There are 7 continents in the world, and in each, geography and culture dictate what types of food people eat. Naturally, regional cuisine plays a big role in defining a continent’s culture. And while continents themselves are super diverse, each has its own fare that is most associated with it. Let’s take a look at the top foods eaten on each continent.
North America – Fast food
Most of North America is dominated by American culture. Take a road trip through the US and what will you see? Fast food joints. So many of them. These quick and easy meals are cheap, and you don’t even have to get out of your car to get one! While quality isn’t always the highest priority for fast food chains, every single item they serve is tasty, fatty, and lights up your brain like no other food.
South America – Spicy peppers
There are many signature dishes through South America, but one thing that they all share is the spicy pepper. From ceviche to stews, peppers (literally) spice up any dish. You can choose from the mild and sweet to the fiery habanero. There’s basically a pepper for every type of hot-food lover.
Asia – Rice
No matter where you go in Asia, rice is used as the base for many dishes. From sushi in Japan to Malaysian curry, rice is the carbohydrate that all other dishes revolve around. The great thing with rice is that you can use it in a number of ways, whether by stir-frying it, steaming it or even turning it into noodles.
Africa – Vegetables, Legumes
Africa is a large continent with many countries, but vegetables and legumes are usually the stars of signature African dishes. Given the range in climate, there is also a range of vegetables that are available. Plus, meat can often be expensive or scarce, so using legumes as a way to get enough protein is not only healthier but more affordable.
Europe – Wine and beer
There’s a line that runs through Europe separating the regions that can grow grapes and the regions that can’t. Below the line, people drink wine. Above the line, people drink beer. No matter where you go in Europe, wine or beer goes with your meal. There’s Bordeaux wine in France, ice wine in Switzerland, Trappist beer in Belgium, and the world-renowned lagers in Germany. So, whether you’re a French cheese person or German bratwurst person, there’s a drink that goes with it.
Australia – Vegemite
Vegemite is made from leftover yeast extract. It’s the signature food of Australia because it’s so polarizing. No one is ambivalent about Vegemite. Most Australians adore it, and people who try it for the first time either love it or hate it (there is no in-between). No matter where you are in the world, if you talk about Vegemite, people will immediately think of Australia.
Antarctica – High-energy bars
There isn’t much food in Antarctica unless you’re into hunting penguins. So what do researchers and Antarctica explorers eat? High-energy protein bars. In normal conditions, protein bars really aren’t that healthy for us. They’re high in fat and sugar and can cause people to gain weight. In the freezing environment of Antarctica, this high-calorie food is exactly what the body needs to stay warm and survive. Unfortunately, you need to bring your own protein bars because they don’t grow in the ice.