Countries with the Most Similar Food to Romania

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

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 Romanian Food

Romanian food has many similarities with its bordering countries. Four of the five nations with the most similar food to Romania are Slavic. Common historical influences include the Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, and Byzantine empires, which have left their mark on their respective cuisines.

  1. Bosnia & Herzegovina offers a unique blend of Balkan and Ottoman culinary influences, similar to Romania. Just like Romania’s “mici,” Bosnia and Herzegovina’s “ćevapi” are small, grilled sausages made from ground meat. Stuffed onions and an abundance of tomatoes are found in both cuisines. Both nations have a tradition of making flatbreads too.
  2. Bulgaria is another country that borders the Black Sea. It is located just to the south of Romania. The two countries share a love for yogurt and dairy products. A Bulgarian dish called “banitsa” is reminiscent of Romanian cheese-filled pastries. Additionally, both countries feature grilled meats as a central element of their cuisines.
  3. Moldova and Romania have extremely similar languages. It is no surprise their food is quite similar as well. Mămăligă is a common dish in both countries. They also enjoy stuffed cabbage rolls, known as “sarmale,” with a filling of ground meat and rice. Furthermore, their people often eat apples and grapes.
  4. Serbia is on the western border of Bulgaria. Both predominately Orthodox Christian countries tend to eat a lot of pork and chicken. In addition, various vegetables form the foundation of many traditional dishes. Thesee nations also eat maize porridges and have their own versions of cabbage rolls.
  5. Slovenia and Romania also have similar ingredients in their dishes. Dairy products like yogurt, sour cream, and various cheeses are common in their cuisines.Both countries have a tradition of baking various types of bread and pastries. For example, Slovenia’s “potica,” a nut roll, and Romania’s sweet and savory pastries share similarities in their preparation and consumption.

Related: The 10 Most Similar Countries to Romania

The Least Similar Cuisines to Romanian Food

Four of the five countries with the least similar food to Romania are located in Africa. The climate in these countries is also significantly warmer. This affects what type of crops are grown in these countries. Moreover, these countries are far less developed than Romania. They are also not as wealthy, so their diet has less meat.

  1. 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.
  2. Central African Republic was once a colony of France before becoming indepdent. Cassava and yam are two of the most commonly eaten staple ingredients in the country. Furthermore, taro and bananas make up a much greater share of the diet in Central African Republic than in Romania.
  3. Chad is another landlocked country in the middle of Africa. The country is mostly Muslim. Sorghum and millet are the two most commonly consumed grains there. These crops are well adapted to the Sahel’s harsh climate. Beef is the most popular meat, but lamb meat is also often eaten there. Peanuts and sesame seeds are also popular.
  4. South Sudan is a located to the east of Central African Republic. Cassava accounts for the largest part of the country’s diet, however South Sudanese eat their share of sorghum as well. Beef is the most commonly consumed meat in the South Sudan, while pork and chicken are more popular sources of protein Romania.
  5. Democratic Republic of Congo is mostly rainforest, so its climate is much hotter and humid than Romania’s. Cassava is the dominant staple food in the country. One popular dish is saka-saka, a mix of spinach and cassava leaves. The most commonly eaten meat in Congo is fish, whereas pork and chicken are more popular in Romania.

Related: The 10 Least Similar Countries to Romania

Full Food Similarity Ranking of Countries and Territories

Romania’s Most Common Food Ingredients

Protein: Pork, Chicken
Fruit: Apple, Grape
Vegetable: Tomato, Cabbage
Starch: Wheat, Potato

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

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