Similarities In Cuisines Across The World

For those who judge a country strictly by its cuisine, the following words might be little liberating. Associating beer with Germany or wine with France no longer needs to be absolute, and similarly there may also be some common ground when it comes to food, if looked at more closely.  

In today’s interconected world there is a vast choice of different international cuisines, with many exotic dishes you can only imagine and scarcely pronounce.

But despite the variety of offer, certain types of dishes exist in most countries. Let’s check them out closely.


A meal consisting of meat, vegetables, stock, and spices, sometimes also wine.

Cuisines all around the world

Beef stew is common in England, but pörkölt is a similar dish – with origins in Hungary – which has been domesticated in the Czech Republic and other parts of the world under the name goulash (while goulash in Hungary is a soup dish).

When we move a little bit to the east, there is a dish called Rogan Josh, from Kashmir, which not only strongly resembles goulash, but the word “josh” literally means stew (rogan josh – stewed in ghee or red stew). Rogan Josh is prepared with lamb or mutton cooked a very spicy sauce.

The world cuisines
Rogan Josh


Ragout – a French style stew

The food all around the world



Dumplings appear across the world. Broadly they are small pieces of filling wrapped in dough, steamed or cooked in hot water.

The name “dumpling” is mainly associated with heavy, unhealthy meals from Central Europe – the Czech Republic in particular. Here dumplings are an important side dish that hasn’t earned a very good reputation among tourists. Dumplings can be in the form of a rounded shape with filling, but more commonly sliced without filling and served in a sauce.

The food of Czech Republic
Two types of Czech dumplings with sirloin sauce


Very similar are the Austrian Knödel and the Tirolean Dumpling.

The food from Austria
Bavarian Dumpling


Chinese dumplings vary with different types of fillings, and with the type of the dough.  Eaten alone or in soups, they are all very delicious. Har gow (dim sum)

Har gow 
Har gow


Russian filled dumplings are called Pelmeni.

Russian Pelmeni
Russian Pelmeni


Italian ravioli can be included in the category of filled, steamed pasta.

Italian ravioli with tomatoe sauce
Italian ravioli with tomato sauce


Indian dumplings: Kozhukkatta, Manda Pitha, Idli.

Kozhukkatta / Kozhukattai


Japanese: Nikuman, Gyoza.

Japanese food
Japanese gyoza with soy sauce


Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan): Manti

Fillings can be also sweet.

Nepal: Yomari

Czech republic: Potato or quark dumplings stuffed with fruit

Dumplings stuffed with plums
Dumplings stuffed with plums


India: Modak (Indian Festival sweet food)

The food from all around the world



Schnitzel, in brief, is a breaded, deep fried cut of meat, which alternatively can also be vegetarian.

The world food
Wiener Schnitzel

The most typical representative of this is Wiener Schnitzel made with veal. From Austria the Schnitzel has migrated not only to neighbouring countries (Schnitzel in the Czech republic is traditionally made from pork, also from chicken, and the national speciality is fried cheese, and Schnitzel made with mushrooms, cauliflower or zucchini), but has also enriched the cuisine in far away Japan, where Tonkatsu has been prepared since 1899.

Food in the world
Japanese Tonkatsu Schnitzel
The food from all over the world
Czech Fried Cheese


South American “schnitzel” is called Milanesa and is directly linked to Italy, while in France a similar dish is called Escalope.

Escalope with spaghetti
Escalope with spaghetti


Other meals similar to schnitzel are dishes (vegetarian or non-vegetarian) which are battered and deep fried. Typical for most of Asia.

Chinese Sweet & Sour (Chicken, Pork)

Asia chicken sweet
Asia chicken sweet


Indian Pakoras (vegetarian – chilli, zuchini, potato, eggplant)

Indian Cauliflower Pakoras
Indian Cauliflower Pakoras

Indian Fish Koliwada


While often associated with France, the casserole is a near-universal way to prepare a meal.  A casserole can be a simply prepared meal in one dish, therefore time-saving and economical, while other types are more elaborate. In almost all cases, casseroles are placed in special vessels suitable for baking in an oven. This distinguishes them from stews, which are prepared on stoves (with heat from the bottom).

Types of casseroles by country of origin:

Tajine – North Africa, Middle East

Sambal chicken tajine
Sambal chicken tajine


Cassoulet – south of France

The food from the world
French Cassoulet


Moussaka – Middle East, Balkans

The food from all around the world


Shepherd’s Pie – United Kingdom (originally it was a leftover dish)

The food all around the world
Shepherd’s Pie


Lancashire Hotpot – Lancashire, UK

The food all around the world
Lancashire Hotpot


Macaroni casserole – Northern Europe

Northern Macaroni casserole, the food all around the world
Northern Macaroni casserole


Mac and Cheese – USA

Food all around the world
Mac and Cheese

Photos: Shutterstock / Title collage: Martina Advaney

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