Countries with the Most Similar Food to Uruguay

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

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 Uruguayan Food

Uruguay is a South American country that boasts a rich culinary tradition, drawing from a variety of European cultures. While the five countries with the most similar food to Uruguay are located on three different continents, all these countries have populations that are predominately European in ancestry. With the exception of the United States, they are mostly Catholic as well.

  1. Argentina and Uruguay border each other. Both countries are located along the Atlantic Coast as well. Grilled meats, known as asado, are popular in both cultures. Chivito, a hearty sandwich filled with steak, ham, cheese, and toppings, is a beloved specialty shared by both countries. In addition, both countries have a passion for mate, a traditional beverage made from the dried leaves and twigs of the yerba mate plant.
  2. Chile is another South American country on this list. Both countries cherish seafood and utilize fresh ingredients abundantly in their dishes. Chilean and Uruguayan cuisines feature a wide array of fish, including salmon, sea bass, and shrimp. Still, chicken and beef are the two most widely consumed meats in these countries. Both also prepare empanadas with a folded dough pocket, but the fillings can vary.
  3. Malta is the European country with the most similar cuisine to Uruguay. It is small island nation located off the coast of Italy. Both countries have experienced waves of immigration and colonization, that have introduced a diversity of culinary traditions. Both Malta and Uruguay have their versions of stuffed pastas, demonstrating the influence of Italian cuisine in their food culture.
  4. France is another European country with similar food to Uruguay. Sandwiches filled with meat and cheese are quite popular in these nations. Both France and Uruguay have a fondness for rich pastries and decadent desserts as well. Furthermore, quiche is a common dish both countries enjoy. Pascualina, filled with eggs and spinach, is a typical Uruguayan savory pie.
  5. United States and Uruguay experienced significant waves of European immigration throughout their histories. The culinary traditions brought by these immigrants have influenced the local cuisines of both countries. Barbecue and grilled meats are extremely popular in the United States and Uruguay. In both countries, hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza are widely enjoyed.

Related: The 10 Most Similar Countries to Uruguay

The Least Similar Cuisines to Uruguayan Food

Four of the five countries with the least similar food to Uruguay are located in Africa. The climate in these countries tends to be extremely hot, since they are closer to the equator than Uruguay. Interestingly enough, four of the five were once colonized by France. These countries are also significantly less developed than Uruguay as well.

  1. Democratic Republic of Congo is located in the middle of Africa. The country features vast swathes of dense rainforests, since its climate is hot and humid. Cassava is the dominant staple food in the country. They also eat very little meat.
  2. South Sudan is a landlocked country in Africa. Cassava accounts for the largest part of the country’s diet, however South Sudanese eat their share of sorghum as well. Sesame seed is another very common ingredient in South Sudan’s cuisine.
  3. Chad is located in the Sahel region of Africa. Sorghum and millet are the two most commonly consumed grains in the country. These crops are well adapted to the region’s harsh climate. One popular dish is saka-saka, a mix of spinach and cassava leaves.
  4. Ivory Coast‘s cuisine is characterized by its rich use of tropical fruits, vegetables, and various spices, resulting in flavorful and aromatic dishes. Yams, cassava, and rice are more commonly eaten staples of the country’s typical diet.
  5. Cambodia is the only country in Asia on this list. The nation’s diet is heavily based in rice and cassava. Unlike in Uruguay, Cambodian cuisine uses a lot of lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves. Furthermore, many Cambodians are Buddhist, so they avoid eating meat.

Related: The 10 Least Similar Countries to Uruguay

Full Food Similarity Ranking of Countries and Territories

Uruguay’s Most Common Food Ingredients

Protein: Chicken, Beef
Fruit: Orange, Banana
Vegetable: Tomato, Onion
Starch: Wheat, Corn

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

Leave a Reply