Each of the 252 countries that exist today has its own characteristics of technology and its own range of products that are used for cooking. The culinary traditions of the countries of Europe, Asia, America, Africa and Australia are determined by geographical, cultural, ethnic and religious factors.
Continental, Western or European cuisine is not only the national culinary traditions of European countries, but also of some Asian and American countries, which have been influenced by European culture in the past few centuries.
The culinary traditions of the inhabitants of Russia have inherited from the indigenous population – the Russians – its cuisine with cabbage soup and porridge. Pomeranian fish soup came from the Russian North, dumplings and shangi from Siberia, and pilaf and kulaga (a sweet dish made from rye flour and malt) from the Volga region. Originally Russian national dishes, the popularity of which has survived to this day, are pancakes – thin cakes that are cooked on batter and baked in a pan.
As well as:
- Russian roast – meat with potatoes cut into large pieces, which is simmered for several hours over low heat.
- Boiled pork – boneless meat baked in the oven. Prepared from pork, lamb or bear meat.
- Fire cutlets. The peculiarity of these minced meat products is that when they are formed, a piece of butter is added to the middle of each cutlet.
- Beef stroganoff – made from finely chopped beef with sour cream and tomato sauce.
- Okroshka is a cold soup made with kvass or whey, the ingredients are boiled potatoes, meat, eggs, and fresh cucumbers.
- Rasstegay – oblong-shaped yeast pies with an open top. The filling can be meat, fish, vegetables and berries.
- Vatrushki are open round cakes made of rich dough with cottage cheese filling.
- Kissel is a strong compote brewed with starch or flour.
The national cuisine of other European countries is represented by culinary products, many of which are Russian analogues. Thus, English culinary traditions include meat and flour dishes, similar in composition and method of preparation to those popular in Russia. These are roast beef (beef meat baked in the oven), panakelti (meat and vegetable casserole), Yorkshire pudding (dessert in the form of jelly based on starch, fruits and berries), crumble (open shortcrust pastry pie with sweet or salty filling) .
The culinary traditions of France and Belgium are known for such national dishes as onion soup with croutons and cheese, meat in Burgundy (beef stew with potatoes), eintopf (a very thick multi-component soup that can serve as both the first and second), as well as the “calling card” France – croissant, a small puff pastry bun, with or without filling.
The most popular German dishes are chicken noodle soups, homemade sausages, pork schnitzels and dough dumplings. Among Bulgarians, apple pie and a rabbit stewed in wine are considered specialties, among Hungarians – soup with meatballs, goulash and paprikash (pieces of meat stewed in sour cream with paprika and onions).
The culinary traditions of Italy and Greece are formed under the influence of peoples who have been living in these states for many centuries. According to the set of products and methods of their preparation, Italian and Greek cuisine are considered one of the healthiest and most useful.
The most famous Italian dishes are:
- minestrone soup made from vegetables, pasta and red beans;
- polpettone – oven-baked minced meat roll stuffed with cheese and vegetables;
- lasagna – a multi-layer cake made from thin rectangular sheets of dough, shifted with different fillings;
- pasta carbonara – pasta with a sauce made from eggs, small pieces of bacon, parmesan cheese and ground black pepper;
- frittata – scrambled eggs with cheese, vegetables and sausage.
Greek national dishes are lamb cutlets with tzatziki sauce, moussaka (meat, potato and eggplant casserole), stifado (meat stew with onions and tomatoes), paputsakya (stuffed eggplant), and, of course, the world-famous Greek salad .
The culinary traditions of the peoples of Asia are united by the use of rice and noodles as staples, and the ideal combination of products in appearance, taste and smell, although the methods of their preparation are very different.
So, in Central Asia they cook pilaf from rice and fatty lamb, in East Asia they will put dishes of rice noodles and seafood on the table, in South Asia rice will be cooked with vegetables and an abundance of spices, giving it an original taste and aroma. And the culinary traditions that have been formed over the centuries in certain provinces of China cannot be described in two words, they are very diverse, and some are unusual (for example, the use of meat from dogs and cats).
TOP 10 popular Asian dishes:
- Fish swim. Made from long-grain rice and red fish with tomato, onion, cilantro and turmeric.
- Salad of rice noodles (funchose), king prawns and red bell pepper.
- Rolls Philadelphia. The ingredients are rice, salmon, fresh cucumbers, avocados, cream cheese and nori seaweed.
- Rice with pineapple, bell pepper and ginger. Asian version of vegetarian pilaf.
- Fried bananas. One of the popular Thai desserts: peeled bananas are fried in batter and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
- Ketupat. National dish of East Asian countries. It is a box of palm leaves stuffed with rice, which is boiled over low heat for several hours.
- Krupuk. Popular in South Asian countries, chips made from starch, rice flour and ground squid or shrimp into a paste.
- Thali. An Indian vegetarian dish that no feast can do without is boiled rice served with numerous vegetable side dishes and sauces on a beautiful large tray.
- Piance. Steam pies from yeast dough stuffed with meat and cabbage.
- Goti. The national Chinese dish is fried dumplings stuffed with minced meat and Chinese cabbage.
In most countries of America, semi-finished products are popular. Meat is most often grilled, and vegetables are consumed raw, in the form of salads. Rice and corn are used for side dishes. On holidays, Americans regularly observe family culinary traditions. So, at Thanksgiving, a baked turkey is certainly served on the table, at Christmas – chicken fried in breadcrumbs or beef steaks, ranch potato salad and apple and cinnamon pie.
Of the popular in America, you can also name:
- Soup Gumbo. Louisiana’s signature first course is a thick soup with chicken, bell peppers, celery, and rice.
- Jambalaya. Creole version of pilaf, made from rice with bell peppers, sausages, ham and smoked sausages.
- Feijoada. The visiting card of Brazil is a stew of pork legs, smoked sausage, meat trimmings, black beans and cassava flour (farofa).
- Texas Peppers. Lenten dish – peppers stuffed with rice, corn and beans.
- Brussels sprouts with cheese and white sauce. A light vegetarian dish – boiled cabbage is mixed with grated hard cheese, poured with bechamel sauce and baked in the oven.
- Pumpkin pie. A traditional American dessert, an open shortbread pie stuffed with pumpkin. A large amount of spices gives a special taste to the pie.
- Grated shortbread pie with apples and cinnamon.
Many American peoples also have unusual culinary habits. In Mexico, the Indians eat various insects – beetles, caterpillars, butterflies, fly larvae, cockroaches.
They are fried or dried and eaten like chips. Snake dishes are popular among Latin Americans: barbecues are made from these reptiles, soups are cooked, and rice seasoning is made.
The national culinary traditions of Australia were formed as a result of a combination of Aboriginal gastronomic tastes with British, Chinese and Japanese cuisine. The British was brought by settlers, in the case of oriental cuisine, the close geographical position of the countries played a role.
The most famous Australian national dish is the young barracuda (according to species characteristics, it is a relative of the mullet). It is eaten raw, fried, grilled, stuffed. Australians fry fish in an unusual way: they put a layer of grass on the coals, chopped fish on top, then again grass and coals.
Australians are meat eaters. And they eat not only beef, pork and lamb, but also kangaroos, ostriches, crocodiles and possums. In Australia you can try:
- kangaroo meat steak served with mushrooms,
- beef fillet with beetroot sauce “bitrut”,
- salad of slices of ham, tomato, cucumbers and apples wrapped in tubules,
- chicken “Melbourne” – chicken stewed with tomatoes, eggplant and potatoes,
- sate skewers, which are made from young veal or chicken and eaten with peanut sauce.
Australia is rich in seafood. Here, in any cafe and restaurant, you will be offered delicacies from scallops, oysters, mussels, crabs, octopuses, as well as rare fish species such as salmon, trout and white sea bass. A kind of culinary business card of the country – “Fish and Chips” – fried fish with french fries.
Of the desserts, the most popular among Australians are the lamington biscuit cake with a layer of jam and chocolate icing, and a cake with bananas, nuts and cinnamon.
And in terms of the abundance of fruits and berries on the table, Australia is probably the leader among all countries. Citrus fruits familiar to Europeans, blackberries and raspberries, and exotic mangoes, kiwi, papaya, Chinese plum (lychee), avocados are used here not only as a dessert, but also serve as components of many main dishes.