International Relations

Why do regional cuisines differ so much?

2019-01-18 06:41 #0 by: Max

One question that always bothered me living in southern England was why the local cuisine was quite so lamentable compared to that available just a short hop over the Channel. The crops grown in the two countries are not radically different but the end result is so different.

One can see a similar thing here in Asia. The Philippines has the climate and soil to grow everything that is grown in Thailand. But there is a reason one almost never sees a Filipino restaurant outside the Philippines, whereas Thai food is one of the world's most popular overseas cuisines.

What is your theory to explain these differences?

2019-01-23 12:25 #1 by: Niklas

Interesting. I haven't made the same observation in Sweden. I think we often adopt the cuisines of other countries with some adjustments. Tacos have been the typical Friday night dinner in Swedish households for several years. You can go to restaurants and have almost anything you like.

Perhaps we haven’t been as good at importing the local cuisine of our Nordic neighbor countries as from places farther away, though. Cooking is and has been a hobby and interest among many Swedes. Therefore you can easily find good food when you go out to restaurants.

I live in a Stockholm suburb and work in Stockholm, so my experience may not be the same as that of someone living in the countryside or a small Swedish town.

2019-01-27 00:32 #2 by: Leia

I would presume its all relational. People of specific regions and nations want to be different from there counterparts in order to assert who they are, create a distinction between them and us.  The mundane nature of food is just as important in providing a sense of who we are as say more spectacular and iconic elements of identity such a flags and sporting teams. 

All the best, Leia

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2019-01-27 12:17 #3 by: Max

Another interesting aspect of this phenomenon is the various foods which are a delicacy in one country but taboo in others. Anyone who has been to Asia will be impressed by the stalls of fried insects that people queue up to eat. From a nutritional view, insects are apparently a wonderful food source but most non Asians have a strong tabboo against even trying. Similarly here in Philippines a renoun local delicacy is balut, semi developed duck eggs which people eat at various stages of development up until feathers abd beaks time. This delicacy is sold by guys on tricycles who go around ringing a bell and shouting out Bayot, with locals getting as excited as kids in Britain hearing an ice cream can on an August Bank Holiday.

2019-01-27 15:07 #4 by: Emo

I live in Skåne and we know that people north of us have no food culture. We live near the continent and have other whishes. Luckily some foodstores from Denmark and Germany can provide us with tasty food.  

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