Countries with the Most Similar Food to Poland

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

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 Polish Food

Polish cuisine can be considered a blend of Slavic and Germanic influences. Poland is located at the crossroads of Central Europe, and throughout its history, it has been influenced by its neighboring countries. Appropriately, the analysis shows that three of the five countries with the most similar food are Slavic, while the other two are Germanic.

  1. Czech Republic is located to the south of Poland. It is the only other Slavic country that borders Germany. Czech cuisine is known for its dumplings that are very similar to Polish pierogi. Both countries also use cabbage in various forms, such as sauerkraut and cabbage rolls. Pork and rye bread are also popular ingredients in these nations.
  2. Russia and Poland cuisines both have simple yet flavorful dishes. Common ingredients include potatoes, cabbage, and beets. Classic Russian dishes like borscht and pelmeni are similar to Polish barszcz and pierogi, respectively. In addition, both Slavic nations love dairy products, such as yogurt and sour cream.
  3. Germany and Poland both border the Baltic Sea. Over the centuries, there has been a great deal of cultural exchange between the two countries. In fact, some parts of Poland were once part of Germany. Both countries eat roughly equal portions of potatoes and wheat products. In addition, Polish and German cuisines feature pickled vegetables as popular condiments. Sauerkraut is often served alongside their meat dishes.
  4. Austria is another Germanic country on this list. Polish cuisine takes inspiration from Austrian culinary traditions. Poland has a few breaded and fried meat dishes that resemble Austria’s Wiener Schnitzel. Additionally, the love for rich pastries is evident in Poland’s filled doughnuts, known as paczki and Austria’s own renowned strudel.
  5. Ukraine and Poland share a long border. Both Slavic countries cherish dishes like beet soup and dumplings. Ukrainian varenyky are similar to Polish pierogi, featuring various fillings like potatoes, cheese, and cabbage. Similarly, both countries have a tradition of pickling vegetables. Ukrainian cuisine also offers delicacies like holubtsi and vushka, reminiscent of Polish stuffed cabbage and mushroom pierogi.

Related: The 10 Most Similar Countries to Poland

The Least Similar Cuisines to Polish Food

Four of the five countries with the least similar food to Poland are located in Africa. The climate in these countries is also significantly warmer. This affects what type of crops are grown in these countries. Moreover, these countries are much less developed than Poland. Neither potatoes nor pork are commonly eaten in these countries.

  1. Chad is a landlocked country in the middle of Africa that is mostly Muslim. Sorghum and millet are the two most commonly consumed grains there. 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 ingredient used in Chad is saka-saka, a mix of spinach and cassava leaves. Peanuts and sesame seeds are also commonly parts of their cuisine.
  2. Central African Republic is another former French colony that is located to the south of Chad. Cassava and yam are two of the most commonly eaten staple ingredients in the country. Furthermore, taro and bananas make up a much greater share of the diet in Central African Republic than in Poland.
  3. South Sudan is to the west of the Central African Republic. It is another country where cassava is the staple food, however the country eats its share of sorghum as well. Porridge is one of the most popular dishes in the country. Unlike in Poland, beef is the most commonly consumed meat in the South Sudan.
  4. Democratic Republic of Congo is mostly rainforest, so its climate is much hotter and humid than Poland’s. Cassava is the dominant staple food in the country, a food that many people in Poland have not eaten before. The most commonly eaten meat in Congo is fish, whereas pork and chicken are more popular in Poland. Furthermore, in contrast to Poland, their diet has little meat in it.
  5. Cambodia is the only country in Asia on this list. The Cambodian diet is heavily based in rice and cassava. Unlike in Poland, Cambodian cuisine makes use of a wide range of herbs and spices, including lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves, to create a unique flavor profile. Furthermore, many of the country’s Buddhists avoid eating meat.

Related: The 10 Least Similar Countries to Poland

Full Food Similarity Ranking of Countries and Territories

Poland’s Most Common Food Ingredients

Protein: Pork, Chicken
Fruit: Apple, Watermelon
Vegetable: Cabbage, Tomato
Starch: Wheat, Potato

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

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