Countries with the Most Similar Food to the Philippines

Country Food Similarity Index - Map of Countries with Similar Food to the Philippines

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 Filipino Food

Interestingly enough, the five countries with the most similar food to the Philippines come from a variety of regions, reflecting the unique and multicultural nature of the nation’s cuisine. However, all five countries are located in tropical regions. As a result, rice is the most commonly eaten food in all of these countries.

  1. Panama is another country that has been heavily influenced by Spanish colonization and the United States. Their cuisines share several characteristics, such as the use of rice, tropical fruits, chicken, and seafood. Arroz con pollo and adobo have similar ingredients, although they differ in terms of their flavor. These countries both inherited empanadas from Spanish cuisine as well.
  2. Thailand and the Philippines have both been influenced by Indian, Chinese, and Malay cuisines. These Asian countries also utilize similar ingredients such as rice, noodles, coconut milk, and seafood. The emphasis on bold flavors, aromatic herbs, and the balance of sweet, sour, and spicy tastes is a common thread between their cuisines.
  3. Indonesia is another island nation in Southeast Asia. Most people in both countries speak Austronesian languages. Nasi Goreng, an Indonesian fried rice dish cooked with various ingredients such as shrimp, chicken, vegetables, and a sweet soy sauce, is akin to the Philippines’ adobo fried rice. However, Indonesia is predominately Muslim so pork is less often eaten there.
  4. Guinea-Bissau may not have obvious similarities to the Philippines, but the ingredients in its food are quite similar. Both countries were colonized by Iberian countries. Like the Philippines, Guinea-Bissau relies on rice, fish, and tropical fruits as essential components of its cuisine. One notable dish, Jollof rice, a flavorful rice dish cooked with tomatoes, onions, and spices, shares similarities with many dishes in the Philippines.
  5. Sri Lanka and Philippines both have Indian and Southeast Asian influences in their food. Sri Lankan cuisine, like Filipino cuisine, features a variety of curries. They also use a lot of rice and coconut in their cooking. Being island nations, it is no surprise that Sri Lanka and the Philippines eat a lot of seafood as well.

Related: The 10 Most Similar Countries to the Philippines

The Least Similar Cuisines to Filipino Food

It is no surprise that the five countries with the least similar food to the Philippines are all landlocked. They also have strong nomadic and pastoral traditions, where people rely on animal husbandry and move with their herds. Furthermore, these countries tend to get less rainfall than in the Philippines.

  1. South Sudan is a country that is located in Africa. Cassava is its staple food, however the country eats its share of sorghum as well. Porridge is one of the most popular dishes in the country. Furthermore, meat is less commonly consumed in the South Sudan.
  2. Mongolia is also in Asia, but its geography is vastly different from the Philippines. It is the most sparsely populated country in the world. The country’s cold, dry climate makes it difficult to grow crops. Their people tend to eat much more meat from cattle, sheep, and goats than in the Philippines. They also eat more dairy products, especially yogurt.
  3. Tajikistan is yet another landlocked Asian country on this list. It is also predominately Muslim on. Its cuisine incorporates spices such as cumin, coriander, dill, and parsley, which add depth to dishes. In contrast, Filipino cuisine utilizes soy sauce and vinegar more often.
  4. Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country that borders Tajikistan. Both countries were once part of the Soviet Union. Grapes and apples are two of the most popular commonly consumed fruits in Uzbekistan, unlike in the Philippines where bananas and coconuts are more prevalent.
  5. Chad is a former French colony in Africa. Sorghum and millet are the two most commonly consumed grains in the country. These crops are well adapted to the Sahel’s harsh climate. 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.

Related: The 10 Least Similar Countries to the Philippines

Full Food Similarity Ranking of Countries and Territories

Philippines’ Most Common Food Ingredients

Protein: Chicken, Pork
Fruit: Banana, Coconut
Vegetable: Tomato, Onion
Starch: Rice, Wheat

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

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