Countries with the Most Similar Food to Niger

Country Food Similarity Index - Map of Countries with Similar Food to Niger

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 Nigerien Food

Food in Niger is quite unique compared to other nations. However, the five countries with the most similar food to Niger are all located in the Sahel region of Africa. They are among the countries with the highest average temperatures in the world. In addition, these countries are all predominately Muslim. Four of the five were once colonies of France before becoming independent.

  1. Mali is to the west of Niger. Both countries eat a lot of sorghum porridge with their meals. They also like to eat deep fried dough balls and also fried pancakes called masa. However, people from Mali tend to eat more rice. Also mangos and watermelons are the two most commonly eaten fruits in these countries.
  2. Burkina Faso borders both Niger and Mali. Saghbo is popular in Burkina Faso. It is a dough consisting of cooked millet, corn, or sorghum. It is consumed with various stews and sauces which are made from meats or vegetables. People in Niger eat similar balls of dough including Fura Da Nono and Fufu.
  3. Chad is to the east of Niger. It is another country where the two most common ingredients are millet and sorghum. However, one big difference is that meat is a larger share of the diet in Chad. They tend to eat a lot of beef, lamb, and goat.
  4. Sudan is even further to the east of Niger. One difference is that more wheat is consumed in Sudan. However, millet and sorghum are also commonly eaten there. Beef is the most popular meat in both countries as well. Stews and porridges are often eaten in these countries.
  5. Senegal and Niger share some culinary similarities as well, although significantly less than the the first four countries. In Senegal, rice is the most commonly eaten staple food, unlike in Niger, where breads and porridges made from millet and sorghum are often eaten.

Related: The 10 Most Similar Countries to Niger

The Least Similar Cuisines to Nigerien Food

The five countries with the least similar food to Niger are located in tropical regions. They all get significantly more rainfall than Niger. The people in these countries eat more fruits than people in Niger. In addition, fish and other seafoods are the most commonly eaten meats in these countries unlike in Niger.

  1. Kiribati is an archipelago of small islands in the South Pacific Ocean. Coconuts and fish from the ocean are commonly eaten staple foods in Kiribati, unlike in landlocked Niger. Bananas are also a much smaller part of the diet in Niger.
  2. Democratic Republic of Congo is another African country, but the ingredients in its food are totally different than in Niger. Cassavas and plantains are more commonly consumed. Furthermore, freshwater fish is the largest source of meat in their diet.
  3. Solomon Islands is another island group located in the South Pacific on this list, although it is in Melanesia. Sweet potatoes and yams are more commonly eaten starches in the Solomon Islands. They also eat more coconut and fish.
  4. Saint Vincent & the Grenadines is located in the Caribbean. It is another group of islands on this list. Unlike in Niger, wheat is the most commonly eaten ingredient in their food, while chicken is by far the most widely consumed meat.
  5. Burundi is another landlocked country in Africa that is French-speaking. However, their food has little in common. Cassavas and sweet potatoes are more widely consumed there. In addition, bananas are a huge part of their diet.

Related: The 10 Least Similar Countries to Niger

Full Food Similarity Ranking of Countries and Territories

Niger’s Most Common Food Ingredients

Protein: Beef, Goat
Fruit: Mango, Watermelon
Vegetable: Onion, Cow Pea
Starch: Millet, Sorghum

Primarily based on 2020 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.

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