World Cuisines : List of Ethnic Food Types

Get to know the world through food! Join us on this beautiful journey through different world cuisines. Discover new tastes of ethnic food, old and new ways …

Our planet is home to many different countries, all of which have cuisine that originates from a specific region. This makes our planet full of unique dishes and distinct drinks that are created from ingredients that are either locally sourced or bartered through trade.

International Foods Around The Globe

International Foods Ethnic Recipes

Because each cuisine has its own preparation methods and styles, we almost always get to taste something unique when we travel to another country or region. With this said, we can draw major inspiration by just looking at the food and drinks around us from different cuisines around the world. Now if you are not well traveled or well versed in world culture some of these cuisines will be unfamiliar to you, but we will be listing different types of dishes underneath each cuisine to give you a better idea of what is eaten in that region.

Lets have a closer look at the list of world ethnic cuisines:


Cuisine of Africa


Traditionally, African food will use a combination of fruits, cereal grains, vegetables, milk and meat products to create their dishes. They use a lot of curd and whey products as well but it is important to note that they don’t get a lot of ingredients imported so dishes are quite distinct from region to region in Africa.

Dishes in Central Africa, South Africa, and North Africa are often very different. Most popular ingredients: lamb kebabs, fried plantains, bunny chow, baked eggs, warthog and rice.

1. Central African cuisine

Probably one of the most traditional cuisine that you will find in Africa, due to the isolation that took place until recent times, helping to the preservation of recipes as they used to be long time ago. Plantains and cassava is found in these recipes, but also meat, like monkey, crocodile or warthog meat. Read more!

2. East African cuisine

This is an African cuisine very much influenced by various cultures that settled colonies in the area, bringing with them spices and flavors. It resembles the Central African cuisine, but has some differences in recipes. For instance, plaintains are steamed, to be served as fillers for various stews they prepare. Also, you will meet spices like cinnamon, saffron, cloves, grown and used for a great deal of recipes. Read more!

3. Horn African cuisine

The Horn of Africa, called this way because it is shaped like the horn of a rhino, is the most eastern part of Africa, consisting in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. A variety of stews, served with a flat type of bread called “injera”, and legume pastes, mostly lentils and fava beans, are their main dishes. Read more!

4. North African cuisine

This cuisine is diverse, just like the land where it is found, where cultural diversity flourished in time. In the area of Morocco, the flavors are full and rich, clovers, ginger, cinnamon and other spices being found in the recipes. If you head towards Tunisia, here the food is spicier, hot like the sun. And in Egypt and Algeria, the dishes are simpler, but consistent and full of distinct flavors. Read more!

5. South African cuisine

Also called the “rainbow cuisine” of Africa, because of the numerous influences coming from tribes, Asia and Europe, it will surprise you with its various flavors. You can find crocodile meat, insects and cooked goat heads, which are traditional recipes for the ones that wish to try something else. But you can also enjoy a variety of farm sausages, shepherd’s pie, wild greens, and root vegetables. And these are only a few examples. Read more!

6. West African cuisine

This cuisine uses a lot of staple food, like couscous, fufu, banku, or kenkey, served with all kinds of stews and soups. Rice, millet, black-eyed beans, yams, sweet potatoes and cassavas are also a part of the recipes in this area. Also, depending on where you go, you can find mutton, beef, or goat meat. But chicken and seafood is also available in some parts of West Africa. Read more!

III. Cuisines of Asia


1. Central Asian cuisine

In Central Asia, people rely very much in their herds of sheep, camels and horse, both for food and transportation. So, most recipes are based on mutton, and dairy products, wheat, maize, but also camel and horse meat. Bread and noodles are also present, because crops are present in many areas as well.

2. East Asian cuisine

Specific for China, Korea and Japan, the East Asia cuisine surprises our senses with various flavors, oils and sauces are commonly used in recipes, except the ones in Japan. Ingredients can vary a lot, depending on the area and what is available there. Colored ingredients and strong flavors are preferred, making each dish an explosion of different tastes, sesame, chili, garlic, ginger, being some of the spices used. Read More!

3. Southeast Asian cuisine

This cuisine is different through its flavors, the recipes containing citruses, cilantro, mint, or basil, in generous portions. Soy sauce is used for fish dishes, together with using lemon grass, tamarind and galangal, for exotic tastes. Boiling and stir frying are the preferred ways of cooking in this area, the meals being healthy and full of savor.  Read More!

4. South Asian cuisine

The South Asian cuisine is famous for the use of hot peppers and strong spices, like clover, black pepper, and various other spices with an intense taste. For the recipes here will be rich in flavors, but also have a hot nature. Chicken, mutton and goat are the meats preferred here, beef not being used too much, because the Hindus believe the cow as being a sacred animal.

5. West Asian cuisine

Hummus and falafel are two dishes very representative for this cuisine, known throughout the world. So chickpeas, olive oil, sesame, parsley and honey are used in the recipes of this area. Fruits like dates, bananas and citruses are also widely consumed. Again, mutton and chicken are the most preferred types of meat for preparing meals.


IV. European Cuisines


European cuisine or Western cuisine is extremely diverse and rich both in ingredients and dishes. Seafood is staple food in Northern Europe and Mediterranean, whereas in Western and Eastern Europe it’s meat. Most famous European cuisines are French and Italian.

Common foods: beef, pork, fish, cabbage, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, vegetable oils, pasta, salads, peppers, basil, oregano, apples, pears, strawberries, citrus …

1. Central European cuisine

The Central European cuisine is very diverse, using a wide range of ingredients, varying from one country to another. Potatoes, pastas, bean stews, and veggies, are all used. Meat comes in a large variety as well, roasted, added in stews, or fried, like the famous Austrian schnitzel, covered in an layer made out of eggs and white flour.

2. Eastern European cuisine

Another savory cuisine, sour soups being frequent here, called “borsch”, and pickled vegetables, especially during the cold season. Pastries filled with a variety of ingredients, salads, bread and meats, and plenty of desserts will spoil any taste buds.

3. Northern European cuisine

In the Northern European cuisine, you will find plenty of game meat, due to the existence of the lush forests. But fish and chicken are also present, the meats usually being seasoned with veggies and complementary simple sauces. Up in the northern parts, seal, reindeer or even whale meat is served, often accompanied by potatoes or steamed veggies.

4. Southern European cuisine

Representative for Greece, Cyprus, Macedonia, Albania and neighboring countries, the food here is rather simple but full of taste. Olive oil, basil, oregano, rosemary are present as main used spices. Goat cheese, fish, seafood, and various meats are used. Let us not forget about the famous pizza, born in the Italian Peninsula.

5. Western European cuisine

Dominated by the famous French cuisine, but also belonging to Belgium, Switzerland and Dutch, pastries, steaks, and stews, are a part of this cuisine. Anything from chicken, to beef, seafood, vegetables, rice, and greens are used, in a full of variety and tasty cuisine.

 Cuisine of the Americas

American cuisine has been heavily influenced by European colonization and Early Native American culture, as well as immigration from all over the world, so it is a wonderful blend of cooking styles and tastes.

Most popular foods: porridges, breads, hamburgers, potatoes, cornbread, muffins, eggs, salad, chowder, baked beans, haddock, pie, pizza, steak, salmon, wild rice, apples, cranberries, stew, pastries, cauliflower, broccoli, pineapple and so on. Drinks may include: beer, whiskey, rum, wine and brandy.

1. North American cuisine

In North America, beans, squash and maize are some of the most traditional ingredients you can find. Salmon, beef, rabbit, deer, berries and mushrooms are also a part of the dishes found here. Of course, each visitors that came in North American brought a part of their cuisine here as well, so various influences can be met in the recipes of this area. Read more!

2. Central American cuisine

Maize is used in a lot of dishes of Central America, like tortillas, tamale, and pupusa. Salsas, or thick sauces, are used for spicing and offering dishes particular flavors, guacamole and chorizo being two much-appreciated ones. Sweet potato, beans, rice and meats are also used. Read more!

3. South American cuisine

Potatoes and quinoa are grown here since the times of the Inca, and used in many recipes. Seafood is also available, in the southern tip of the region, near the Pacific Ocean. Beans, rice and corn is also used, together with a variety of fish, and pork. Fruits may also be a part of recipes, in some parts of Read More!

4. Caribbean cuisine

Caribbean cuisine is unique in the fact that it is a fusion of Amerindian, European, East Indian, Arab and Chinese cuisine. Dishes may include ingredients like: sweet potatoes, rice, plantains, beans, cassava, cilantro, peppers, chickpeas, tomatoes, coconut and leafy vegetables. Some notable dishes: Black Cake, Ackee and Saltfish, Okra, and Callaloo.

Because the Caribbean area is mainly made out of islands, seafood is highly available here. Various types of fish, lobster and even shark will be found in the recipes of this unique area. Still, you can also enjoy chicken, rice, plantain, and various veggies. Read More!

5. Latin American cuisine

Latin America has a lot of influences in its cuisine, so the diversity of flavors will amaze you. Grilled meat, empanada, which is a type of pastry filled with all sort of ingredients, stews, rice, beans, and plantain will also be used in the recipes. Read More!

V. Oceanic Cuisine

Specific for Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, and all the surrounding islands, the Oceanic cuisine has both traditional recipes and influences from the immigrants that can me to this region in time.

Most popular ingredients: Fish is a star here, both soups and stews being based on this ingredient. Coconut is widely used as well, in drinks and desserts. Still, don’t be surprised to see kangaroo, crocodile and buffalo meat in dishes as well.

VI Cuisine Styles

1. Fusion cuisine

This cuisine consists in combining the particularities of several cuisines to produce a single dish. These recipes are not named in a particular way, being the innovations of chefs, according to their vision and desire to create something spectacular. Many modern restaurants embraced this type of cuisine, as a result of multicultural communities all over the globe.

2. Haute cuisine

The Haute cuisine is probably the most refined and meticulous type of cuisine. The name comes from French, meaning “high cuisine”, because everything is prepared with extreme care and using sophisticated ingredients. The final dish must look spotless, as this type of cuisine is served only in luxury locations.

3. Note by Note cuisine

It is a very interesting cuisine, made by using pure compounds instead of using whole ingredients. Also known as molecular cuisine, it uses precise quantities of water, sugars, amino-acids, organic acids, and any other needed molecules to create a dish.

4. Nouvelle cuisine

Not as recent as Haute cuisine, but newer than traditional recipes, the Nouvelle cuisine, meaning the “new cuisine” in French, is based in refined and light dishes, with an outstanding presentation. The recipes are not complicated, the presentation being the one that sets this cuisine apart.

5. Vegan cuisine

The Vegan cuisine relies only on vegetable ingredients, rejecting the use of any animal products. Everything from starters to main courses and desserts are entirely out of plant-based ingredients.

6. Vegetarian cuisine

It is another cuisine that is based mostly on plants, without the consumption of meat and animal tissues. Vegetarians can choose to consume eggs, milk and dairy products, as products coming from animals, without their sacrifice. Or they can eat exclusively plants.

Ethnic and Religious Cuisines

Here is the list of just few of religious and ethnic cuisines:

• Ainu

The cuisine of the ethnic group Ainu, in Japan, it uses millet, beans, wheat, or pukusa, and various game meats to prepare dishes. Fox, deer, bear, and raccoons are just a few examples.

• Akan

The cuisine of the Ashanti people, which uses fish, seafood and various meats, prepared in soups and stews. To these are added groundnuts, maize, and other various starch foods. Some recipes contain onions, tomato, and peppers.

• African American

Also called as Soul food, it belongs to the African-American culture. The recipes are consistent, containing many calories, because most food is fried. Cornbread, fried chicken, ham hock and black-eyed peas, mac and cheese, they are all part of this cuisine.

• Arab

In the Arab cuisine, lamb and chicken are the most used meats. In the coast areas, fish is also appreciated. Dairy products are highly spread, together with spices and various nuts. And when it comes to legumes, lentils are much used in the recipes, followed by chickpeas, fava beans, and various other beans.

• Assyrian

It belongs to the northern Iran, north-east part of Syria, north-west of Iran and south-east Turkey. A variety of grains, tomatoes, potatoes and meats are used for the dishes. Tea and snacks, such as biscuits, baklawa, or crackers, are much appreciated.

• Balochi

Belonging to the Balochi people, this cuisine is based very much on meat and bread. The meat is prepared in a stew-like manner, using fats. Vegetables and fresh herbs are also added. To keep the flavors in, the food is slow cooked.

• Berber

Specific to the North of Africa, the Berber cuisine is based on corn, goat milk, game meat, honey, and butter. The recipes are simple, couscous being a good example, as it is known worldwide.

• Buddhist

Usually followed by the Buddhist monks, this cuisine vegetarian or vegan, because the monks do not agree with any kind of cruelty, including on animals. The recipes are simple, containing a lot of rice, noodles, and all sorts of vegetables, which are stir-fried or cooked in broth. Dairy and eggs are allowed, but in rare occasions and moderate quantities. Read More!

• Cajun

It is the cuisine of the Arcadian people, a French-speaking population that were sent by the British from Arcadia to Canada. It is considered to be a rustic cuisine, based on fresh local ingredients. Steamed rice, sausages or seafood, and vegetables would represent an authentic recipe of this area. Also, the onion, celery and green bell pepper are considered to be the Holy trinity in this cuisine.

• Chinese Islamic

This cuisine will exclude pork, due to religious beliefs. Noodle and soups are making its base. Instead of pork, lamb and mutton are available, served with tomato sauce. Beef noodle soup is also available, also containing vegetables, besides the beef, broth and noodles. Lamb kebabs can also be found here.

• Circassian

It belongs to the Circassian people, which live in the North Caucasus. During the summer, vegetables and dairy products are mainly consumed. Meat and flour is used in recipes during the cold season. Turkey, chicken, beef and mutton is served, sour milk and garlic making a sort of sauce.

• Crimean Tatar

This cuisine is found in the Crimea Peninsula, found in Ukraine. Pilaf, which rich boiled in a seasoned broth, with cooked onion, spices and sometimes meat, is a traditional dish. Beef and mutton are used for soups, with vegetables and beans. Also, there are dished made out of folded dough filled with meat, potatoes and onions, or other fillings, fried or grilled.

• Inuit

The Inuit cuisine does not contain particular flavors, because it has a more practical purpose, and that is of keeping the body warm. Due to the climate, vegetables are not available, and other plants are available for a limited period. Seal, walrus, caribou and whale are a part of this cuisine. Read More!

• Italian American

It is cuisine present in the United Stated, adopted from Italy. Pasta with tomato sauce and olive oil, risotto, pizza, and tiramisu, a dessert with a type of cream cheese and coffee, are a part of this cuisine. It is the third most preferred cuisine in America, showing that Americans love these recipes.

• Jewish

In this cuisine, pork and shellfish are totally forbidden. The meat should not contain any blood, coarse salt being used for removing blood, and dairy and meat should not exist on the same plate, or touched by the same cooking utensils. Otherwise, the Jewish cuisine contains a wide diversity of ingredients, like meats, vegetables, legumes, herbs and spices. Read More!

• Kurdish

The cuisine of the people in Kurdistan, it is rich in fruits and vegetables. As preferred meats, lamb and chicken prime. The meat is prepared like a stew, simmered with tomato sauce and vegetables, and served with rice or flat bread. Grapes, walnuts, and figs are a common snack.

• Malayali Food

This cuisine can be found in the south west India, in the Kerala state, using both vegetables and meat, according to preferences, most meals being accompanied by rice. The use of spices is very common, mustard seeds, tamarind, chili, and curry leaves are the most often ones. Banana leaves are sometimes used as plates for presenting and consuming the food.

• Louisiana Creole

As the name suggests, this cuisine is found in Louisiana, United States, having various influences, but mainly being derived from the cuisine of southern USA. Oysters, turtle soup, chicken, shrimp, rice and gravy, pork chops and bread pudding are just some examples of food in this cuisine.

• Native American

It is the cuisine representative to all Native Americans, their cooking traditions being kept until present days. A traditional dish would be frybread, a staple food commonly used in this cuisine. It is a simple cuisine with pleasant flavors, given by juniper berries, wild ginger, blueberries, cranberries, and ramps. Beans are also used a lot, and meat is used according to availability, from turkey to buffalo and salmon.

• Parsi

Rice, served with lentils and curry is a specific meal of this cuisine, of the Parsi people in India. The curry here is prepared out of coconut and ras, not with vegetables. At dinner, the people will have a dish with meat, potatoes, and probably a vegetable curry, prepared using various recipes and ingredients.

• Pashtun

It is the cuisine of the Pashtuns, found in Afghanistan and West Pakistan. The cuisine is mainly based on grains and meat. Maize, rice, barley and wheat are widely used as cereals, and meat is various, chicken, beef, lamb and mutton being preferred. Dairy products are much consumed here as well.

• Pennsylvania Dutch

Regional food is consumed here in a daily basis, soups being much preferred, thickened here with starch, like flour, mashed potatoes, dumplings or fried bread. Potato salads, corn fritters, gingerbread, borsch, chicken and waffles, bacon gravy, are some examples of food in this cuisine.

• Peranakan

Also called the Nonya cuisine, it belongs to a Chinese migrant population that settled in Malacca, Indonesia, Singapore and Penang. Coconut milk, galangal, which is similar to ginger but with a mustard-like flavor, lemon grass, tamarind juice, candlenuts, and torch ginger are some of the main ingredients used for making the dishes.

• Persian cuisine

This cuisine is also known as Iranian cuisine, being a rather old cuisine that holds very many influences gathered in time. In the making of dishes, fresh herbs are appreciated, together with a large assortment of fruits. A main dish contains meat, chicken, lamb of fish, served with rice, vegetables, herbs and nuts.

• Punjabi

It can be found in the Punjab region, of India and Pakistan. The dishes and ways of preparing them are different in this part of the world. For instance, tadoor cooking is one of them, which uses a barrel-like clay oven, for preparing food in the outdoors. Rich buttery flavors are specific to the area, both meat dishes and vegetarian ones being available.

• Rajasthani

This cuisine is focused on preparing foods that can last for several days, due to the conflict areas in which the cuisine emerged. Vegetables are not too much used, because they used to be scarce. Milk and milk products were used instead of water, because of the lifestyle of living in the deserts demand rational water use. For instance, millet bread and hot garlic paste is one example of dish. Also, here desserts are served before, during and after a meal. Read More!

• Sami

It is a cuisine of the Sami people, found in Sweden, Finland and Norway. Fish, reindeer and game meat is widely used in dishes, together with any available berries, because vegetables are not available in these regions in the long and cold winters. Thus, berries are used both for preparing gravies but also for desserts.

• Sindhi

Belonging to the Sindh people of Pakistan, this cuisine is characterized by dishes consisting in flat bread made out of wheat and rice, which are accompanied by two courses, one with gravy and one that is dry. Lotus roots are very much cooked here, in clay pots and with spices, representing a simple and appreciated food.

• Tatar

It is a cuisine found in Russia, in the Tatarstan area and its surroundings. Soups are served here, particularly the noodle soup is most famous, with chicken or other boiled meat in the broth. Meat, potatoes and grains compose the main dishes. Eggs are highly appreciated, being served in all ways possible, and the grains are used for preparing porridges.

• Yamal

The Yamal cuisine, found in Russia, uses a lot of ingredients acquired through fishing and hunting, due to the region where it evolved. So fish, reindeer and other game meat, with mushrooms, berries and bread are the main dish ingredients.

• Zanzibari

Found in Tanzania, the Zanzibari cuisine consists in many influences, some of the Bantu people, some of the Arab, British, Indian or Portuguese. Seafood and fish are considered to be the most traditional food of this cuisine. But after colonies established here, potatoes, beans, yam and plantain also become a part of regional dishes.


The above cuisines are only a small sample of what is available to us! Other world cuisines include: East European, French, Greek, Indian, Chinese, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Nordic, Portuguese, South American, Spanish, Moroccan, Peruvian, Thai and South-East Asian, Turkish and Middle Eastern.

….and many, many more that you will find here. Enjoy!

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