Countries with the Most Similar Food to El Salvador

map of countries with similar food to el salvador, 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 Salvadoran Food

El Salvador is a Central American country. The five countries with the most similar food to El Salvador were all once colonized by Spain. As a result, the majority of their people speak Spanish and are Catholic. In addition, all five nations border the Caribbean Sea, although El Salvador does not. Corn is an especially popular staple food in this region.

  1. Guatemala is directly to the north of El Salvador. The culture of both countries was greatly influenced by Mayan civilization. Their cuisines are characterized by the heavy use of corn, beans, and various spices. Just like in El Salvador, tamales are an essential part of Guatemalan cuisine, where they are often wrapped in banana leaves and prepared with various delicious fillings.
  2. Honduras is the only other country that borders El Salvador. The pupusa, the undisputed national dish of El Salvador, is equally cherished in Honduras. Pupusas in Honduras are often filled with cheese, beans, and chicharrón, like their Salvadoran counterparts. Moreover, casamiento, a combination of rice and black beans, is a staple in both countries, served alongside grilled meats, plantains, and a light salad.
  3. Mexico and El Salvador share some fundamental culinary elements due to their geographical proximity and historical interactions. Pupusas, the national dish of El Salvador are very similar to Gorditas, except that they are open on one side. Furthermore, Salvadoran and Mexican enchiladas both include tortillas filled with various ingredients and topped with flavorful sauces.
  4. Nicaragua is situated further to the south, but both countries border the Pacific Ocean. The popular nacatamal in Nicaragua is akin to the Salvadoran tamale, featuring a similar preparation method and a mix of savory fillings. Gallo pinto, a mixture of rice and red beans, holds a special place in both nations’ breakfast tables. Additionally, the shared love for plantains can be observed in dishes like maduros and tostones.
  5. Venezuela is in South America, but the country’s cuisine still has many similarities with El Salavador’s. Although rice is a much bigger part of the typical Venezuelan diet, corn is the most eaten starch in both countries. Arepas are one of the most popular foods in the country. It is somewhat similar to a pupusa. These countries also love to eat empanadas, pastries that can have a variety of fillings including meat, vegetables, and cheese.

Related: The 10 Most Similar Countries to El Salvador

The Least Similar Cuisines to Salvadoran Food

Each country’s food culture is shaped by its history, climate, available resources, and cultural practices. Four of the five countries with the least similar food to El Salvador are located in Africa. Corn based foods, eggs, and chicken are not nearly as widely consumed in these countries as they are in El Salvador.

  1. South Sudan is a landlocked country that borders Sudan and Congo. Cassava is the most commonly eaten staple food there, however the country eats a lot of sorghum as well. Porridge is one of the most popular dishes in the country.
  2. Solomon Islands is a tropical archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean. Most of its people live near the coast, so seafood is common in the country’s cuisine. Sweet potatoes, yams, and coconuts are all popular ingredients in the food there.
  3. Central African Republic is a former French colony that is located in the middle of Africa. Cassava and yam are two of the most commonly eaten staple ingredients in the country. Furthermore, eat is less often consumed in Central African Republic.
  4. Democratic Republic of Congo is another French-speaking country in Africa. Cassava is the dominant staple food in this country, while the most commonly eaten meat is fish. Furthermore, in contrast to El Salvador, their diet has little meat or dairy in it.
  5. 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 climate. Beef and lamb are their most popular meats, unlike in El Salvador.

Related: The 10 Least Similar Countries to El Salvador

Full Food Similarity Ranking of Countries and Territories

El Salvador’s Most Common Food Ingredients

Protein: Chicken, Egg
Fruit: Banana, Watermelon
Vegetable: Tomato, Bean
Starch: Corn, Wheat

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

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