University of Massachusetts Amherst

It's MORE Than A Meal

 

Culture & Foods

cultural foods

Caribbean

(Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico)

Grains/Breads:
Cassava bread, cornmeal, millet, oatmeal, pasta, rice, breads

Vegetables:
Arrowroot, avocado, bell pepper, broccoli, cassava, chili pepper, eggplant, plantain, pumpkin, squash, sweet potato, tomato, tubers (malanga, manioc, tanier, yucca)

Fruits:
Banana, berries, breadfruit, grapefruit, guava, lemon, lime, mango, orange, papaya, passion fruit, pear, pineapple, plum, soursop, tamarind

Milk, Yogurt and Cheese:
Cheese

Meat, Poultry, Fish:
Beef, goat, pork, chicken, duck, cod, crab, crayfish, fish, lobster, shrimp

Eggs, Dry Beans, and Nuts:
Eggs, black beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, legumes

Fats/Oils:
Olive oil, palm oil, peanut oil

Popular Foods or Ingredients:

  • Adobo: seasoning mix of lemon, garlic, and spices (Puerto Rico)
  • Arroz con pollo: rice with chicken (Puerto Rico)
  • Bacalao: dried salt cod (Puerto Rico)
  • Chicharrones de pollo: fried chicken marinated in lime juice and soy sauce (Cuba)
  • Coocoo: cornmeal-okra bread (from Africa)
  • Foofoo: okra and plantain dish (from Africa)
  • Pepper pot: spicy vegetable soup (Jamaica)
  • Picadillo: beef hash with olives, raisins, tomatoes, and chili peppers (Cuba)
  • Sancocho: stew made with pork intestines (Dominican Republic)
  • Sofrito: onions, garlic, cilantro, sweet peppers, and tomatoes cooked in lard (Puerto Rico)

Sweets or Other Dessert Foods:
Ice cream, pastries

Meal Pattern:
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks

South American: Brazil

Grains/Breads:
Bread (rye or wheat), cheese rolls, corn bread, cornmeal porridge, noodles, rice, rice flour

Vegetables:
Bell pepper, beet, capers, corn, eggplant, green beans, hearts of palm, jilo (a bitter green vegetable), kale, leek, lettuce, manioc (a tuber), mushrooms, onion, plantain, potato, yam

Fruits:
Aerola (a cherry), ata (sugar apple), banana, berries, breadfruit, caja (hog plum), caju(cashew apple), carambola (star fruit), coconut, guarana, jaca (jack fruit), lemon, passion fruit, pineapple, pitanga (a cherry)

Milk, Yogurt and Cheese:
Milk, cheese

Meat, Poultry, Fish:
Beef, chourico (pork sausage), lamb, pork, veal, chicken, catfish, cod, grouper, lobster, mackerel, shrimp, tuna

Eggs, Dry Beans, and Nuts:
Eggs, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, black beans, lentils, soybeans

Fats/Oils:
Butter, olive oil, palm oil

Popular Foods or Ingredients:

  • Aipim frito: fried pieces of manioc
  • Arroz brasileiro: rice fried in oil, garlic, and onion before boiling
  • Bacalhau a portuguesa: salted cod fish baked with potatoes and tomatoes
  • Camarones empanados: shrimp fried in batter
  • Caruru: okra cooked in palm oil with dried smoked shrimp, ground peanuts, ground cashews, peppers, and cilantro
  • Cozido a brasieleira: stew with beef, pork, linguica sausage, sweet potatoes, winter squash, plantains, sweet manioc, and corn
  • Sopa de crème de palmito: creamy hearts-of-palm soup

Sweets or Other Dessert Foods:

  • Amore em pedacos: cookie-dough bars topped with meringue and almonds
  • Arroz doce: sweet rice pudding topped with caramelized sugar or cinnamon
  • Canjica: dessert of corn, coconut milk, condensed milk, peanuts, cinnamon, and cloves
  • Manjar branco: pudding made from cornstarch, eggs, and coconut milk

Meal Pattern:

Breakfast, lunch, late dinner, snacks

European: Ireland

Grains/Breads:
Arrowroot starch, barley, biscuits, scones, oatmeal, porridge, rice, rye, soda bread, tapioca, wheat

Vegetables:
Artichokes, asparagus, beet, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cucumber, leek, lettuce, mushrooms, onion, parsnip, potato, turnip, tomato

Fruits:
Apple, apricot, berries, cherries, currants, grapes, melon, orange, peach, pear, plum, rhubarb

Milk, Yogurt and Cheese:
Cheese, milk, yogurt

Meat, Poultry, Fish:
Beef, ham, lamb, liver, pork, veal, venison, chicken, goose, bass, clams, crabs, cod, crayfish, haddock, herring, kippers (salted and smoked fish), lobster, mackerel, mussels, oysters, perch, pike, salmon, sardines, sole

Eggs, Dry Beans, and Nuts:
Eggs, almonds, chestnuts, filberts, pecans, walnuts, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, split peas

Fats/Oils:
Butter, cream, sour cream, goose fat, salt pork, lard, margarine, olive oil, vegetable oil

Popular Foods or Ingredients:

  • Bangers and mash: sausages and mashed potatoes
  • Boxty: potato pancake
  • Corned beef with cabbage
  • Fish and chips: battered deep-fried fish with fried potatoes
  • Irish stew: meat and vegetable stew
  • Shepherd’s pie: meat pie with leftover ground meat, onions, and mashed potatoes

Sweets or Other Dessert Foods:
Cakes, pastries, minced pies

Meal Pattern:
Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner

European: Italy

Grains/Breads:
Bread, breadsticks, cornmeal, focaccia, gnocci (dumplings), pasta, pizza dough, rice

Vegetables:
Artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, capers, carrots, cauliflower, eggpland, mushrooms, peppers, tomato, zucchini

Fruits:
Apple, apricot, banana, cherries, citron, date, figs, grapefruit, grapes, orange, peach, pear, tangerine

Milk, Yogurt and Cheese:
Cheese

Meat, Poultry, Fish:
Beef, chicken, lamb, pork, sausage, veal, cod, lobster, mussels, perch, shrimp

Eggs, Dry Beans, and Nuts:
Eggs, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, walnuts, lupine seeds, broad beans, chickpeas, fava beans, lentils, white beans

Fats/Oils:
Butter, cream, olive oil

Popular Foods or Ingredients:

  • Antipasto: appetizer of salads, pickled vegetables, cheeses, cold meat, and fish
  • Baccal: dried salt cod
  • Calzone: pizza dough folded over a cheese, ham, or salami filling and baked or fried
  • Fettucine Alfredo: flat egg noodles mixed with butter, cream, and grated cheese
  • Lasagna verdi al forno: spinach-flavored lasagna noodles baked in a sauce
  • Pesto: a paste made with cheese, herb, nuts, and basil
  • Risotto: rice cooked in butter and chicken stock, flavored with cheese and saffron
  • Saltimbocca: veal slices rolled with ham and cooked in butter and wine
  • Scampi: shrimp seasoned with oil, garlic, parsley, and lemon juice
  • Tortellini: egg pasta stuffed with meat, cheese, and eggs

Sweets or Other Dessert Foods:

  • Cannoli: pastry shells filled with ricotta cheese, shaved chocolate, and citron
  • Gelato: fruit or nut ice cream
  • Granita: strongly flavored ices
  • Spumoni: ice cream with a layer of whipped cream, nuts, and fruits

Meal Pattern:
Light breakfast, lunch as the main meal with several courses, light dinner

European: Poland

Grains/Breads:
Barley, dumplings, oats, rice, rye, wheat

Vegetables:
Asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, leek, mushrooms, onion, potato, tomato, turnip

Fruits:
Apple, apricot, berries, cherries, currants, dates, grapes, peach, plum, prunes, rhubarb

Milk, Yogurt and Cheese:
Milk, buttermilk, cheese, cottage cheese

Meat, Poultry, Fish:
Beef, lamb, pork, kielbasa (garlic-flavored pork sausage), smoked ham, chicken, duck, goose, fish

Eggs, Dry Beans, and Nuts:
Eggs, almonds

Fats/Oils:
Butter, lard, shortening, sour cream

Popular Foods or Ingredients:

  • Bigos: a stew of layered cabbage or sauerkraut, mixed meats, game and sausage
  • Chicken Kiev: breaded fried chicken breasts filled with herb butter
  • Cholodnik: a cold beet and sour cream soup, garnished with vegetables and shrimp  
  • Dried, pickled, and fermented foods: cucumber pickles, sour cream, sauerkraut
  • Dumplings: made with potato or flour
  • Kielbasa: a garlic-flavored pork sausage
  • Pierogi: dumplings filled with meat, liver, bacon, potatoes or fruit

Sweets or Other Dessert Foods:
Cakes, pastries

Meal Pattern:
Breakfast, lunch as the main meal, light dinner

European: Portugal

Grains/Breads:
Barley, bread, cornbread, farina, rice, vermicelli

Vegetables:
Cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, green beans, greens, leek, onion, pumpkin, spinach, tomato

Fruits:
Apricot, banana, cherries, figs, grapefruit, orange, peach, pineapple, plum, strawberry

Milk, Yogurt and Cheese:
Cheese (queijo), milk

Meat, Poultry, Fish:
Beef, lamb, pork sausage, poultry, clams, dried salt cod, salmon, sardines, shrimp, squid, tuna

Eggs, Dry Beans, and Nuts:
Almonds, black beans, black-eyed peas, broad beans, butter beans, red beans, white beans

Fats/Oils:
Butter, olive oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil

Popular Foods or Ingredients:

  • Acorda d’azedo: a mix of onions, garlic, vinegar, lard, saffron, and cornbread
  • Caldo verde: a green soup made from kale or cabbage and potatoes
  • Chourico: pork sausage
  • Figos com presunto: fresh figs with smoked cured ham
  • Gaspacho a Alentejana: a type of gazpacho soup
  • Isca de figado, beef liver seasoned with vinegar, pepper, and garlic
  • Linguica: pork and garlic sausage
  • Pan doce: Portuguese sweet bread

Sweets or Other Dessert Foods:

  • Arroz doce: rice pudding
  • Malassadas: doughnut

Meal Pattern:
Four meals plus several snacks (light breakfast, midmorning breakfast, afternoon snack, lunch as the main meal, late afternoon snack, evening snack, light supper in late evening)

European: Russia

Grains/Breads:
Bread (rye and wheat), buckwheat, dumplings, farina, oats, rice

Vegetables:
Artichoke, beet, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cucumber, green beans, lima beans, mushrooms, onion, potato

Fruits:
Apple, berries, dried fruits

Milk, Yogurt and Cheese:
Cheese

Meat, Poultry, Fish:
Beef, pork, sausage, chicken, caviar, herring, smoked fish, sardines

Eggs, Dry Beans, and Nuts:
Eggs

Fats/Oils:
Butter, lard, sour cream

Popular Foods or Ingredients:

  • Blini: buckwheat yeast pancakes topped with jelly, sour cream, bleu cheese, cottage cheese, butter, caviar, herring, or tuna
  • Holubky: stuffed cabbage 
  • Pirog: meat pie

Sweets or Other Dessert Foods:

  • Layers of pastry drenched in custard
  • Sweet dough filled with fruit and sour cream
  • Tart or sour cream cake

Meal Pattern:
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Middle Eastern
(Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen)

Grains/Breads:
Barley, bulgur, corn meal, farina, millet, pasta, pita bread, rice, wheat dough (for pies)

Vegetables:
Artichokes, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, corn, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, leeks, lettuce, okra, olives, onion, pepper, potato, spinach, squash, tomato, zucchini

Fruits:
Apple, apricot, avocado, banana, cantaloupe, dates, figs, grapes, lemon, lime, melon, orange, plum, pomegranate, raisins, strawberries, tangerine, watermelon

Milk, Yogurt and Cheese:
Cheese and milk (goat, sheep, camel, or cow), feta cheese, lebneh (yogurt cheese), yogurt

Meat, Poultry, Fish:
Beef, goat, lamb, rabbit, veal, chicken, duck, turkey, anchovies, clams, cod, crab, crayfish, flounder, halibut, lobster, mackerel, mussels, oysters, salmon, sardines, shrimp

Eggs, Dry Beans, and Nuts:
Eggs, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, chickpeas, fava beans, horse beans, lentils, navy beans, red beans

Fats/Oils:
Butter (often clarified), nut oils, olive oil, sesame oil, vegetable oil, rendered lamb fat

Popular Foods or Ingredients:

  • Baba ghanoug: a spread made from sesame paste, eggplant, lemon, garlic, and olive oil
  • Dolmas or dolmades: stuffed grape leaves
  • Falafel: fried ground chickpeas and herbs served in pita bread with sauce
  • Ful medames: fava beans cooked with oil, lemon, garlic, and parsley, and served with hard-cooked eggs
  • Hummus: a chickpea dip
  • Kibbeh: a paste made from fine cracked wheat, grated onion, mint, and vegetables
  • Pilaf: rice sautéed in onions and butter or oil, then steamed in beef or chicken broth
  • Shish kabob: marinated meat grilled on skewers with tomatoes, onions, and peppers
  • Tabouli: mint, parsley, cucumber, tomato, onions, olive oil, lemon juice, and bulgur
  • Tahini: sesame seed paste

Sweets or Other Dessert Foods:
Fruits as usual dessert; other desserts served on special occasions

Meal Pattern:
Breakfast, lunch as the main meal around 2 p.m., snacks, late supper

West African
(Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo)

Grains/Breads:
Corn, millet, rice

Vegetables:
Cassava, cassava leaves, chili pepper, eggplant, okra, onion, pumpkin, sweet potato, taro, tomato, tubers

Fruits:
Akee apple, baobab, guava, lemon, papaya, pineapple, watermelon

Milk, Yogurt and Cheese:
Dairy products are not part of the regular diet

Meat, Poultry, Fish:
Mostly fish; some beef and chicken

Eggs, Dry Beans, and Nuts:
Eggs, cashews, groundnuts, peanuts, cow peas, black-eyed peas, sesame seeds

Fats/Oils:
Coconut oil, palm oil, peanut oil

Popular Foods or Ingredients:

  • Deep fried fish with chili pepper sauce
  • Fried plantain chips
  • Gari foto: cassava meal with scrambled eggs, onions, chili peppers, tomatoes (Nigeria)
  • Snack balls made from steamed rice, black-eyed peas, yams, or peanuts
  • Stews made with tubers (root vegetables), okra, or peanuts, and flavored with small amounts of fish, chicken, or beef

Sweets or Other Dessert Foods:

  • Kanya: peanut candy
  • Baked bananas flavored with sugar, honey, or coconut
  • Sweetened dough balls made from millet or wheat flour

Meal Pattern:
Meals plus frequent snacks

Asian: China

Grains/Breads:
Buckwheat, dumplings, millet, noodles, rice, rice porridge, tapioca, won ton wrapper

Vegetables:
Amaranth, asparagus, baby corn, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, chili pepper, cucumber, eggplant, garlic, ginger root, kohlrabi, leek, lily blossom, long beans, mushrooms, onion, snow peas, string beans, water chestnut, yam

Fruits:
Apple, Asian pear, banana, coconut, dates, kumquat, lime, litchi, longan, mango, melon, orange, papaya, passion fruit, persimmon, pineapple, plum, pomegranate

Milk, Yogurt and Cheese:
Soy milk (dairy products are not part of the regular diet except in parts of southern China)

Meat, Poultry, Fish:
Beef, lamb, pork, chicken, duck, quail, eel, clams, cod, herring, lobster, mandarin fish, salmon, sea bass, sea perch, shad, shrimp, sole, tuna, turtle

Eggs, Dry Beans, and Nuts:
Eggs, bean paste, tausi (cooked fermented black beans), broad beans, cowpeas, mung beans, red beans, soybeans, tofu, almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds

Fats/Oils:
Butter, lard, corn oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, soybean oil

Popular Foods or Ingredients:

  • Congee: rice porridge
  • Egg roll: wheat flour wrapper with a meat, vegetable, or mixed filling (steamed or fried)
  • Spring roll: very thin wheat flour wrapper folded over a filling
  • Hot and sour soup
  • Mu shu pork wrapped in wheat pancakes
  • Peking duck
  • Steamed or fried dumplings stuffed with meat or seafood
  • Stir-fried dishes

Sweets or Other Dessert Foods:
Rice-flour puddings

Meal Pattern:
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks

Asian: India

Grains/Breads:
Basmati rice, bulgur wheat, chapati, lentil flour, millet, rice, roti

Vegetables:
Amaranth, artichokes, bamboo shoots, beet, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, collard greens, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, lotus root, manioc (tapioca), mushrooms, onion, plantain, potato, squash, tomato, turnip, water chestnuts, water lily

Fruits:
Apple, avocado, banana, chutney, coconut, dates, figs, grapes, guava, lime, litchi, loquat, mango, melon, orange, papaya, persimmon, pineapple, pomegranate, star fruit, tangerine

Milk, Yogurt and Cheese:
Buffalo milk, buttermilk, curds, evaporated milk, lassi (yogurt drink), milk, yogurt

Meat, Poultry, Fish:
Beef, chicken, goat, mutton, port, chicken, duck, carp, clams, crab, herring, mackerel, sardines, shrimp, turtle
(30% of the population are strict vegetarians who consume some milk products)

Eggs, Dry Beans, and Nuts:
Eggs, almonds, betel nuts, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, walnuts, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils (many varieties and colors), mung beans

Fats/Oils:
Coconut oil, ghee (clarified butter), mustard oil, peanut oil, sesame seed oil

Popular Foods or Ingredients:

  • Chapati: flatbread cooked on a griddle without oil
  • Chutney: fresh pickles
  • Curry: flavoring blend of coriander, cumin, fenugreek, turmeric, black pepper, cayenne pepper, clover, cardamom, cinnamon, and chili peppers
  • Dosas: spicy fried pancakes made from lentil flour
  • Masalas: mixtures of spices and herbs that are either fresh or dried
  • Raita: a mix of yogurt, seasonings, and fruit or vegetables
  • Rice dishes, wheat dishes, or vegetable dishes with curry seasonings

Sweets or Other Dessert Foods:

  • Gajar halva: carrot pudding
  • Kheer: rice pudding

Meal Pattern:
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks 

Asian: Japan

Grains/Breads:
Bean noodles, buckwheat noodles, ramen noodles, wheat noodles, rice, soy flour

Vegetables:
Artichokes, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, burdock root, cabbage, chrysanthemum leaves, coltsfoot, daikon (long white radish), eggplant, kelp, lotus root, mushrooms, peas, seaweed, snow peas, water chestnuts, yam, zucchini

Fruits:
Apple, apricot, banana, cherries, dates, figs, grapefruit, kumquat, Japanese plum, kiwi, lemon, lime, loquat, mandarin orange, pear, persimmon, tangerine, watermelon

Milk, Yogurt and Cheese:
Milk, soy milk (dairy products are not part of the regular diet)

Meat, Poultry, Fish:
Beef, deer, lamb, pork, rabbit, veal, chicken, duck, goose, carp, cod, clams, crab, eel, globefish, koi fish, lobster, oysters, shrimp, shark, squid

Eggs, Dry Beans, and Nuts:
Eggs, tofu, chestnut, gingko nuts, peanuts, walnuts, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, black beans, red beans, lima beans, soybeans

Fats/Oils:
Butter, cottonseed oil, olive oil, peanut oil, sesame seed oil, vegetable oil

Popular Foods or Ingredients:

  • Miso: fermented bean paste
  • Sushi: rice mixed with a rice vinegar, and often served with sliced raw fish
  • Teriyaki sauce: soy sauce plus a sweet red wine
  • Nabe: one-pot dishes served in the middle of the table and shared with others
  • Pickled vegetables (such as cabbage, cucumber, eggplant, or radishes)
  • Shoyu: soy sauce
  • Sunomono: vinegared salad
  • Wasabi: a very pungent green horseradish used as a garnish

Sweets or Other Dessert Foods:

  • Fresh fruit, a light gelatin, or ice cream
  • Mochigashi: rice cakes with a sweet bean paste
  • Yokan: sweet bean jelly

Meal Pattern:
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack

Southeast Asian (Mainland)
Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam

Grains/Breads:
Arrowroot, cornstarch, rice, rice noodles, tapioca, wheat bread, wheat noodles

Vegetables:
Amaranth, artichokes, asparagus, bamboo shoot, banana leaves, beans, breadfruit, broccoli, cabbage, calabash, carrot, cassava, chayote squash, chard, diakon (Chinese radish), chrysanthemum, eggplant, leek, lotus root, matrimony vine, mushrooms, mustard, okra, peas, pepper, potato, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato, taro, tomato, turnip, water lily green, water chestnuts, yam

Fruits:
Apple, banana, coconut, date, durian, figs, guava, jackfruit, jujube, lemon, lime, litchi, longan, mandarin orange, mango, melon, orange, papaya, persimmon, pineapple, plum, pomegranate, pomelo, rambutan, sapodilla, star fruit, soursop, tamarind

Milk, Yogurt and Cheese:
Sweetened condensed milk, soy milk (dairy products are not part of the regular diet)

Meat, Poultry, Fish:
Beef, lamb, pork, chicken, duck, quail, most varieties of seafood (fresh and dried)

Eggs, Dry Beans, and Nuts:
Chickpeas, lentils, mung beans, soybeans, soy products (tempeh, tofu), almonds, cashews, chestnuts, locust seeds, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pili nuts, sesame seeds

Fats/Oils:
Bacon, butter, lard, margarine, peanut oil, vegetable oil

Popular Foods or Ingredients:

  • Agar-agar: seaweed gelatin
  • Coconut-flavored dishes (Cambodia, Laos)
  • Crab and asparagus soup (Vietnam)
  • Fermented fish sauce or paste
  • Grilled lemon grass beef (Vietnam)
  • Hot and sour stir fried vegetables with rice
  • Pad Thai: stir-fried noodles with shrimp, tofu, peanuts, fish sauce, and other flavors

Sweets or Other Dessert Foods:
Cakes, pastries, coconut milk and cream, sweets made from sticky rice

Meal Pattern:
Two or three meals per day, with optional snacks

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