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 Armenia
Armenian cuisine has influences from both Europe and the Middle East. As a result it has much in common with not only countries in the Caucasus region, but also the Balkans. The five countries with the most similar food to Armenia were at one time part of the Ottoman Empire’s territory.
- Georgia is on Azerbaijan’s northern border. Both cuisines feature grilled meats and the use of fresh herbs. Furthermore, flatbreads like lavash and khachapuri, a cheese-filled bread, are popular in these nations. Their people also enjoy stuffed grape leaves, known as dolma. However, beef is less commonly eaten in Georgia than in Armenia.
- Azerbaijan is a predominately Muslim country located to the west of Armenia. Both cuisines feature kebabs, pilaf dishes, and an emphasis on grilled meats. Dishes like dolma (stuffed vegetables) and lavash bread are common to both Azerbaijani and Armenian cuisine. However, pork is less commonly eaten in Georgia than in Armenia.
- Romania, while not geographically close to Armenia, has many culinary overlaps. Both cuisines include dishes like stuffed cabbage rolls and the use of yogurt-based sauces. Additionally, flatbreads and soups are popular in these countries. Their cuisines also have a plethora of savory pies and pastries.
- North Macedonia is another mountainous landlocked country that is predominately Orthodox Christian. Their cuisine is similar as well. Both countries commonly use eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, and parsley in their traditional dishes. Pickled vegetables, such as cucumbers, peppers, and cabbage, are found in both nations as well.
- Bosnia & Herzegovina is yet another Balkan country on this list. In both countries, wheat and potatoes are the two main starches, while beef and chicken are the most commonly eaten meats. Both countries also incorporate nuts into their dishes, with walnut being a common choice. However, dairy products are more often consumed in Bosnia.
5 Countries with the Least Similar Food Ingredients to Armenia
The five countries with the least similar food to Armenia have much warmer climates, since they are closer to the equator. Most of their land is tropical. As a result, their agriculture is extremely different. Three are located in Africa, while two others are islands in the South Pacific Ocean.
- Micronesia is a group of small islands in the Pacific Ocean. 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.
- Democratic Republic of Congo is mostly rainforest, so its climate is much hotter and humid than Armenia’s. Cassava is the dominant staple food in the country. The most commonly eaten meat in Congo is freshwater fish, whereas chicken and beef are more popular in Armenia.
- 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.
- Burundi is located in the Great Lakes region of Africa. Its diet is in large part based on cassava, sweet potatoes, plantains, and bananas. Furthermore, freshwater fish is the country’s biggest source of meat, in contrast to Armenia.
- Chad is a landlocked country in the middle of Africa that is mostly Muslim. As a result, pork is not nearly as widely consumed there. Furthermore, sorghum and millet are the two most commonly consumed grains in Chad. These crops are well adapted to the Sahel’s harsh climate.
Armenia’s Most Common Food Ingredients
Protein: Beef, Chicken
Fruit: Watermelon, Grape
Vegetable: Tomato, Cabbage
Starch: Wheat, Potato
Primarily based on 2020 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.