As an effort to gain a greater understanding of the sheer diversity of our world, I am trying to cook dishes from all countries in the world. In this document I will keep track of the regions, countries, and cuisines I have been researching and cooking from. My project notes are evergreen in nature.

Running total 36/197

Three most recent dishes

I organize my notes on different cuisines by splitting them into rough geographical areas with the intention of grouping together similar cuisines. A country's cuisine has rarely developed on its own. Cuisines are as dynamic, flexible, and arbitrary as the concept of nation states and their borders. I wrote some more detailed thoughts on this in the past.

Let's start from ten top-level regions.

A very interesting source of consistent investigations into cuisines around the world is the Food in Every Country website.


African cuisines are further categorized by cardinal directions.

Northern Africa 2/6

Influences from Phoenicians (sausages), Carthaginians (wheat, semolina), Berbers (couscous), Arabs (spices: saffron, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cloves), Ottoman Turks (pastries), and New World (potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, chili peppers).

Eastern Africa 2/19

Southern Africa 0/5

Western Africa 2/16

Many of the dishes I list under specific countries are mostly eaten throughout the whole region. There might be small debates over where dishes originate from, but ultimately it remains hard to tell, as most of these countries are rather arbitrary and actually consist of hundreds of different tribes.

Central Africa 0/9

Influenced by Swahilis and Portuguese (see Wikipedia).

Central Asia

East Asia

China, Japan, {North, South}-Korea, Mongolia, Taiwan

See Wikipedia for a very detailed list of cuisines in this region.


Northern Europe 1/10

Eastern Europe 1/10

Southern Europe 2/15

Western Europe 4/9

Middle East

There is so much to write here.

Let me include Arab countries in Western Asia in the catch-all term Middle East for the sake of simplicity, though geographically inaccurate.

Some notes on historical cuisines in the Middle East, from Cuisine and Culture by Linda Civitello.

The earliest Muslim recipes come from Baghdad (1226) recorded by al-Baghdadi. There are many tagines; stews of meat and fruits simmered for hours. For example, mishmishiya is made with lamb and dried apricots. Spices included cumin, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper. Saffron provided color. Ground almonds provided thickening. Stews were perfumed with water distilled from rose petals or orange blossoms.

Milk (sheep or goat) was made into yogurt or preserved in salty cheese like feta and kasseri. Vegetables and pulses (e.g., aubergine and chickpeas) were puréed and mixed with garlic, lemon, salt, and sesame paste to make baba ghanoush and hummus. Spinach was eaten often. There were breads slapped onto the side of an oven called a tannur (like the Indian tandoor). Rice was imported from Asia and mixed with dried fruit and nuts to make pilaf. And they ate couscous—which today is the national dish in Northern African countries like Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria. Grape leaves and aubergines were stuffed.

North America

Central America 3/7

Carribean 3/14


South America

South Asia

Southeast Asia