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.
5 Countries with the Most Similar Food Ingredients to Denmark
The four countries with the most similar food to Denmark natively speak Germanic languages. These European countries have longstanding historical connections and have influenced each other’s cuisines over time. Their people tend to eat a lot of bread, potatoes, and meat.
- Sweden and Denmark are part of the Nordic region, and their culinary traditions exhibit several similarities. Open-faced sandwiches are popular in both countries. In addition, pickled herring is a common dish in their cuisines. Hearty meat dishes and the use of fresh, seasonal ingredients are prominent parts of both their cuisines.
- Germany is on Denmark’s southern border. Both countries have a tradition of eating sausages, potatoes, and delicious pastries. In addition, these countries tend to eat a lot of cheese. However, the Danish eat significantly less pork than Germans. Furthermore, Danish cuisine more fish, since most of its people live in close proximity to the coast.
- Norway and Denmark are both peninsulas with a lot of coastline, so seafood is common in their diets. Smoked salmon, cod, and herring find their way onto plates in both countries. Additionally, both nations have a rich tradition of baking pastries and producing dairy products.
- Austria is the only landlocked country on this list, but its food is still similar to both Germany’s and Denmark’s. Their cuisines feature a variety of comforting dishes, often centered around hearty meats, potatoes, and sauces. Furthermore, Danish and Austrian cheeses are enjoyed alongside bread and used in a variety of dishes, reflecting their strong tradition of dairy farming.
- Finland and Denmark both border the Baltic Sea. However, it is also the only non-Germanic country on this list. Still, hearty stews and soups as commonly eaten in these Nordic countries, utilizing local ingredients to create comforting meals. The use of rye bread and potatoes in traditional dishes is another shared characteristic.
5 Countries with the Least Similar Food Ingredients to Denmark
Four of the five countries with the least similar food to Denmark are located in Africa. The climate in these countries is also significantly warmer. This affects what type of crops are grown in these countries. With the exception Micronesia, they are all landlocked as well. Moreover, these countries are much less developed than Denmark.
- Chad is a predominately Muslim country that borders the Sahara Desert. Sorghum and millet are the two most commonly consumed grains in the country. These crops are well adapted to the Sahel’s harsh climate. Although beef is the most popular meat in both countries, it is much less widely consumed in Chad.
- Democratic Republic of Congo is another country located in the middle of Africa. Cassava is the dominant staple food in the country, a food that most Danes have not eaten before. The most commonly eaten meat in Congo is freshwater fish, whereas saltwater fish are more commonly eaten in Denmark.
- Central African Republic is a former French colony located between Congo and Chad. Cassava, yam, and taro are three of the most commonly eaten staple ingredients in the country. Furthermore, cheese and yogurt are rarely consumed in this country, in contrast to Denmark.
- South Sudan is located to the east of 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. Although beef is the most popular meat in both countries, it is much less widely consumed in South Sudan.
- Micronesia is a group of small islands located in the South Pacific Ocean. The country relies heavily on seafood, tropical fruits, and root crops as a result. Its relative isolation has limited its exposure to foreign influences on its typical diet.
Denmark’s Most Common Food Ingredients
Protein: Beef, Chicken
Fruit: Banana, Grape
Vegetable: Tomato, Carrot
Starch: Wheat, Potato
Primarily based on 2020 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.