Summary: There is no doubt that each country and continent has their staple foods and dishes that would delight every palate. Western cuisine has as much diversity as any other – and is distinguishable by a number of factors such as cooking style, ingredients and taste.
When one talks about Western Cuisine, the obvious reference is to European or American food – it also encompasses cuisines of countries like Australia as well. One can even include foods such as burgers and fries, steaks, sausage and ribs. One of the distinguishing characteristics is portion size. When it is compared with Asian food servings – the portions are very generous. Another feature is that meat is a large part of the meal – whereas in Asian kitchens, it is part and parcel of the dish and is usually service with vegetables. Case in point – steaks; this is the main meal and vegetables are served on the side. Rice which is such a staple in most Asian diets is usually served up as a side in the West.
One similarity is that both Western and Eastern Cuisines place a lot of importance on seasonings and herbs – and other condiments as well. Just like Eastern cuisines are gaining in popularity outside their home countries, so is Western cuisine – beyond their shores. Here’s a look at some of the favorite/well known foods which are the mainstay.
Well Known Dishes in Western Cuisine:
- Pasta: This Italian dish in its myriad forms is well liked and very popular the world over. There are plenty of choices for vegetarians as well as meat eaters. It is easy to make as most of the ingredients are available in most pantries.
- Breads: The French put bread on the map by coming up with some of the most exquisite breads – most often it is either eaten with olive oil or a wide variety of cheeses. Throw in some fruit and it is almost a complete meal – and a very satisfying one at that. Many people choose to eat their breads with cold cuts of meat and cheese.
- Steaks: Steaks are a common item in most western eateries – they are served with a side of mashed potatoes and other vegetables and makes for a great meal. Those who eat meat appreciate a well-made steak.
- Soups: Bean and vegetable soups, goulashes, etc., are a big part of the culinary experience in cold countries. These one pot meals usually offer all the nutrition needed by a person and one can find many, many recipes of wonderful vegetarian and non-vegetarian soups.
- Dumplings: Also known as pierogis or pirozhki, these eastern European dishes offer glimpses of how people use available ingredients to make unusual one dish meals.
For those adventurous souls, there is always some surprise to look forward to – more so if one is not restricted by what they can eat.