Outline of cuisines

Outline of cuisines
Silesian bread buns with caraway seeds

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to cuisines:

Cuisine – specific set of cooking traditions and practices, often associated with a specific culture. It is often named after the region or place where its underlining culture is present. A cuisine is primarily influenced by the ingredients that are available locally or through trade. Religious food laws can also exercise a strong influence on cuisine.


Types of cuisine

Types of cuisine

African cuisine


African cuisine reflects indigenous traditions, as well as influences from Arabs, Europeans, and Asians. The continent of Africa is the second largest landmass on the earth and is home to hundreds of tribes, ethnic and social groups. This diversity is also reflected in African cuisine, in the use of basic ingredients as well as in the style of preparation and cooking techniques.[1]

Traditionally, as in almost all cultures, the food of Africa uses a combination of locally available fruits, grains, and vegetables, milk and meat products. In some parts of Africa, the traditional African diet has a predominance of milk, curd, and whey. In much of tropical Africa however, cow's milk is rare and cannot be produced locally (owing to various diseases that affect livestock). Yet, differences, sometimes significant, are noticeable in the eating and drinking habits across the continent of Africa - African food differs in different parts of Africa, and Central Africa, East Africa, the Horn of Africa, North Africa, West Africa and Southern Africa each have their own distinctive foods. They are very well known for their distinctive cooking styles.

Asian cuisine


Asian cuisine styles can be broken down into several regional styles that have roots in the peoples and cultures of those regions. The major types can be roughly defined as East Asian with its origins in Imperial China and now encompassing modern Japan and the Korean peninsula; Southeast Asian which encompasses the areas once found in the Khmer Empire including Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Viet Nam as well as the countries of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Singapore; South Asian derived the states that once made up British IndiaBurma, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan as well as several other countries in this region of the continent;[2] Central Asian and Middle Eastern.

Ingredients common to many cultures in the east and southeast regions of the continent include rice, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, chilies, dried onions, soy, and tofu. Additionally, cooking methods such as stir frying, steaming and deep frying are also common across many of these cuisine styles. While rice is common to most Asian cuisines, different varieties are popular in the various regions; Basmati rice is popular in the subcontinent, Jasmine is often found across the southeast, while long-grain rice is popular in China and short-grain in Japan and Korea.[3] Curry is also a common dish in found in southern and eastern Asia, however they are not as popular in eastern cuisines. Those curry dishes with origins in India and other South Asian countries usually have a yogurt base while southeastern and eastern curries are generally use coconut milk as their foundation.[4]

Central Asian cuisine

Central Asia world region.png

Central Asian cuisine

East Asian cuisine

Location EastAsia.png

The styles of cuisine found in traditional East Asian cuisines evolved with a common usage of oils, fats and sauces in the preparation of dishes. China, with its long history, massive population and widely distributed diaspora, has become possibly the most well known of the cuisines originating from this region of the world. The cuisine found in China has its origins in what is known as the Eight Great Traditions, however its cuisine can be generalized into northern styles that feature oils and strong flavors derived from ingredients such as vinegar and garlic while southern styles tend to favor fresh ingredients that are lightly prepared. Japanese cuisine has become known for dishes such as sushi that focus on raw ingredients and deep fried dishes such as tempura. Korean cuisine has come to feature cooking methods such as sauteing and what is known in the West as barbecue. Strong flavors featuring spices derived from chili peppers can also be found in dishes such as kimchi.[2]

Chinese cuisine

Chinese cuisine (Traditional Chinese: 中國菜, Simplified Chinese: 中国菜, Pinyin: Zhōngguócài) originated from the various regions of China and has become widespread in many other parts of the world — from Asia to the Americas, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa. In recent years, connoisseurs of Chinese cuisine have also sprouted in Eastern Europe and South Asia. American Chinese cuisine and Canadian Chinese food are popular examples of local varieties. Local ingredients would be adopted while maintaining the style and preparation technique.

Regional cultural differences vary greatly amongst the different regions of China, giving rise to the different styles of food. There are eight main regional cuisines, or Eight Great Traditions (八大菜系, Bā Dà Cài Xì): Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan, and Zhejiang. Among them, Cantonese, Sichuan, Shandong, and Huaiyang cuisine (a major style and even viewed as the representation of the entire Jiangsu cuisine) are often considered as the standouts of Chinese cuisine and due to their influence are proclaimed as the Four Great Traditions (四大菜系, Sì Dà Cài Xì). There are also featured Buddhist and Muslim sub-cuisines within the greater Chinese cuisine, with an emphasis on vegetarian and halal-based diets respectively.

Southeast Asian cuisine


The styles of cuisine found in the Southeast Asian regions include a strong emphasis lightly prepared dishes with a strong aromatic component that features such flavors as citrus and herbs such as mint, cilantro (coriander) and basil. Ingredients in the region contrast with the ones in the Eastern Asian cuisines, substituting fish sauces for soy sauce and the inclusion of ingredients such as galangal, tamarind and lemon grass. Cooking methods include a balance of stir-frying, boiling and steaming.[2]

As these cultures grew outwards from their homelands, their cuisines were influenced by the styles and methods of both western and northern Asia. West Asian influence can be seen in the curry dishes and Indian spices, such as cardamom and cumin, that are found in cuisines throughout the southern countries; while Chinese influences, including traditional spices like coriander and star anise, can be tasted most noticeably in Vietnamese cuisine. As European nations colonized the region, the influences of French, British and Dutch cuisine further altered the culinary landscape. One of the more widely known ingredients westerners brought to Asia was the chili pepper, originally from the Americas.[5]

South Asian cuisine


The cuisine of South Asia has roots in several regions and cultures, including Persia, Turkey, and the Middle East as well practices taken from the Hindu beliefs practiced by the large population found in the region. Naan, a type of flat bread from the former regions is a common part of meals to be had in many parts of South Asia. Foods in this area of the world are known for their use of hot peppers, black pepper, cloves, and other strong spices along with the flavored butter ghee. Common meats include lamb, goat and chicken; beef is not very common as western cuisines because of the tenets of the Hindu faith prohibit its consumption. Other staples of many of the cuisines include rice, chapati made from wheat and barley, and beans.[2]

Indian cuisine

Indian cuisine is characterized by its sophisticated and subtle use of many spices and vegetables grown across India and also for the widespread practice of vegetarianism across its society. Considered by some to be one of the world's most diverse cuisines, each family of this cuisine is characterized by a wide assortment of dishes and cooking techniques. As a consequence, Indian cuisine varies from region to region, reflecting the varied demographics of the ethnically diverse Indian subcontinent.[6]

India's religious beliefs and culture has played an influential role in the evolution of its cuisine. However, cuisine across India also evolved with the subcontinent's cross-cultural interactions with the neighboring Middle East and Central Asia as well as the Mediterranean, making it a unique blend of various cuisines across Asia.[7][8] The colonial period introduced European cooking styles to India adding to its flexibility and diversity.[9][10] Indian cuisine has also influenced cuisines across the world, especially those from Southeast Asia.[11][12][13] In particular, curry has been widely adopted in cuisines around the world.

North Indian cuisines
South Indian cuisines
East Indian cuisines
North-East Indian cuisines
West Indian cuisines

West Asian cuisine

Map world middle east.svg

European cuisine


European cuisine, or alternatively Western cuisine is a generalized term collectively referring to the cuisines of Europe and other Western countries. European cuisine includes that of Europe and to some extent Russia, as well as non-indigenous cuisines of North America, Australasia, Oceania, and Latin America. The term is used by East Asians to contrast with Asian styles of cooking.[14] This is analogous to Westerners referring collectively to the cuisines of Asian countries as Asian cuisine. When used by Westerners, the term may refer more specifically to cuisine in Europe; in this context, a synonym is Continental cuisine, especially in British English.

Northern European cuisine

British Isles

Western European cuisine

  • Bavaria Bavarian cuisine

Eastern European cuisine

Caucasian cuisine

The Caucasus
Baltic states

Southern European cuisine

Mediterranean cuisine


Italian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
Spanish cuisine

Spanish cuisine – variety of dishes including thousands of recipes and flavors arising from Spain's extensive history with many cultural influences, and variations in geography and climate. It is heavily influenced by seafood available from the waters that surround the country, and reflects the country's deep maritime roots.

Cuisine of Oceania


Cuisines of the Americas

Cuisines of the Americas are based on the cuisines of the countries from which the immigrant peoples came, primarily Europe. However, the traditional European cuisine has been adapted to a greater or lesser degree and many local ingredients and techniques have been added to the tradition.

North American cuisine


Cuisine of the United States

The cuisine of the United States is a style of food preparation derived from the United States. The cuisine has a history dating back before the colonial period when the Native Americans had a rich and diverse cooking style for an equally diverse amount of ingredients. With European colonization, the style of cookery changed vastly, with numerous ingredients introduced from Europe, as well as cooking styles and modern cookbooks. The style of cookery continued to expand into the 19th and 20th centuries with the influx of immigrants from various nations across the world. This influx has created a rich diversity and a unique regional character throughout the country. In addition to cookery, cheese and wine play an important role in the cuisine. The wine industry is regulated by American Viticultural Areas (AVA) (regulated appellation), similar to those laws found in countries such as France and Italy.

Midwestern cuisines
Northeastern cuisines
Southern cuisines
Southwestern cuisines
Western cuisines
Fusion cuisine

Central American cuisine


Latin American cuisine incorporates influences from all over the world. Most came due to colonization and the resulting mixtures among the Native Americans, European immigrants, and African slaves. Different waves of immigration (Some resulting from wars, such as World War II) have also had a hand in this mixture, mainly in the form of immigrants from central and eastern Europe and from east Asia (mainly China and Japan).

South American cuisine


Some of the richest food products of South America come from the middle of the continent, the Amazonia. In countries like Peru there is a strong influence of the Inca and their cuisine. Potatoes are frequently grown as a result of this, and also plants such as quinoa. On the Southern tip of South America lies the Pacific Ocean, which provides a large array of seafood. Many plains also are on this continent, which are rich for growing food in abundance. In the Patagonia south of Chile and Argentina, many people produce lamb and venison. King crab is typically caught at the southern end of the continent. Antarctic krill has just recently been discovered and is now considered a fine dish. Tuna and tropical fish are caught all around the continent, but Easter Island is one place where they are found in abundance. Lobster is also caught in great quantities from Juan Fernández. In Brazil the most traditional dish is the feijoada.

Caribbean cuisine


Caribbean cuisine is a fusion of West African, Amerindian, British, Spanish, French, Dutch and Indian cuisines. These traditions were brought from the many homelands of this region's population. In addition, the population has created from this vast wealth of tradition many styles that are unique to the region. Seafood is one of the most common cuisine types in the islands, though this is certainly due in part to their location. Each island will likely have its own specialty. Some prepare lobster or conch, while others prefer certain types of fish or sharks.

Ethnic and religious cuisines

Cuisine styles

History of cuisine

Main article: History of cuisine

Historical cuisines


See also


  1. ^ Bea Sandler (1993). The African Cookbook. Diane and Leo Dillon (Illust.). Carol Publishing Group. ISBN 0806513985. http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Cookbook/about_cb_wh.html. Retrieved 2008-12-18. 
  2. ^ a b c d Le, C.N. (2008). "Asian Cuisine & Foods.". Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. http://www.asian-nation.org/asian-food.shtml. Retrieved 2008-12-18. 
  3. ^ "The flavors of Asia". Quaker Oats Company. http://www.ricearoni.com/rar_flavorsOfTheWorld/asian/. Retrieved 2008-12-19. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Cuisine Areas Of Asia". Kraft Foods (Australia. 2007. http://www.kraft.com.au/CookingSchool/CookingBasics/AsianCuisine/CuisineAreasOfAsia/. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  5. ^ "The South East - Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei". Kraft Foods (Australia. 2007. http://www.kraft.com.au/CookingSchool/CookingBasics/AsianCuisine/CuisineAreasOfAsia/TheSouthEast.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  6. ^ "www.indiaat60.in/backgrounders/Incredible-India@60-indian-cuisine.pdf" (PDF). http://www.indiaat60.in/backgrounders/Incredible-India@60-indian-cuisine.pdf. 
  7. ^ Chandra, Sanjeev (2008-02-07). "www.thestar.com/article/300969". The Star (Toronto). http://www.thestar.com/article/300969. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  8. ^ "www.indianfoodsco.com/Classes/CulinayHistory.htm". http://www.indianfoodsco.com/Classes/CulinayHistory.htm. 
  9. ^ "www.mit.edu:8001/people/alycem/writing_indiancooking.html". http://www.mit.edu:8001/people/alycem/writing_indiancooking.html. 
  10. ^ "www.inmamaskitchen.com/Indian_Cooking/history_Indian_food_cooking.html". http://www.inmamaskitchen.com/Indian_Cooking/history_Indian_food_cooking.html. 
  11. ^ "www.vegvoyages.com/food.htm". http://www.vegvoyages.com/food.htm. 
  12. ^ "www.asiafood.org/features_dietary_culture4.cfm". http://www.asiafood.org/features_dietary_culture4.cfm. 
  13. ^ "www.cafemeetingplace.com/pdf/lesson_dec07.pdf" (PDF). http://www.cafemeetingplace.com/pdf/lesson_dec07.pdf. 
  14. ^ Leung Man-tao (12 February 2007), "Eating and Cultural Stereotypes", Eat and Travel Weekly, no. 312, p. 76. Hong Kong

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.