Top 10 influences
on world cuisines

page 2


Top 6 to 10
world cuisine

Fuel availability

This affects cooking styles. Take wood. It is ideal for slow, brick-oven cooking. It is plentiful in forested lands like Eastern Europe but is scarce in countries like India and China.

Spread of
New World foods

The European discovery of the New World had an explosive impact on the European diet. New foods were introduced in Europe including these now staples: potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, corn, chilies, allspice, chocolate, turkey and vanilla.

To illustrate, imagine:

Southern Italian cooking
without tomatoes

Chinese Sichuan seasoning
without hot chilies

Irish and German diets
without potatoes

Hungarian cuisine
without paprika

to the New World

The migration of foods did not move in only one direction. Chicken, beef, lamb, pork, wheat, and many fruits and vegetables (apples and oranges, for example) were brought to the Western hemisphere. The importation of the Old World horse also revolutionized New World agriculture.


The world cuisine exchange was beneficial. But today, national cuisines are being homogenized. This amalgamation is good if cooks can add the best dishes of other cultures to their repertoire. A Japanese adage says that tasting a new food adds 75 days to one's life. The trouble starts when new dishes displace the old, disrupting rather than enriching a traditional pattern of cooking and eating - and when the foods adopted represent the lowest common denominator rather than the best in the borrowed cuisine.

Endangered cuisines

Some national and many regional ethnic cuisines are endangered culinary species. I believe those treasures are worth saving.

Learn More

for influences #1 to #5
for Top 10 world cuisine rankings


Photo by NHoulihan - CC BY 2.0


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