Top 10 Cuisines
Eating is an essential part of life and failing to do so may have dire consequences. Our prehistoric ancestors were hunters who didn’t have much of a choice of what they had for dinner as hunting was the only option. Nowadays, we have tons of cuisine options of what to eat ranging from cooking at home to a variety of ready to serve or canned items. However eating out has a special charm to it. Obviously, food prepared and served by someone else is considered a treat as well as a luxury.
It also offers a chance to socialize and to get new experiences, not to mention skipping the “wash the dishes” time. Cuisines from various regions have a different presentations as well as distinct flavors owing to variety of preferences of people or available items. Restaurants all over the world offer rich culinary experiences. Some dishes and cuisines have spread all over the world regardless of their original locality and are offered by restaurants everywhere. Following is the list of top 10 cuisines that highly in demand the world over.
10. Greek Cuisine
The ancient Greeks were notorious for having up to 5 meals a day and eating was considered luxury with servants waiting at tables even in the poorer homes. This love for food is reflected in the Greek cuisine. A perfect equilibrium has been attained between meat and vegetables in their dishes which proves to be refreshing as well as one of the healthiest foods around. Lower heart diseases have been linked to the intake of these foods. Greek Olive oil (which has a distinct taste not found anywhere else) and spices flavor these healthy dishes which roughly follow the Mediterranean technique. Fresh items like lemons, eggplants, grape leaves and chickpeas enhance the panache of the meal along with yogurt and fancy cheese. Mezze is an assortment of small dishes which is commonly served and their sauces are something to really die for! The Greek cuisine also relies on Sea salt instead of ordinary table salt to boost the sensory pleasure.
9. Spanish Cuisine
Spanish Cuisine is heavily influenced by the fact that it is almost an island, save for the border it shares with France. A rich variety of fish like Tuna, Sardines and Cod are included in this cuisine which is heavily dependent on the marine life. Paella is a very popular dish and is a must have if you want to enjoy the true essence of the Spanish cuisine. It includes rice, meat and vegetables. It also has a “seafood version” which opts for snails and other sea foods instead of rabbit, chicken or duck. Finger Food, like fast food, is quite popular and may range from bread sticks dipped in sauce or olive oil to cheese and ham. The other noticeable fact is that the Spanish treat eating time as an escape from their daily lives and relax during meals. This is reflected in the fact that almost all their dishes are in generous amounts. Eggs and bread complete the cuisine as important part. Eggs are often served in the main course instead of red or white meat. Soups are usually used for starters and salad is typically skipped. Olive oil is mostly used for cooking and use of spices is kept to a minimum. Garlic (due its abundance in the country) and Saffron are used generously and play a vital role. Spanish desserts, including puddings, cakes and custards, are nothing certainly not to be missed!
8. Mexican Cuisine
Just thinking of Mexican cuisine will make you reach for a glass of water. That might not be always true but the rich and spicy corns, black beans, and chilies from this part of the world may make you sweat a little. Mexican cuisine is heavily influenced by foreign tastes like Texan and Spanish. Taco bell and salsa is no stranger to most of the people around the world. Varied flavors and colorful presentations are the cornerstone of Mexican foods. A surprising fact is that the word “chocolate” originated from Mexico’s Aztec. Over 40 rivers in the country ensure fish a permanent place in the cuisine although unusual animals are also used like iguanas, rattlesnakes and grasshoppers.
7. Lebanese Cuisine
Camels and dates come to mind when we talk about the Middle East. It may be true to an extent but when we go through our options of their foods, Lebanese cuisine is truly the face of Arab dishes. Its secret is fresh fruits and vegetables. Chicken and white meat is more abundantly used than red meat. Most of the dishes are dependent on the season as well as the geographical location. Copious amount of spices like garlic and other herbs are complimented by olive oil and lemon juice to exalt the experience. Cream and other fats are not used in large quantities. The Lebanese flat bread is used to eat the majority of these culinary delights instead of spoons or forks. Arak is the national drink and is served with meals. This is only half of the story. It’s the sweets section that turns us into little boys and girls jumping up and down. The world famous Tripoli, Baklava and Maamoul really wakes up the taste buds. But this is not all, the special ice creams and roasted nuts are something to treat yourself to!
6. Chinese Cuisine
Chinese cuisine take the 5th spot with almost 33% of the world population preferring it .It offers a rich, tasty and economical experience. As China is a very vast country, each region has its own unique flavor. A bowl of rice is a staple food and goes with almost everything, except for Chow Mien (noodles).Soups and Seafood is also a major part of the cuisine. Chinese make their foods in such a way that all items are cut into small pieces so that knives and forks are not required. Eight Treasures tea is served in a specially designed pot and is something to be experienced. Ginger tea also has its origin from China. However, carefulness is advisable due to the ingredients of some dishes like Donkey Flesh King and Dog Meat City.
5. Japanese Cuisine
Contrary to popular belief, there is more to Japanese cuisine than Sushi and Sashimi. Although rice, fish and noodles make up almost all of the varieties, you would be surprised to find a huge variety of mouth watering dishes to choose from. Being completely surrounded by water means dependence on the sea for food as other meats have lesser availability. Maritime food has a lot of diversity like octopus, squid and calms other than regular fish. Soya beans, steamed white rice and seaweeds like kelp and dulse are the staple food and are present in almost every meal. The Japanese simply love pickles and include them in every meal. Bread is not actually a part of japans food but is gaining popularity and is often included. Ginger, rice vinegar and soy sauce lend their special flavors and influence the Japanese cuisine strongly. Mushroom is much used ingredient whit is healthy as well as taste enhancing in soups and other recipes. Green tea then wraps up the show leaving everyone impressed.
4. Indian Cuisine
Perhaps the most misunderstood cuisine is the Indian Cuisine. The foods prepared originally in India are not all of what makes up this cuisine. Modernization has caused all sub continental foods to be merged into a new form termed internationally as the Indian cuisine. The flaming curry full of spices and chilies is a perfect introduction to this area of this world, albeit a bit hot for new eaters and diners. Contrary to popular belief, it is quite healthy and has benefits for the whole body. Lavish breakfasts are also popular in this cuisine. Grilled whole chicken or meat coated with clarified butter is a must have for someone who enjoys striking flavors. Garam Masalah, herbs and turmeric along with tomatoes, onions, garlic and mustard make up the majority of ingredients used for flavoring. Flat bread is used for eating all types of food except rice. Fresh vegetables are used according to seasons like potato, cabbage, okra and peas. Lentils are also very popular with vegetarians. Fast food in the Indian cuisine consists of samosas, pakora, bhaji and stuffed parathas. A yogurt based drink with a layer of clotted cream is ordinarily taken after lunch. It comes in many flavors and types.
3. Thai Cuisine
Imagine food that is sweet as well as sour with a ting of spice having undertones ranging from salty to bitter. Now try anything from the Thai cuisine and you will be amazed how they manage to balance all these tastes make such great food. The Thai prefer light meals with the emphasis on the aroma. Fiery chilies, fresh lemons, creamy coconut milk or the luscious pineapple and an assortment of fragrant spices are the ingredients which makes the food so finger licking good. Like the Indian cuisine, the Thai cuisine is inspired by rice and curries which are sometimes very hot. Thai cuisines do use fish like the famous Thai fish cake or fish sauce and rice.
2. French Cuisine
French are known form for their artistic tastes in films and dramas and are the finest around. The French Cuisine and delicacies do not let us down and creates flavors that you didn’t even know existed! Cheese and red wine lend their exotic tastes to a majority of dishes. Duck, Crepes, Hamburger patties and other foods are in high demand as the French do not believe in the concept of fast food. Butter is also a key element for creating all the rich sauces and other entrée. French shallots and Savory are the secrets to the perfect French taste. The French cuisine aims at offering high quality food with less emphasis on the quantity. Full fat dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables along with small amount of meat and coffee are basically the theme of French cuisine. Garlic, tomatoes, olive oil and herbs compliment the already perfect line of cooking. Dijon mustard, now famous worldwide, originated from France. The sweet tooth of French cuisine is evident in its pastries and offers a sensory overload one is never to forget!
1. Italian Cuisine
There will be, if counted, only a handful of people in this world who would not have indulged themselves in the cheesy and rich flavors of a Pizza. Italian cuisine is famous for its innumerable kinds of cheese and sausages and has a history going back even before Italy was made. Tomatoes, bell peppers and olive oil can softly are stated as the trademark of the Italian cuisine. Creamy and saucy Pasta has certainly become a favorite almost everywhere. It includes various types of shapes and sizes of noodles and this variety includes Spaghetti, Lasagna, Ravioli and Tortellini. A typical dinner starts with hot or cold appetizers followed by the first course consisting of pasta. The main course, mainly fish or meat, is served with vegetables. The dessert seals the deal and the diner understands by the Italian cuisine is ranked as the world’s most popular. Italian coffee, namely espresso finishes off the evening making everything “Parfait”!