Countries with the Most Similar Food to Guatemala

map of countries with similar food to guatemala - 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 Guatemalan Food

Guatemala is a Central American country. The five countries with the most similar food to it were all once colonized by Spain. As a result, the majority of their people speak Spanish and are Catholic. In addition, four of the five nations border the Caribbean Sea. Corn is an especially popular staple food in this region.

  1. Mexico and Guatemala share an intertwined history rooted in the ancient Mayan civilization. This historical connection is vividly reflected in their cuisines. Corn, beans, and chili peppers are staple ingredients in both countries, forming the foundation of many dishes. Tamales, for instance, are prevalent in both nations as well.
  2. El Salvador is directly to the south of Guatemala. It is another country that 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 their cuisines, where they are often wrapped in banana leaves.
  3. Colombia does not border Guatemala, but they have many culinary similarities. Both rely heavily on corn, evident in Colombian arepas and Guatemalan tortillas. Beans serve as essential components in stews like Colombia’s bandeja paisa and Guatemala’s hilachas. Tropical fruits and empanadas are also commonly consumed in these nations.
  4. Honduras is another country that borders Guatemala. Both countries boast coastlines along the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, resulting in a shared love for seafood. Traditional dishes like tapado are eaten in both countries. Their cuisines have many coconuts, plantains, and tropical fruits.
  5. Ecuador and Guatemala also have similar culinary traditions, with a mix of European and indigenous influences. Beans have an important role in both countries, forming the base for Guatemala’s red bean stews and Ecuador’s fanesca. Ceviche is popular in both countries as well.

Related: The 10 Most Similar Countries to Guatemala

The Least Similar Cuisines to Guatemalan Food

Guatemala’s cuisine is not far different from most countries. Although Guatemala has a tropical climate, interestingly enough four of the five countries with the least similar food have a tropical climate as well. Corn based foods, eggs, and chicken are not nearly as widely consumed in these countries as they are in Guatemala.

  1. Solomon Islands is an archipelago located in the South Pacific Ocean. Most of its people live near the coast, so saltwater fish is the most commonly eaten meat in the country’s cuisine. Sweet potatoes, yams, and rice are three of the nation’s most popular starches.
  2. Micronesia is another group of small islands in the Pacific. The country’s isolation has limited its exposure to foreign influences. Coconuts are a huge part of their cuisine. In addition, rice and cassava are the two most commonly eaten starches in Micronesia.
  3. 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.
  4. Papua New Guinea is another Melanesian country on this list. Its cuisine often revolves around root vegetables like yams and taro, seafood, and pork. The culinary practices in Papua New Guinea vary widely across its numerous tribes, each with its own traditional cooking methods and flavor combinations.
  5. Sierra Leone is a predominately Muslim country in West Africa that was once a British colony. The vast majority of their diet is made up of rice and cassava products. The most commonly eaten meat in this country is fish, since the country’s population is located along the Atlantic Coast.

Related: The 10 Least Similar Countries to Guatemala

Full Food Similarity Ranking of Countries and Territories

Guatemala’s Most Common Food Ingredients

Protein: Chicken, Egg
Fruit: Banana, Cantaloupe
Vegetable: Tomato, Onion
Starch: Corn, Wheat

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

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