay, Chinese, Indian and on top of that we have a number of other minority groups as well.

    Point is our multi-cultural background has resulted in our food kind of assimilated into each other. Many traditional dishes or meals are no longer purely Chinese, Malay or Indian. This is awesome because you get for example a traditional Chinese dish with some Indian influence in it and vice versa which often are unique (and awesome) flavours that you can’t get anywhere else. Okay maybe except Singapore, so relax Singaporeans.

    If I were to pick 1 aspect of our lives that have assimilated together the best culturally it’ll definitely be food. Perhaps this is unsurprising?

    Also, I feel the need to complain that writing this has led me to google Malaysian food on a Monday morning on an empty stomach. Thanks a lot WBW.

  • Martin Nick Smolík

    In Slovakia, we handcraft each meal. Cooking from pre-packed (or instant) dishes is seen as lazy, and the person who does that is seen as one that doesn’t know anything about kitchen (most times rightly so).

    Meal time is important here, it brings the family together. Most food that we cook is very greasy, or has so much fat that a dietologist would cry. We also cook vegetables, mostly potatoes and sauerkraut. (I’m eating a sauerkraut soup made by my mother’s recipe right now. It’s delicious.) Recipes are often kept within family and passed down from parents to children, most people learn to cook like their parent’s do, so it’s fairly uncommon for someone to cook something entirely different (Like me cooking Thai curry), but it is not seen as strange either.

    The more traditional Slovak dishes make use of sheep milk and cheese, but it is fairly expensive, so most people only cook with it on special occasions.

    The big part of Slovak cuisine is also alcohol, but that is a story for another day.

  • C KARTIK

    Culturally from the south of India,born in the North(lived in Delhi for more than 30 + years) and roughing it out for the last 5 years in the West of India,have had the unique pleasure of sampling almost everything that the country has had to offer in terms of culinary sins.
    Love the North Indian breakfasts(Chhole Bhature, Paratha etc) alternated with the Southie(Vada-Saambhaar,Dosa ,Upma etc).A common feature of all Indian dishes is the usage of condiments and spices(peppers,cloves,cardamom,nutmeg etc),oil(mustard,coconut,sunflower,vegetable).

    We’re also quite liberal with tomatoes and onions.Being a vegetarian,I cannot comment on what meat-based dishes my fellow countrymen/women partake of.

    The larger cities usually have people rushing off to offices dipping into oats,cornflakes,muesli etc as these contain lesser cholesterol than our traditional dishes.Lunch is mostly veggies,soup and Indian bread with a dessert almost all over India and dinner mostly the same as lunch with rice and that’s usually a family affair.

  • Bill

    In the Midwestern U.S., I think we’re more concerned about providing an overabundance of food than about a specific style. Hospitality is a big deal, and we love cooking for people. Come to the Midwest. We’ll feed you and send you home with leftovers.

  • varunksaini

    Also in India, lot of people still like to eat with their hands (I mean they don’t like eating with spoon) for many reasons. Some say that food is more tasty with hands compare to spoon etc. and some people attach it to tradition etc. I could never eat rice etc. with my hand but some people in my family do.

    Also many people prefer eating while sitting on the floor compare to sitting on a dining table. not many people prefer eating while walking or working as eating food is more about experience and social than just to eat food and get done with it.

  • sportibus

    The most unusual
    thing about Austrian meals is probably that you can have a sweet main course.
    So you might have a soup before and then you have for example Germknödel (a
    quite big dumpling filled with plum jam) covered in a mixture of sugar and
    grounded poppy seeds. Apart from southern Bavaria, the Czech Republic and
    Slovakia (so pretty much big chunks of what used to be the Austrian empire 100
    years ago) I haven’t heard from eating something as a main course which would
    be considered a desert in the rest of the continent.

    • Thea

      oh I didn’t know that! it’s the first post in which I actually learned something unusual I didn’t know 🙂

  • Savannah

    South East Asian here. I would say one noticeable trait about our food is that it is oily, spicy and smells interesting – good or bad depends on the person and their preferences but most of the time it’s good. Also, quite a bit of our food is sweet, not all (like all American-Chinese food) but I would say a reasonable amount. You will never succeed if you are attempting a diet in South East Asia, too much good fatty food; your efforts will be noble but futile nonetheless.

    Being Indian though, some of my family prefer to eat using their hands. My direct family (mum and dad) disagree and prefer cutlery but I eat Indian food with my hands, Chinese/Japanese/Korean food with chopsticks and Western food with a fork and knife. Eating times differ on personal preference but my usual day goes something like this, breakfast: tea, something sweet like cookies or jam on toast, lunch: large meal consisting of savory items, tea: tea and cookies, and dinner: a light meal and fruit (it sounds like fruit is the healthy option, but here we have ALL the fatty fruits). Strangely I excel at Western cooking more than I do Asian, I guess it takes more prep time. I also started baking cakes at 12 so you could say I like to bake things.

    Though our food is fatty, our portions are not large like American portions. It fills you up but doesn’t turn you into a beached whale. Also I would say our desserts are quite refreshing as opposed to rich, like brownies with ice-cream, caramel pudding or rich coffees (not that we don’t pride ourselves in our recent coffee culture but you catch my drift). We sit on whatever suits the occasion, I personally like sitting on the floor to eat with my food on a low table like Japanese do.

    But all in all you can find almost any cuisine in the world here, all you have to do is Google that shit 😀

  • Digvijay Parmar

    ohh Man, I am starving after reading all this comments….

  • Yiorko Chaz

    In Greece often when we eat out socially, we order small portions of many different foods and put them in the middle of the table for everyone to reach. No single meal for each person, no three-course meals. We order a little bit of of everything and share. This is called meze (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meze) and its quite popular way of dinning in this part of the world. We usually drink wine, ouzo or tsipouro with the food.

  • Digvijay Parmar

    How much of you are starving after reading all these comments……bcoz I am !!……..lol

  • elylaila

    In Italy we usually have a sweet breakfast (milk, coffee, cereals, biscuits, croissants…), pasta for lunch and meat/fish with vegetables for dinner. We always have white bread on the table (if you are not on a diet ahah).

    • Chiel Wieringa

      Imho: Italians are the gods of food… it’s heavenly to me (except for this one restaurant in Perugia, but I guess the cook wasn’t Italian)

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Think the French, Chinese, and Japanese would disagree.

        • Chiel Wieringa

          imho = in my humble opinion

  • Nadiia

    Soured cream goes with everything in Ukraine 🙂 Meals are quite rich in winter and lighter in summer time. Pork would probably be the most favorite type of meat for us.

    • Nadiia

      after a thought i should say that soups are the vital part of daily eating routine, usually served as a starter. my mom used to say that it’s good to have something liquid and warm for digestions!

  • expat

    There is of course pita too, but the jewel in the culinary crown of Bosnia is Cevapi (small grilled kebabs) Foreigners probably find this very bland an uninteresting but those of us who have grown up eating this stuff, it’s the ultimate comfort food. Weirdly however, it is preferentially eaten out, at a specialist restaurants, as traditional grills are over open fire and give the meat that special flavour that is hard to achieve at home.

  • Enriko Horta

    We like to sit in the drive-through burning through more gas with that abnormally large V8 than we just saved by choosing a big mac over a healthier alternative. Occasionally we’ll choose Taco Bell instead and spend the next hour in the restroom giving back that fake mexican food. Can you guess which country I’m talking about?

  • David

    The Dinner Table is going meta…

  • David

    Food + the United States = Jim Gaffigan’s “Beyond the Pale”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG75tfkUQVM

  • Arturo Arranz

    I see there is not Spaniards, so here we go. Spain It’s slighly different to the rest of Europe, especially for the times. I will explain why, I find interesting. But If you don’t, just skip up to the eating habits.

    Why Spain have different hours?
    While writing the comment in Portugal( to the west of Spain) its 11:33 PM. In France(north East) its 12:33. In U.K.( exactly North) its 11:33. Why at Spain its 12:33 where should be 11:33, considering the geographic position?
    Here its the answer: long time ago in Spain we had a fascist dictator called Francisco Franco, also known as “El caudillo”. This fucker stayed in the government from 1939 until 1975 (ruining Spain in the process). And that dates include the second world war. Our dictator was so miserable that wanted to be very best friend with Hitler, and to demostrate his friendship he changed the national hour to share with Germnay, where just now its 12:42PM. This inocent change shaped the eating habit of Spain. While in Germany its completly dark night(for example at 19:00) in Spain there is still around 2 hours until the night reach us. Of course we have to count the latitude and latitude, this was just an example.
    Well, aditionally in Spain we do everything late, so combining this two factors here we have the typical timings:

    SPAIN EUROPE
    – Breakfast: 7:00-8:00AM – 7:00-8:00AM?
    – Launch: between 14:00-15:00 – 12-13?
    – Dinner: 21:00-22:00 – 18:00-20:00?

    Aditionally we have to add a small meal around 11:00 and another which have not literal translation(“merienda” in spanish) between 17:00-18:00. As you can see we eat a lot in Spain.

    TYPE OF MEALS:
    Spain it’s a very meditarranean country and so is the meals. There is also a great diveristy between every region but I do not want to bore you. I will sum up that we have aaaaaa loooot of spoon dishes. On the other hand the most internaional ones are not. (Paella, Spanish Omelette, and Jamon Serrano) Do you want to learn more? I suggest you the TV show “Spain… on the road Again” stared by Gwyneth Paltrow, who make a tour thru the north of Spain tasting the most typical dishes.

    Maybe Spain it is not the most technologically advanced country, neither with the best politicians or the country with more opporunities but I want to stand up for the spanish gastronomy who I really think that it’s one of the most diverse of the world. It is not that famous like Italian ( which I fucking love), but probably this is because the meals are more elavorated(not saying better) and take more time to cook. So give it a try to the spanish food!

    Disclaimer: here there is a huge bar culture and one of the best things it is that when you go to a bar and ask for a beer they usually serve you in the side some food, which we call “Tapas” 😀

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I feel Spanish cuisine is very underrated, at least globally. It doesn’t get the same credit French, Italian, or German food does. At least the influence is clear in Latin America 🙂

  • consanguinity

    I’m from South India (living in Australia) and compared to Western cuisine, I can tell you, we have quite a few strange traditions. By the way, I’m not extremely informed on these things but these are just my experiences.
    First of all, you eat with your hand. And you only eat with your right hand, otherwise it’s considered dirty and sinful.
    Breakfast and lunch is usually quite heavy, while dinner is either leftovers from breakfast or takeaway.
    On some occasions, we eat from a banana leaf, sitting on the floor. Although it’s an uncomfortable position, the food is delicious. There’s about a thousand tiny portions of different curries, rice and many other dishes.
    Our dishes are complicated and nutritious and we don’t even realise it. We have a varied diet that fills most of the parts of the food pyramid. But there isn’t really an exercise motivation in India… no-one encourages you, and besides, you can’t avoid the food!
    Well, that’s about it, I think. Indian cuisine in general is very complex and varies enormously throughout different states and districts.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I always assumed the hand thing was because Indians eat with their hands and in the old days you would wipe with one hand and eat with the other?

      • Vivante

        Same thing in Afghanistan, parts of Iran that still eat with hands, Afrika too. Just simple hygiene.

  • worldCitizen

    I am from East Africa, Ethiopia. One unique thing about the food is, we eat all food accompanied with a bread from a unique grain, called teff. We use our right hands like most other cultures that use their hands. Families usually commune together from one large plate. The interesting thing is, like the common grains in the rest of the world (i.e. rice, wheat, corn, and barley), this unique grain teff has been around for thousands of years, but it’s use is confined to the highlands of Ethiopia.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Ethiopian food is slowly gaining popularity in the US. It’s delicious!

    • Vivante

      As the Ethiopians migrate to Europe, the food is getting better known. It´s now possible to buy teff in western europe, tho it´s still hard to find. Delicious food!

  • Ádám Zovits

    I haven’t seen anything regarding Hungary, so I’ll add my country to the list. Since I’m living alone at the moment my own habits aren’t nearly as varied as those of my family. Ours is a quite large family, so on regular days we used to eat together as 6 people, but on weekends and especially on celebrations the numbers easily grew to 20 with all the relatives and guests. I guess this is the other extreme, so let’s just focus on a normal workday.

    Table setting is usually a chore delegated to kids, and consist of a flat plate, a soup bowl (put over the flat plate), a fork, a spoon, a knife and a folded napkin. I’m fairly certain these are standard over the western world, but feel free to correct me 🙂 After meals dirty dishes are collected and are washed by either the dishwasher, or if there is no dishwasher (or there is one, but broken) a person will be delegated this role.

    Breakfast is usually eaten on-demand, so people come and go when they need to. Children (and young grown-ups) eat cereals, usually mixed from 3 or even more types with milk, for others its toasted bread with butter, cold cuts, coffee or fruits.

    Lunch (between 11-13, but usually at noon) is not always eaten at home, kids are at school, adults at work, but if the situation requires, there always will be something, either leftovers or something freshly made. Main meals (lunch, dinner) almost always consist of three courses, the first being some kind of soup, the second is one or more kinds of meat with side dishes (so if someone does not like a particular meat or garnish then they can mix and match to their liking) and at least one kind of dessert. Sometimes there are other courses too, for example salads for the second course, or a supposedly Swabian course called something like “Müllichprei”, a thick, sweet goo made mostly of milk. It is eaten after soup (usually chicken soup with lots of vegetables and pasta), from the same bowl, and some people even eat it with beef.

    Outside of easter related fasting, almost all meals contain meat, be it chicken, pork, beef or fish. Sometimes more exotic meats are eaten, like duck, veal, lamb, deer, or extremely rarely seafood. Side dishes are often made of potato, pasta, rice, or sometimes even integrated with the meat in one dish, like potato casserole, cabbage stew or the like.

    Desserts are usually cakes, but not the round birthday types, instead flat, bite sized confectionery, like squares cut out of an apple pie, or flaky pasta triangles stuffed with jam and rolled up. Sweet puddings and fruit salads are often present, just like pancakes. But our pancakes are really thin and therefore quite flexible, which is necessary because we spread them with jam, nutella, ice cream, whipped cream, cinnamon sugar, cocoa powder (you don’t have to use all of these at the same time, but is a possibility worth considering 😀 ) roll them up and eat them like a burrito. Fun fact: this is called “palacsinta” in Hungarian, a word which shares origins with “placenta”… Thank you, Wikipedia, I’m not hungry anymore 🙂

    Oh, and just before someone asks.

    No, I’m not a hungry Hungarian, and we definitely never heard this from any foreigners before. Like ever.

  • DanCoz

    Italy here. You think nutella is the best instant gratification food? Well, back in the days during the war, in my grandfather place, killing a pork was an event that involved all the population of the village. And they do say that you don’t throw away nothing of the pork, and it’s true. And this is the point, they used to mix the pork’s blood with chocolate, and this “bloodella” is the sweetest and absolutely most fantastic flavour I ever tasted.

    • Thea

      Omg O.o where exactley are you from? I’m italian too and I never heard of such a thing 🙂 Turin here

      • DanCoz

        I’m from Rimini, but my father and my grandfather are from Ascoli, down south. We also have piadina 🙂

    • Gyo

      Same as in Romania :)). They say “there’s no better vegetable than the pork”. :)) Apart for the chocolate mix you described the rest is done exactly like you said it. And with hot polenta on the side. Yummyy!

  • Ekin K.

    Finally, a dinner table topic worthy of the name dinner table 🙂 turkish guy here, I would have to say our food is amazing. We also drink lots and lots of tea, and breakfast is kind of a big deal. If you go to any breakfast place in weekend, you get 10 different type of cheese, 5 different type of jam, awesome ommelettes with sucuk (spicy turkish sausage), butter, toasted bread, etc. Other than that, each region has their own food, for example, aegean region is famous for dishes with olive oil and vegetables, so more of a healthy diet, while black sea region is famous for sea food. South eastern region is famous for their meats, especially delicious kebabs. If you visit, just ask locals what food is famous for the city you’re visiting, and try that. If you like hard liquors, you must try raki, which is usually served with meze, the appetizers that go great with alcohol.

    • Vivante

      I live in Germany, but the most widely-eaten restaurant food, at least in western Germany, is “türkisch”, and it is really good. In our little village, we have three turkish restaurants or snack bars, one turkish-italian pizza bakery (the owner is half turkish and half italian) and two fancy italian restaurants. In the nearby city of cologne, there are literally hundreds of turkish and italian restaurants. There a a few chinese restaurants but they are mostly pretty bad. Old-style german cooking is getting rarer here, mostly in beer halls ( but there´s more of that beer-hall atmosphere in Munich).Young german cooks with ambition do fusion cooking, international specialties, asian touches etc. and the old heavy meat-laden traditional german dishes are disappearing or being modernized.

      • Ekin K.

        Yeah, I would say the Turkish food in Germany was also pretty good, I spent a semester in Hamburg, and I was surprised by the quality of the Turkish food there. Also, the methods to serve the food were kinda innovative: in addition to in wraps and bread, which is common in Turkey, döner was served also in boxes or cones (called tüte), which is not common in Turkey.

  • Maria Luisa Medina

    Mexico here… Mexico has a wide variety of different foods and traditions, depending where you go. I guess the general thing is that, as someone noted below, timing is a lot like Spain (breakfast at 7-9 am, lunch at 1-2 pm and dinner or supper at 8-9 pm). I’ll just focus on my hometown, Monterrey, in the Northeast and a very northern tradition called “carne asada”, similar to an american barbecue (only in terms of the use of a grill and eating outside). The carne asada (grilled meat) is the most popular thing to do on weekends or big celebrations, it can be at lunch time or at dinner time, or star somewhere in between and you end up eating the whole time between lunch and dinner. Nothing to do tonight? Let’s grill some meat!! (“vamos a asar una carnita”), father’s day tomorrow? How about a “carne asada”? Usually you gather early to go and buy stuff or some one does and then we split the cost with everyone. You basically need: charcoal or wood for the grill, the meat (of course), onions, cheese for quesadillas, tortillas (flour and corn), salchichas (sausages), store bought salsa or tomatoes and chile to make a salsa at the moment and beer or whatever you want to drink. Vegan version can include nopales and assorted vegetables to grill. And also “frijoles a la charra” (charro beans) which is beans cooked as a soup, with bacon, onions, tomatoes, chile and cilantro. There are different things to do and mainly the men are the ones doing the charcoal and meat thing, and the women do the rest. Some say that men like to stay near the grill drinking beer and chatting so they can taste everything first, and by the time it’s done and it’s time to sit and eat, they already ate a lot. As a girl I don’t know much about charcoal but it is an art to set it on fire and have it ready to place the meat, sausages and onions to grill. Also the grill has to be cleaned with half an onion before you place the meat. To make the salsa you put the tomatoes and chile on tin foil in the grill and when they are done you smash them or use a blender and you have fresh salsa (spicy or not, depending on how much chile you use, not all mexican like spicy food). In the meantime, you can snack with chips and peanuts or sausages when they are done, then quesadillas and then the meat. You can eat it as steak with a fork and knife or as tacos with tortilla, you can eat it standing up or sitting at the table, inside or outside, depending on the place where you are. It is a very flexible kind of tradition that can be as simple as just doing it for dinner for two, or for a big party of 15. Some people like the “frijoles a la charra” before the meat, others like it during the course or after. The thing is to gather around and have a good time with friends or family.

  • PeteM

    I am cheating a bit here because I am not from this part of the United States but my wife is and since she doesn’t grace the wait but why discussions, I feel compelled to add this. My wife is originally from the very remote area of the United States midwest, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan or as the residents eloquently put it, “da UP”. The food is mostly the same as other American fare with one interesting exception: the pasty. The pasty is basically a pastry filled with meat (beef, chicken or sausage) and root vegetables (potatoes, rutabaga, carrots, etc) that you cook in an oven and eat with ketchup. Apparently, it started as an easy to make meal that the iron and copper miners could easily pack and heat up on their mining lamps, which I think is a pretty cool story as far as culinary origins go. As a dish, it makes a good quick easy meal and watching my wife drench it in ketchup never gets old (I prefer ranch but she scolds me for this).

    Wikipedia being the faithful repository of all knowledge known to man, has a nice little article on it, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasty. Did not know this before I saw the article, but apparently the pasty has roots in Cornwall as well so maybe some Cornish readers can add a little insight into this.

    • Ádám Zovits

      A fairly interesting tidbit (at least it was for me when I first found it):

      It was customary for the Cornish miners to hold the pasty by the crimped edge and throw that away after eating the rest, supposedly in order to pacify the ghosts that they disturbed by mining. But rest assured, every miner who was greedy and ate the whole pasty really died within a few years. How? What? Ghosts?

      By now we can fairly safely guess that this was due to the large concentration of arsenic in the mines, which inavoidably deposited on the hands of every miner and therefore got onto the pasty too. But those who held it by the crimping and threw that part away, ingested much less arsenic than those who ate the whole.

      Remember, there is always a rational explanation 🙂

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Sounds a lot like certain religions where pork and shellfish are banned … 😛

  • Betty

    I live in Indiana. People eat their chili on spaghetti noodles. The other thing I find strange is pork cutlets that are probably 10 inches across on a hamburger bun. Of course, there is White Castles which serves very small burgers. The hamburger has been steamed not fried. These were sold in the frozen food section of grocery stores when I lived in Singapore and when they came in all the Hoosier ex-pats would be lined up for them. I’m originally from the west coast.

  • WW

    Chinese people see dumpling (or spring roll) wrapping as a social/family activity. Everyone works in the assembly line, and there is always a bit of competition over who wraps the prettiest dumplings.

    Never ask anyone’s grandma for the recipe.

    Be polite but be careful to not openly suggest that you like one dish A LOT…

    Because people will feel obliged to put that food onto your plate…

    And once the food arrives on your plate, no matter how high the food is piled up or how full you are, the only polite thing to do is to eat it all.

    Another thing: The secret to tender meat and vibrantly colored vegetables is cornstarch. For the meat, cover in light paste of cornstarch and water. Make sure it’s not drippy and wet. Sautée. It’ll be hard to overcook when the moisture is trapped in. Don’t expect browning though. For sautéed veggies, when it’s seasoned and 90% done, pour in a watery mixture of cornstarch and water to lightly cover. Sautee a little longer to cook off the excess liquid.

  • mmKALLL

    I feel like there isn’t really a thing such as Finnish cuisine – many of our typical foods are borrowed from Swedish customs or are attributed as mid/south-European dishes. The usage of potatoes is unmistakable as the core ingredient in most daily cooking, but rice is a typical base as well. Often the dish is catered towards enrichening the flavour of the cheap, well-available ingredient rather than bringing out the meat or vegetables; such cooking would be considered a luxury rather than the norm.

    However, Chinese restaurants and pizzerias are extremely common and very usual diners. They definitely outnumber the restaurants offering more traditional Finnish cooking, making visits to such restaurants more of a commonplace venture. Fusion-style cooking has become very popular as well, and stereotypical foods from many different countries are all popular.

    I’m no expert, but I think that much of this can be attributed to the Finns’ cheap taste and higher demand of foreign style dishes, since Finnish ones tend to be on the plain side. Oatmeal, cereals and the like are extremely common for breakfast, and eating bread and potatoes for dinner six days a week isn’t exactly exhilarating. Most likely this is because of the history of Finland – until “recently,” most people didn’t really have a choice and meat was a rare treat. Figuring out how to make the most out of wheat and oat was definitely something to be perfected during the previous centuries.

  • Jeff Lewis

    I’m in my mid 30s, and have lived in three different locations for roughly equal periods – southeast Pennsylvania, west central Maryland, and north central Texas. While there’s a lot of commonality to all U.S. food, each of those regions has its own unique aspects.

    Pennsylvania – The area I lived in was influenced by both Pennsylvania Dutch traditions and Philadelphia. For anyone not familiar with it, Pennsylvania Dutch is a culture of people of German descent (not the Netherlands), so a lot of the food has its roots in Germany. The two Pa Dutch foods that I really like that I have a hard time finding outside that immediate region are scrapple and shoo-fly pie. And I really like fastnachts, too, but those are best home made, so I get them no matter where I’m living. The Pennsylvania Dutch also brought funnel cakes to the New World, so the rest of the country can thank us for that. For the Philly influence, I’ll admit that I can find decent cheese steaks outside that area, but the best are still from there.

    Maryland – Crabs. Of course, I’m biased by having lived there, but nobody does crabs as good as Maryland. I’ve been to buffets other places where they serve king crab legs, but that’s just not the same as whole Maryland blue crabs steamed in Old Bay seasoning. (See Darryl’s comment further down this thread.)

    Texas – Barbecue and Tex-mex. Yeah, I know other regions have their own barbecue, and I’m sure they still taste pretty good, but a good smoked brisket is delicious. And it’s usually best from little holes in the wall that have spent all day slow cooking the meat in their smoker, or even better if you’ve got a friend with a smoker who knows what they’re doing. And of course, Tex-Mex is good here in Texas. It’s right there in the name.

  • Leaving cuisine specifics aside, one interesting aspect of eating habits in Greece is how late people eat.

    Lunch tends to happen between 2-4 PM (even a 6 PM meal can be considered lunch), and Greeks usually have dinner at 10 PM or later.

    It is largely unheard of to have lunch at 11:30 AM / 12 PM / 12:30 PM, which is a very normal “lunch time” in most Western countries.

    Why is that? Given that the same pattern is true in Spain and parts of Portugal, explanations have historically included the hot climate, the “siesta”, as well as other social habits that are prevalent in the southern Mediterranean.

  • Styv

    Belgium here. Given our location, I guess our cuisine is a bit of a mixture between Southern and Northern European culinary traditions (if those two overarching categories even exist). They sometimes say that ‘Belgian food comes with the quality of the French and the quantity of the Germans’.

    I personally love huge breakfasts, but I have the impression most Belgians don’t eat much for breakfast, mostly due to a lack of time in the morning I guess. A breakfast can be many things. Cereals, oats, sandwiches (often with sweet toppings like jam or nutella), an omelette… It will often include a compulsory coffee as Belgians are pretty avid coffee drinkers (as opposed to tea, which currently in Belgium is more like a ‘healthy lifestyle’ phenomenon).

    Depending on the situation (work, school) Belgian families will either eat their ‘warm meal’ (main dish) at lunchtime (12-14ish) or dinner time (18-20h30us–ish) and eat some sandwiches with meat and/or cheese the other meal.

    Regarding the food itself, there’s a lot of variety. A lot of meals are typical 1/3 meat, 1/3 carbs, 1/3 veggies (eg. steak with some sauce, french fries and a salad), I personally find these a bit boring. We also eat quite a lot of stew’ish things. ‘Gentse Waterzooi’ deserves to be mentioned (a fish/chicken stew with leek, other veggies and cream) just as ‘stoverij’ which is a dark meat stew/sauce which has strong brown Belgian ale as one of its primary ingredients. Next to that we also ‘nationalised’ some food from other countries. Eg. spaghetti bolognese (Italian’ish) and Asian’ish stir-fry meals are eaten a lot.

    Maybe the most interesting for you guys: allow me to confirm two stereotypes and debunk one.

    Firstly, yes, we eat a lot of French fries. We eat them both as fast food (there are so many ‘frituren/friteries’ here that they kinda kill the fast food competition from the bigger brands; for instance, I don’t know ANY Burger King or KFC in the country and there are notably less McDo’s as well) or as a component of a quality meal (like moules-frites, mussels with french fries, a restaurant classic). I’ve experienced that really good French fries are only to be found in Belgium, the Netherlands and Northern France. According to my father, this difference in taste is because 1) we use animal fat instead of plant based oils and 2) we fry them twice.

    Secondly, yes, we drink a lot of beer (and yes, it IS the best in the world!). The legal drinking age for beer and wine is only 16 here, which basically means that many youngsters start going out from the age of 14-15 (not very responsible from a public health perspective, I know). We are serious about our beers, eg. every quality beer has to be served with its corresponding glass, which often looks like this ( http://static.webshopapp.com/shops/019852/files/011760027/800x1024x2/kasteelbier-beer-glass.jpg ), although sometimes it takes on more crazy shapes, like this ( http://www.beerhawk.co.uk/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/d/s/dsc_1029_v2.jpg ). Despite this strong beer tradition, the French influence also makes us really love good wine, so I guess we basically just… drink a lot.

    Thirdly, and this one is specifically directed to US people: no, we don’t eat waffles every day. The Belgian waffles do exist (and are probably totally different from the ‘Belgian’ waffles sold in the US), but it’s something we would eat at special occasions, like your grandmother’s birthday or something.

    • ScribblePouit

      I agree with you, belgian beers are the best in the world! (sorry Germany)

      Regards from your French friends 🙂

      • Styv

        In the name of all Belgians I thank you for this acknowledgement! 🙂

    • Vysakh S

      I am an Indian living in the UAE and I gotta say Belgian beers are quite popular here. And yep, they are pretty great.

  • nielmalan

    South Africa here. All nations barbecue, but here it’s close to a religion. It’s not just a summer thing: all year round, in all weathers. A good braai consists of a steak, a chop and a piece of wors for everyone, and a side of salad and pap with a tomato-based sauce.

    That’s if you’re among the people in the country who can afford meat.

    • nielmalan

      Wors = sausage made of coarsely ground beef.
      Pap = a stiff porridge made of maize meal.

  • Rusty Shackleford

    What, is this turning into Quora?

  • suzanne

    Catalan / Spanish here, we braekfast almos nothing, launch pretty much around 3pm (so so) and eat the life at 11pm for dinner. Apps we almost eat a lot fot a evening braekfast called “merienda”. Even the not-so-much-healthy timetable the quality and variety of tve food i pretty good.

  • Luisa

    Aside food differences, I like to notice bread differences. Like american bread is really soft, and doesn’t have much flavor, german bread is dark and hard. Middle east eat pita bread, and bread in asia is usually really sweet.
    Here in Brazil we eat pão francês, aka french bread, and ironically it doesn’t exist in France.
    I think bread is one of the key differences when you live abroad. International cuisine restaurants are very common, so, even if it is modified to fit better with local taste, most of us have experienced different food from different countries. But bread is very local, and I think most cultures eat a lot of bread, so it’s very noticeable

  • HoneyMonster

    I grew up in a family of food lovers so my experience probably isn’t typically British. We were eating garlic well before it was popular but luckily Britain has caught up and now we have lots of international and fusion cuisine. I live in the Midlands where I first came across the Balti – a kashmiri curry of onion, tomato, capsicum and lots of coriander, not too spicy but loaded with flavour. It’s eaten with naan bread more often than rice.
    I was lucky enough to travel around the world in my 30s with the man I later married, and we’ve incorporated a lot of foods from around the world into our diet. Like American pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast or bagels with lox and cream cheese from Canada. Pad Thai and Asian coconut curries. Pulled pork, pasta, pizza and paella. We’re incredibly lucky to have access to such a wide choice of ingredients which I put down to the waves of immigration to Britain over the decades.
    The other thing in our house is dealing with food allergies. My older son is anaphylactic to some nuts and allergic to other foods, and my husband was recently found to be allergic to wheat. So I sometimes cook two dinners or we’ll have a ‘rug picnic’ with lots of choices to cater for everyone’s needs.
    The majority of dinners are eaten at the kitchen table around 7pm as a family, with no TV, no mobiles or any other gadgets. It’s a rule I’ve insisted on because to me it’s vitally important to have family time where we share news of our days, discuss and debate interesting subjects, laugh, joke and play word games. We’ve been doing it for 19 years of marriage and I believe it’s a fundamental contribution to the strength of our family :-).

    • HoneyMonster

      Oh and I forgot to say, my sons have gone from green veg haters to lovers, especially sprouts and cabbage! How? I just started to cook them with a cream and chilli sauce 😉

    • Rusty Shackleford

      imo New York bagels are far superior to Montreal bagels.

  • Delly

    Hey everyone! I haven’t seen Singapore yet (mostly because we’re an obscure country in SEA.)

    We’re really big on the hawker centre thing. All Singaporeans have at least eaten at a hawker centre at least once. I’m not talking air conditioned, in your local mall, kind of food court, I’m talking, outdoor, 50c Chicken Rice, hawkers-who-have-been-doing-this-for-years-and-it’s-been-passed-down-through-generations kind of food. It’s a very different experience, and I urge any person who travels to Singapore to go to a hawker centre. Seriously. It’s super local.

    Okay, and if you know the basics of Singapore, you’ll know that some people claim that “singaporean food” is malaysian food, or indonesian. Let me make this clear. Go to Singapore and taste our crab, taste our hainanese chicken rice, taste our laksa, taste our freaking satay (I think most of you are going to google search these dishes now). Then take a nice drive over to Malaysia and taste the dishes again. I guarantee you they will taste different. Malaysia has their way of doing it, so do we. Just let us do our thing. and enjoy putting these things in your mouth.

    What else? Mm, okay I’m pretty sure that most chinese people do this, but the children cannot eat until the elders have taken their first bite. This applies to all dishes I think. It’s a respect thing.
    Also generally Asians don’t eat rice all the time, nor do all asians like rice. I’m an Asian and I prefer noodles to rice anyday. (that’s for you confused non asians out there)

    So to wrap this up, Singapore is hot, grab some ice kachang and come explore Singapore! (we’re so small, we measure 50km(31mi)from east to west, so it won’t take you very long to see what we have)
    Just come.

    • pomegranates

      Fellow Singaporean here 🙂

      • Delly

        hELLO! I was seriously doubting whether anyone from SG was here. But I’m glad to have found you, its getting lonely and frustrating to have to explain SG to everyone. Was my description of Sg food accurate? 🙂

        • pomegranates

          Yep it was accurate. I wanted to contribute to the topic but didn’t know how to describe it :/ Oh, there were 2 Singaporean contributors in the “What do we not know about where you’re from?” dinner table. Anyway, I read your previous comments and suspect that we’re around the same age xD

          • pomegranates

            (Are you in JC this year?)

          • Delly

            really? Okay, I’m going to scour the depths of that dinner table. I’m slightly perturbed that you could tell, or could at least hazard a guess at my age. Damn, I need to up my game at being shady.

            • pomegranates

              It’s not your comments from this dinner table, it’s from your disqus profile

            • pomegranates

              But anyway, hi! For all you know, we might actually know each other in real life… :/

  • In Scotland, we really do eat haggis all the time, traditionally with neeps and tatties. Most of our store-bought foods have little to no sugar due to government regulations, so we don’t have a lot of big name brands that most countries have. We eat waffles or shortbread as treats and EVERYONE loves vanilla soft serve. Another strange food we eat here is the dough ball, which is literally just dough formed into a ball and cooked, serve with garlic butter.

    • Erik Nyquist

      Where in Scotland do you live?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      That dough ball sounds delicious…

    • Joe90

      Naughty.

  • Shourya Y

    South Indian here.
    We typically eat idlis and dosas (fermented rice and lentils) with sambhar (pulses) for breakfast.
    Lunch is typically rice with one portion of vegetable (beans, carrot, potato, eggplant, banana stem, yam, etc…) and one portion of meat (mostly fish and poultry). Dinner is the same.
    Oh and not to mention all the KFC’s and pizzas and burgers that we eat atleast twice a week! (India being a huge ass country, ‘we’ refers to the young, urban, demographic).

    When we talk of globalisation, people normally think that it really started only with the industrial revolution (at the earliest), and probably kicked into top gear only during the Information Age.
    The former ain’t true.
    It is the spread of endemic food crops from their original, native lands, to new destinations and continents, where they went on to become a staple, that reflects the first example of globalisation.

    Think no further than the humble potato. A staple of South America, introduced throughout Europe by Spanish Imperialists, and from there it’s spread to Asia. From being non existent in the old World prior to the 1500’s, to becoming such an integral part of the food habits of European countries. (I talk of course of the Irish potato famine)
    Hell, even Christopher Columbus ‘discovered’ (is it though?) ‘America’ (actually the Carribean and Indies) only while trying to find a shipping route to India – to buy and trade, among other goods, chiefly spices!
    This is just to set straight the misconception that people have regarding the food habits of countries.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I saw on a tv show called “fast foods gone global” that India has a very different menu at McDonald’s! I’d love to try some of the items 🙂

      • As an indian who’s been through the pain of that experience, trust me, it’s not much worth it.

      • Vysakh S

        Please do not ever try McDonalds in India. Ever.

  • Cacho

    How about utensil etiquette? I’m American, but until recently found out I’ve been using my fork and knife the European way. Apparently the American way is to cut your food holding the fork in your left hand and knife in your right hand. When you’re done cutting, you put your knife down on the plate and pass your fork to your right hand to spear the cut food and feed your mouth.

    My way, aka the Euro way, is fork always in left hand, knife always in right, fork feeds mouth with left hand, no superfluous utensil exchange. I never thought about utensil etiquette before or even knew there were different styles until my whole family was at a restaurant recently and the waiter asked if we were European since all five of us were eating the Euro way. Apparently my parents adopted the Euro way when they lived in Germany during the 70’s and raised my siblings and I that way.

    Living in America all my life, I’m surprised I never noticed the American way. I didn’t even notice my own wife who eats American style. But ever since that waiter called us out on it, I see it everywhere… and I laugh at its absurdity.

    • Keir

      Well, I don’t know about any European and American way, but I know that, living in Britain, it is almost always socially acceptable, if the food you’re eating doesn’t need a knife, to spear the food with the fork in your right hand- for example, salad. However, if I have finished cutting with my knife, I don’t tend to then switch utensils, so I guess of there is any ‘European method’, that what it is.

      • Joe90

        Here in the UK is that we hold the knife in our rights hands and forks in our left,as you say. The big difference sems to be that we do not cut the entire meal then swap. We cut a bit, eat it, cut another bit, eat it and so on. Mind you, table manners and etiquette are fast disappearing and the re are many people who do not know societal norms. Good or bad, I’ll let you decide. Suffice it to say there are people with whom I will not eat.

        • JH1010

          I’m also from the UK but I find it impossible to eat with my knife and fork the “proper” way around. The only person who ever cared was my grandmother.

  • Garth Peterson

    Here in New Zealand the food is very much influenced by British cuisine (at least in Christchurch where I live). Pies, fish and chips, and Sunday roast all are deep parts of the food culture here. Pizza is vastly different than in the US and it seems anything goes for toppings. Curry pizza is a common thing, and in addition to what an American would call “pizza sauce”, they are fond of putting aioli (which is not much different than plain mayonnaise from what I can tell), hoisin sauce, and peanut satay on top in a swirl.

    You may have guessed that Asian food is popular here too. And you’d be right. There are tons of Thai and Indian restaurants around despite the level of curiosity of new flavors being not much more complex than an 8 year old.

    Sushi is also quite different. Very little fish on the menus at your average sushi restaurant. Other than an awful version of a spicy tuna roll (canned tuna with some mayonnaise and cayenne), they have many versions of chicken rolls (cooked of course) and some beef rolls. I even had a taco roll that neither tasted like a taco nor sushi. I find this odd because of the otherwise large Asian food influence and because this country sits in the middle of the ocean, so you’d think seafood would be both cheap and fresh.

    Restaurants operate differently here too. Even at a fancy restaurant you pay your bill at the front counter rather than the server presenting you with the bill. I actually like this system for its efficiency. Rather than wait for the waiter to give you the bill, then wait for the waiter to come back for the bill, then wait for the waiter to process the payment and return your card, you just handle everything in 2 minutes up front. The only downside is you either have to show the person where your table was or remember everything your table ordered.

    Cafe culture is big here and even gas stations will have a real espresso machine with a “barista” pulling shots. Drip coffee is almost non-existent outside of the fanciest coffee shops which sometimes serve pour overs.

    Also there is a Denny’s in town that delivers pizzas; perhaps the weirdest thing of all.

    • Garth Peterson

      Oh, and catsup – or as they confusingly call it here, tomato sauce – is so much better here. It has more spice flavors and isn’t nearly as sweet. Overall much more complex and tasty than something like Heinz.

  • Pearline Mannikam

    From South Africa here – I am an Indian South African. We have such a very diverse range of “traditional”foods as well as customs here. It’s great. You can eat a very traditional meal cooked over an open fire, sitting outside with your paper plates in your laps, OR you can fine dine at 10-course tasting restaurants. You can eat healthy food on the go, or sit at a food court and eat from your choice of fast food places. We do love to cook and we do love to eat out too. Fresh farm product markets are becoming popular now,

    A lot of traditional SA food is known as “Äfrikaans” origin… bobotie (mince/ground beed, topped with an omelet style eggy mixture), a potje (pronounced poy-key) is a stew of meat and veg slow cooked in a 3-legged cast iron pot over an open fire, boerewors rolls (fat sausages, with chunky minced meat, braaied and put in a roll, delish with fried onions, tomatoe relish and mustard). But African cultures have had great influence on what we eat now too… morogo (spinach), pap (thick cooked maize meal) and chakalaka (a chunky cooked spicy relish) and so on. Pap used to be seen as only for the “poor” as it is very cheap but more than ever people enjoy it everywhere. I recently went to a fine dining restaurant that served fried pap and Wors (spiced sausage) in a gourmet way!
    BUT in almost every different region you will find a vast mix of different ethinicities and cultures which mainly dictate the types of food you will find. We have the largest population of Indians (outside of India) and so there is a lot of Indian found everywhere, mainly South Indian. A bunny chow (a quarter loaf of unsliced bread with the inside hollowed out and filled with a meat or veg curry) is a very traditional food here. Roti and Naan breads are often made in Indian homes and non-Indian homes! In the Cape The Cape Malay curry is different from a curry you will find in Durban. In some areas tripe, chicken feet, chicken neck and offals is popular. Game (warthog, buck, crocodile etc.) is found at specialised restaurants and not often cooked at home. Seafood is highly popular – cajun grilled prawns & crab curries! We have chinese food, mexican food, portugeuse food, Thai food and Greek! I love that South Africa welcomes, indulges and is interested in cultures from around the world, WE really do embrace the diversity! Holidays and special events also bring out some customs – The coloured people make pickled fish at easter, Muslims make burfhee at Rhamadaan, Indians make rhot at prayers, bhiryani’s, samoosas and vedhaas at weddings, Afrikaaners make koeksisters,

    Eating etiquette will differ. Indians eat with our hands when we eat Indian food and cutlery when we eat other food, Most other race groups here will eat with cutlery although it is not generally frowned upon to eat however you like! Food is a very social aspect to everyone’s culture here and is to be enjoyed.

    Lastly, our sweets are so plentiful in choices. From hot puddings (sago an malva) to custards (milktert (a cooked milk tart with cinnamon), to sorghum, to koeksisters, sweetmeats, baklava, vermicilli, creme brule…

    Pies are not mainly sweet here like in America, our pies are filled with savoury (chicken, mince, vegetables). What Americans called “biscuits”, we call scones, which is eaten warm with butter, jam (jelly?), fresh cream or finely grated cheese. We don’t eat it with chicken and gravy. We love our coffees, milkshakes and juices. Ok I can actually go on for 50 pages… I”ll stop now.

  • Nathan McDonald

    From Australia. Perhaps the most interesting difference is the way we celebrate Christmas. It’s hot here, so you don’t want to be stuck in a stuffy kitchen or house that’s had the oven on all day. The star of Australian christmas is seafood, particularly the prawns! They obviously don’t keep, so there’s a mad rush to buy them a couple days before Christmas and prices can double easily.

    Many people will cook things up on the BBQ (gas not charcoal), and do lots of salads and fresh summer fruit (mangoes, cherries). For desert a lovely pavlova does not go astray. Pavlova may be from New Zealand but we still love to eat it covered in passionfruit and kiwi fruit and cream.

  • Ernesto García

    I’m from Cuba. We eat a lot of pork, rice, beans, and tuberous roots, including potatoes, sweet potatoes, and even other kinds of which I find it difficult to find names for them in English, like Yuca (also known as mandioca, tapioca or cassava) and malanga (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xanthosoma). Add to that list some plantains, chicken, avocado, tomatoes, and you get a big part of the whole picture.

    We tend to do fried stuff a lot, perhaps more than it is advisable. We even fry the pork’s skin until is crunchy enough to be eaten like chips (called “chicharrones”). And our desserts are also a bit too sugary (leading to large indices of diabetes in the country). We have a few soft drink soda-like non-alcoholic beer varieties not so widely known in the world, like Malta and Iron Beer, both of which are way better than Coca Cola, if you ask me.

    And to end it all up, our iconic most common food, which could be called the national menu, goes along these lines: roasted pork meat (ideally roasted on a stick over fire), with “arroz moro” (rice cooked alongside black beans), “yuca con mojo” (boiled-until-soft mandioca with an oil-onions-and-garlic dressing), “tostones” and/or “mariquitas” (two different ways to fry plantains in a chip-like fashion). And I cannot even start talking about desserts. So that’s it. I hope you enjoy it. If you ever come to Chile, I’ll be your host.

  • Eleonora Rossi

    I’m from Italy and here we kinda have A LOT of different types of food..every region – sometimes even province – has its own traditional food and way of cooking stuff. It might be quite confusing for foreigners, and it gets really funny when I go abroad and notice how people mix Italian food in the weirdest ways. Well. Let’s just stick to the basics. 😀
    All Italians eat pasta. And rice. A lot. Probably every sigle day, usually for lunch (but sometimes for dinner, too). As you might know, there are hundreds of different shapes of pasta and thousands of different recipes. I want to take this chance to remove an annoying pebble from my shoe: there is no such thing as spaghetti bolognese. I’m from Bologna, we have this meat sauce called ‘ragù’ and it goes together with all kinds of pasta, especially ‘tagliatelle’, but certainly not with spaghetti. 😀 Lasagne are also from my city. And tortellini too (a kind of pasta with meat inside, that you eat with hot broth, especially at Xmas). And mortadella. In my region we also have parmigiano (parmesan cheese), ham, aceto balsamico.

    For breakfast, Italians usually have coffee. Coffee for us is what you call espresso: it’s tiny but strong. Everyone has his own favourite type and we all are very picky about that. When you go to a cafè you hear people making all kinds of requests: macchiato (hot or cold), a little tall, short, with liquor, with cream, cappuccino…etc. [Instead, at home, almost everyone has his own manual machine called ‘moka’: the coffee gets more liquid and bitter, and it’s the best.] Then some people have yogurt and cereals, other have croissants or cookies or cakes. Anyways, breakfast is something sweet. No bacon and eggs allowed.

    As mentioned above, for lunch we usually eat either pasta or rice. About rice, sometimes we cook it in a particular way, mixing it slowly with broth in order to make it creamy and delicious – in that case it is called ‘risotto’. We eat plenty of types of vegetables too: tomatoes, peperoni, zucchini, eggplants, salad, celery, fennel, etc.. of course they are seasonal and the recipes we use can vary very much in different seasons.
    For dinner we usually have either meat, or fish, or legumes, or eggs, or cheese (hundreds of types)…there are thousands of recipes here too.

    Some curiosities:
    We usually drink a glass of wine (or more) during meals (especially if we have guests, but it’s also a common thing we do in our daily lives). We love wine. Every region has its own specialties; in mine, there are lambrusco, pignoletto, sangiovese.. My favourite whites are from the north (Gewurztraminer, Muller thurgau..) and my favourite red wines are from the center-east (Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, Rosso Conero, Rosso Piceno..). But it’s a very personal choice, and I’m no expert whatsoever, just a wine lover 😀
    For cooking pasta you have to boil water with salt in advance, then add the pasta and leave it there for x minutes (as mentioned on the package). Then remove the water and add the sauce.
    Nowadays, most people buy pasta. I have never made pasta in my entire life. Nor has my mom. My grandma used to do it, my aunt as well, but now it’s pretty much history. Nobody has time for that.
    And pizza too – we only eat pizza when we go out with friends. At the restaurant. And in that case, we most certainly do not put pineapples on it. 😀

    I could continue forever. The thing is, Italians are obsessed with food. We can talk about it for HOURS. So I will forcefully stop myself. 😀

  • monet gity

    My hometown is West Sumatra , we always eat with rice , and are accompanied by side dishes and spicy chili sauce . almost all cuisines use a lot of herbs and tons of ( hot ) spices . cooking materials also varied from common materials such as meat and chicken to more “exotic” one or “strange” one such as cow’s or goat’s tongue, and cow’s or buffallo’s entrails ( he he ) . some well-known is the satay padang , tambunsu , rice kapau , & randang. cooked usually in curries , sometimes cooked fast and fresh . sometimes cooked very long until it becomes charcoal , but a very delicious charcoal nonetheless

  • Nariya Tanoukhi-Bell

    My mother is from Lebanon, and we always had the most DELICIOUS Lebanese stews and soups…

  • Sebastián Álvares

    I’m from Tabasco, Mexico, in the southeast region. There’s several type of main ingredients along the country, but a common one should be corn.
    In my region traditional and typical food it’s made of corn dough, Tabasco has tamales, empanadas, panuchos, gruesas, tortillas, pozol, … all of these are high calorie food (high carbs and fatty) and really tasty food.
    Pozol is a beverage made with fermented corn dough and, ocasionally, cacao, used by ancestors for very long walks.
    Also we have seafood, like pejelagarto, which is cooked a las brazas.

  • Russell

    Louisiana represent!

    Gumbo, boiled crawfish, crawfish ettouffee, jambalaya, fricassee, sauce piquant, courtboullion, red beans and rice, boudin, couche couche, Andouille sausage, cracklins, hogs head cheese, beignets, shrimp creole, maque choux, Bananas Foster, pain perdu, and blackened anything.

    You’re welcome, rest of the food eating world!

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