Countries with the Most Similar Food to Hungary

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

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 Hungarian Food

Hungarian cooking showcases a harmonious blend of Slavic, Germanic, and Balkan influences. As a crossroads of Central Europe, the country has been shaped by centuries of cultural interactions with its neighbors. At least part of four of the five countries were once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The resulting culinary traditions feature a fascinating convergence of flavors, techniques, and ingredients.

  1. Slovakia shares a border with Hungary. In fact, around 10% of people in Slovakia are ethnic Hungarians.  Both countries consume a lot of bread, potatoes, cabbage, and dairy products. Potato dumplings and soups with sauerkraut are some traditional meals in both countries. One popular snack in both countries is fried-dough with sour cream, and grated cheese.
  2. Croatia is located to the south of Hungary. It is yet another predominately Catholic, Slavic country on this list. The goulash eaten in both countries features rich flavors derived from paprika and slow-cooked meat. Pork is by far the most commonly eaten meat in both countries. However, since Croatia has a lot of people living near the coast, seafood is a more prominent part of their diet.
  3. Montenegro is another country situated on the Adriatic coast. Both countries boast a fondness for hearty stews and richly spiced dishes. These countries also share the practice of stuffing cabbage leaves with flavorful meat fillings. Sarma in Montenegro is similar to Hungary’s töltött káposzta. However, apples are less commonly eaten in Montenegro than Hungary.
  4. Romania‘s Transylvania region used to be part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In fact many ethnic Hungarians still live there. Hearty stews are popular in both countries. Pork and chicken are also the two most commonly eaten meats in these nations. However, one difference is that eating corn is generally more common in Romania than in Hungary.
  5. Austria is to the west of Hungary. Austria’s famed Wiener Schnitzel, a breaded and fried veal or pork cutlet, has become a beloved menu item in Hungarian restaurants as well. The rich pastry traditions of both countries also intertwine, with Hungary’s appreciation for strudels—both sweet and savory—originating from Austria’s renowned apple strudel and cheese strudel.

Related: The 10 Most Similar Countries to Hungary

The Least Similar Cuisines to Hungarian Food

Four of the five countries with the least similar food to Hungary 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 Hungary. Neither potatoes nor pork are common ingredients in their diets.

  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. South Sudan is another country in Africa that borders Sudan. Cassava accounts for the largest part of the country’s diet, however South Sudanese eat their share of sorghum as well. Porridge is one of the most popular dishes in the country. Unlike in Hungary, beef is the most commonly consumed meat in the South Sudan.
  3. Central African Republic is another former French colony that borders both Chad and South Sudan. 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 Hungary.
  4. Democratic Republic of Congo is mostly rainforest, so its climate is much hotter and humid than Hungary’s. Cassava is the dominant staple food in the country, a food that few people in Hungary have eaten before. The most commonly eaten meat in Congo is fish, whereas pork and chicken are more popular in Hungary.
  5. Cambodia is the only country in Asia on this list. The Cambodian diet is heavily based in rice and cassava. Unlike in Hungary, Cambodian cuisine makes use 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 Hungary

Full Food Similarity Ranking of Countries and Territories

Hungary’s Most Common Food Ingredients

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

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

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