The Country Food Similarity Index is a statistically-based attempt to quantify how similar the food in one country is relative to another. By comparing the weight of raw food ingredients used in each country, a score is assigned that reflects the degree of similarity between the respective countries. The methodology is exactly the same for each country studied.
The Most Similar Cuisines to Venezuelan Food
Venezuela is a country with a rich and diverse cuisine, influenced by a mix of cultures including Indigenous, African, and Spanish. The five countries with the most similar food to Venezuela were all once colonies of Spain, so they all speak Spanish. In addition, the majority of their people are Catholic. Furthermore, these countries all have a tropical climate. A high percentage of their land is rainforest.
- Ecuador is another South American country. Both nations use plantains, rice, and corn in many of their dishes. Stews are a common feature in the cuisine of both Ecuador and Venezuela. Chicken and beef are the most popular meats consumed in these countries. They have similar foods like hallacas and humitas. They are both made from corn-based dough that is filled with a mixture of ingredients and then wrapped in a leaf before being boiled or steamed.
- Nicaragua is in Central America, but it also borders the Caribbean Sea. Like Venezuela, Nicaragua uses a lot of rice and beans in its dishes, and also shares a love for fried plantains. Additionally, Nicaraguan cuisine features dishes like nacatamales, a type of tamale made with corn dough and stuffed with meat and vegetables, which is similar to Venezuelan hallacas. Chicken is the most commonly eaten meat in both countries, but Nicaraguans tend to eat significantly less beef.
- Colombia is on Venezuela’s western border, so it’s not surprising that the food in these countries is quite similar. Both nations use a lot of corn and rice in their dishes. They also share a love for arepas and empanadas. Additionally, Colombian and Venezuelan cuisine feature sancocho, a soup consisting of large pieces of meat, tubers, and vegetables. However, Colombians consume more potatoes than Venezuelans. Colombia is more mountainous, so its cooler climate at high altitude is better suited for growing potatoes.
- Panama and Venezuela were once part of Gran Colombia. Both countries have a love for rice and beans. They also eat a lot of plantains and pineapples. Panamanian and Venezuelan cuisine feature dishes like arroz con pollo (rice with chicken), and sancocho, a hearty stew made with meat and vegetables. However, Panamanian dishes tend to include rice more often and less corn than Venezuelan dishes.
- Peru‘s food shares some similarities with Venezuela’s. Both nations have a love for seafood. Sea Bass, Tuna, and Mackerel are commonly consumed in these countries. Peruvian cuisine and Venezuelan cuisines both have ceviche, although their marinades are slightly different. However, like Colombia, Peruvians tend to eat more potatoes than Venezuelans. Their cuisine also features significantly less corn.
Related: The 10 Most Similar Countries to Venezuela
The Least Similar Cuisines to Venezuelan Food
Four of the five countries with the least similar food to Venezuela are located in Africa. Moreover, these countries are not as developed as Venezuela, so they are more heavily dependent on starches in their diet. In addition, four of the five countries are landlocked.
- South Sudan is a country in the middle of Africa. Cassava is its staple food, however the country eats a lot of sorghum as well. Porridge is one of the most popular dishes in the country. In addition, South Sudanese cuisine features a variety of sauces and condiments made with peanuts, sesame seed, unlike Venezuelan cuisine.
- Niger is another landlocked country in the Sahel region of Africa. It has an extremely hot and dry climate. Its two most common staple foods are millet and sorghum. Some traditional dishes in Niger include tuwo, a porridge made from millet or sorghum, and dambunama, a dish made from millet, vegetables, and meat.
- Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela are both tropical countries and have a lot of rainforest. However, their diets are significantly different. Cassava is the dominant staple food in the country, while the most commonly eaten meat is fish. Furthermore, in contrast to Venezuela, their diet has little meat or dairy in it. However, plantains are commonly eaten in both countries.
- Chad is another country located the Sahel region. Sorghum and millet are the two most commonly consumed grains in the country. These crops are well adapted to the Sahel’s harsh climate. Like South Sudan, beef is the most popular meat, but lamb meat is also often eaten there. One popular dish is saka-saka, a mix of spinach and cassava leaves.
- Mongolia‘s diet is more heavily based in meat and dairy products. Venezuela’s staple ingredients such as corn, rice, beans, and plantains are not commonly eaten in Mongolia. Its diet is heavier in wheat and potato products. Furthermore, lamb is the most popular meat in Mongolia and chicken is not as often eaten.
Related: The 10 Least Similar Countries to Venezuela
Full Food Similarity Ranking of Countries and Territories
Venezuela’s Most Common Food Ingredients
Protein: Chicken, Beef
Fruit: Banana, Pineapple
Vegetable: Bean, Carrot
Starch: Corn, Rice
Primarily based on 2020 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.