Countries with the Most Similar Food to Bangladesh

Country Food Similarity Index - Map of Countries with similar food to Bangladesh

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 Bengali Food

Bangladesh is a densely populated country located between India and Southeast Asia. The five countries with the most similar food often eat rice-based dishes and use vibrant spices. These countries are all located in tropical regions. They also have an abundant amount of coastline, so fish and coconuts are common ingredients in their cuisines.

  1. Myanmar is located to the east of Bangladesh. Both countries tend to eat a lot of rice and fish. Additionally, their cuisines feature curries with shrimp and vegetables, often seasoned with spices such as turmeric, ginger, and garlic. They also have similar sweets. Laddoo and kheer originated in India, but they are now popular in both Myanmar and Bangladesh as well.
  2. India and Bangladesh used to be part of the same country, so it is no wonder these countries have similar food. Nevertheless, food in India has significant differences with food in Bangladesh, since its cuisine is more diverse and has regional variation. Overall, Indians tend to eat relatively less fish and more bread than Bengalis.
  3. Cambodia and Bangladesh do not border each other, but their food ingredients have many similarities. Both countries have a love for seafood, with shrimp and fish being popular choices. “Amok” is a traditional Cambodian dish where fish or shrimp is steamed with coconut milk and spices, reminiscent of Bangladeshi fish curries. Additionally, both cuisines incorporate the use of lemongrass, galangal, and turmeric.
  4. Thailand and Bangladesh have cuisines that exhibit some interesting parallels. Rice is a staple in both countries, while spicy and sour flavors are commonly embraced there. Both cuisines incorporate seafood and spices to create bold and tantalizing flavors. In Thai cuisine, “Kaeng Som Pla” or sour fish curry is similar to Bengali cuisine with its renowned fish curries, such as “Shorshe Ilish” and “Machher Jhol”.
  5. Vietnam is yet another Southeast Asian country on this list. Rice cultivation is central to the agriculture of both nations. However, while both countries consume a lot of fish, people in Vietnam tend to eat a lot more pork, since it is not a Muslim country. Still, both countries feature many vegetarian and plant-based dishes as well

Related: The 10 Most Similar Countries to Bangladesh

The Least Similar Cuisines to Bengali Food

Interestingly enough, all five countries with the least similar food to Bangladesh are located in Africa. In addition, four of the five countries are landlocked as well. With the exception of Chad, the majority of the people in these countries are Christian. In addition, rice is not a main ingredient in the typical staples consumed in these countries.

  1. South Sudan separated from Sudan, since its ethnic groups felt marginalized and underrepresented in the predominantly Arab and Muslim government of Sudan. In contrast to Bangladesh, cassava and sorghum are the staple foods in South Sudan. Its cuisine tends to be more rustic and hearty, while Bengali cuisine is known for its delicate use of fresh herbs, spices, and vegetables.
  2. Zimbabwe‘s cuisine features many dishes with corn and cassava, unlike Bangladesh. Furthermore, beef is by far more commonly eaten there than fish. In contrast, while meat is consumed in Bangladesh, it is often secondary to rice and vegetarian dishes due to its large Muslim population and cultural preferences.
  3. Chad is a former colony of France located in the Sahel region of Africa. Sorghum and millet are the two most commonly consumed grains there. These crops are well adapted to the region’s harsh climate. Beef is the most popular meat, but lamb meat is also often eaten there. Peanuts and sesame seeds are also common ingredients in their cuisine.
  4. Central African Republic is another former French colony. It 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 Bangladesh, despite the fact that they both have tropical climates.
  5. Angola‘s cuisine features staples like cassava, millet, corn, yams, and beans. Cassava is a prominent ingredient and is often used to make porridges, stews, and fritters. In contrast, rice is the staple grain in Bangladesh with dishes like “Biryani” and “Khichuri”. Although both countries eat a lot of fish, most of the fish consumed in Angola is from the ocean, not the river delta like in Bangladesh.

Related: The 10 Least Similar Countries to Bangladesh

Full Food Similarity Ranking of Countries and Territories

Bangladesh’s Most Common Food Ingredients

Protein: Freshwater Fish, Egg
Fruit: Mango, Banana
Vegetable: Onion, Tomato
Starch: Rice, Potato

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

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