Comfort food around the world

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Published 2019-12-06 09:30

Food has always been one of the most important and most common means of exchange between people. It is a never-ending trend as it borders between necessity and pleasure. Food represents comfort and a moment of happiness, as some even say that “love comes through the stomach”. Our fond memories of tastes and smell enable us to travel through time and space and to feel what we felt in one moment of bliss.

Spices, tea and salt made an important part in the world trade established in the 19th century by the East India Company. This world exchange woke up the people’s appetites for tastes from foreign lands, and fruits that can only grow in the warmest places. This mix of influences is what created the cultural identity of the nation-states today and became deeply entrenched in the pride and traditions all over the world. 

Tastes and smells remind us of the warmth and comfort we felt in our childhood homes, and some of the world’s most renowned chefs in the world try to replicate the recipes of their youth. Some tastes, however, are simply unique and depend on the geographical position, the water, the soil of the country, or the passion of those who make it. Luckily, however, today, most of the products reach every location, and there are hardly places in which specific foreign stores or products cannot be found. This might just help us all to keep going when we are far away from home and feel nostalgic. 

Popular cuisines around the world

Italian cuisine

According to the international study conducted by the organisation YouGov, Italian cuisine is the most popular in the world. The survey interestingly concludes that it is mostly admired by the Italians themselves, but also does not go behind other international admirers. Some Italian recipes are quite easy to reproduce as pasta, mozzarella, gnocchi, parmesan cheese and pesto are imported practically everywhere by the large companies. Many of the Italian products, such as balsamic vinegar, Grana Padano cheese, Mortadella or Pancetta are with protected designations of origin (DOP- Denominazione di Origine Protetta) and to get the authentic taste they have to be produced in Italy.

Fortunately, the fame that the Italian cuisine has (as well as the Italian migration) made Italian restaurants present everywhere. Interestingly Buenos Aires has the largest group of Italian descendants, a fact that strongly influenced the Argentinean eating habits. Eating Italian is also extremely famous in the Americas, however with a modification to the concept of pizza and pasta to a more Americanised version. 

For more authentic tastes, try places like Little Italy in Cleveland, or Petite Italia in Montréal. Canada additionally has companies like Import Italian, which work with large companies and help with bringing good quality European food. Europe also has a great number of Italians who can wholeheartedly offer their tastiest recipes in every city. 

Asian cuisines 

Asian tastes are also very common today and are attractive for their colourful dishes consisting many ingredients and strong flavours. The cooking varies based on the different leading cuisines among which the most famous are Chinese, Thai, Indian and Korean. Some of the most common things are rice, spices, herbs, often soy and tofu. Most of the large cities have at least one Asian store, where many imported ingredients can be found like kimchi, miso, and noodles. Some manage to bring the original tastes, while others like the Indian mango chutney has the best taste when made at home. There is also a huge number of Asian restaurants in basically every country, and while often many places don’t offer the proper recipes, some can really bring the exotic tastes of the East. 

There are some websites that import good Asian groceries like Thai Food Online in the UK, KRG Asian food and Asia Express Food in the Netherlands, or Domechan for Japanese food in Italy.

Turkish cuisine

Turkish cuisine is one of the most influential in the world as it made its way to the national dishes in Central Asia, in the Middle East and even to the heart of the Balkans. Recipes that are based on meat, rice and vegetables have become so attractive to the world that Turkish restaurants can be found everywhere. Additionally, the longing for a good and tasty meal made the Turkish bring their speciality to the centre of Europe, in Germany. The tasty doner kebab became what is known today as the German national dish showing how good taste knows no boundaries. For importing Turkish delights in the US and Canada, some websites can be helpful such as Best Turkish FoodGrand Bazaar Shopping, Tulumba, and The Turkish shop.

Balkan cuisine

Balkan food is the world’s most underrated cuisine as it offers a boom of tastes and comfort followed by Mediterranean and Turkish influences. It is a fusion of vegetables, spices and homemade spices that represent the warm character that the Balkan people have. But the frequent migration often makes the Balkan people miss their homes and dishes like ajvar and sarma, but also the strong rakia or the tasty Balkan wines. 

Balkan immigrants tend to bring their homemade food all year round or make friends bring them some of the tastes of home. However, today, it is fairly easy to find Balkan restaurants around the world or to get the products online. Some good Balkan restaurants around the globe are Ambar Restaurant in Washington DC, Djerdan Burek in NY, KafanaNYC in NY, Restaurant Macedonia in Berlin, Balkan Restaurant Macedonie in Groningen, Patisserie Gordana in Montreal. Additionally, for ordering Balkan products, some websites are Magaza in the UK, Balkan Store in Germany, and Balkan Fresh in the US and Canada.

South American cuisine

South American dishes tend to be some of the most exotic and tasty on the planet. They are characterised with meat dishes, corn breads, and delicious fish recipes. This includes Columbian, Peruvian, Brazilian and Argentinian dishes like ceviche, empanadas, arepas and feijoada. South American food is between fast and comfort food which blend with the fantastic flavours of beans, corn and rice. Some great South American restaurants around the world are Arepaz in Milan, Carrasco in Hamburg, Paracas in Berlin, Chakana in Antwerp, Caracas Arepa Bar and Samba Kitchen in New York. For online orders worldwide some good websites are Amigo Foods and Zocalo Foods in the US, Chatica in the UK, Hola Mexico in Germany, and Milano Foods in Austria.