Countries with the Most Similar Food to Ethiopia

map of countries with similar food to ethiopia, 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. 

5 Countries with the Most Similar Food Ingredients to Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s cuisine is extremely unique, although it should be noted that Eritrea‘s cuisine is very similar. However, FAOstat does not have statistics for the country, so it does not make this list. In many parts of the countries with the most similar food, nomadic pastoralism is a common way of life, with communities relying on livestock such as camels, goats, and cattle.

  1. Kenya is located to the south of Ethiopia. Corn is the most commonly consumed starch in these countries. Both cuisines feature a variety of stews and curries made with meats, legumes, and vegetables. Common spices used in both cuisines include cumin, coriander, cardamom, and fenugreek.
  2. Sudan is another country that borders Ethiopia. Both cook hearty stews, with Sudan’s “fatta” resembling Ethiopia’s “kitfo” in its use of spices. Sudanese cuisine also features various forms of bread, similar to Ethiopia’s injera, with dishes like “kisra” and “assa.” In addition, beef and lamb are the two most commonly eaten meats in these countries.
  3. Tanzania, like Ethiopia, has mix of Christians and Muslims. Both countries eat various types of flatbreads, which are often served with stews and curries. Furthermore, Both cuisines feature a significant use of legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and various types of beans in their dishes. They also have a wide range of herbs and spices.
  4. Mauritania, although located in West Africa, has a few intriguing culinary overlaps with Ethiopia. The Arabic-speaking nation’s cuisine features dishes like “thieboudienne” and “couscous,” which are reminiscent of Ethiopia’s stews and grains. Both cuisines also make use of aromatic spices, though with regional variations.
  5. Chad is another former French colony on this list. It is a landlocked country located to the west of Sudan. Bread is an important part of their cuisines. Ethiopia is known for injera, a flatbread made from teff or corn, Chad has its version called “aish merahrah,” made from millet or sorghum. Both countries cook flavorful stews and sauces as well.

Related: The 10 Most Similar Countries to Ethiopia

5 Countries with the Least Similar Food Ingredients to Ethiopia

Although Ethiopia’s food is extremely unique, It is also not particularly far different from any country. Four of the five countries with the least similar food to Ethiopia have tropical climates and border the Pacific Ocean. These countries eat far more seafood than landlocked Ethiopia.

  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. Kiribati, like Micronesia, is an archipelago in the Pacific with a diet centered around seafood, coconuts, and breadfruit. Corn and teff are not commonly eaten there, so its ingredients differ significantly from Ethiopian food.
  3. Solomon Islands is a Melanesian county located between Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. Most of its people live near the coast, so saltwater fish is abundant in their cuisine. Sweet potatoes, yams, and rice are three of the nation’s most popular starches.
  4. Cambodia is a Southeast Asian country. Rice is by far the most commonly consumed staple in the county, but cassava is also popular. In addition, the most popular meat in Cambodia is freshwater fish, while beef and lamb are more rarely consumed.
  5. Belgium is the only country in Europe on this list. It’s diet features a lot of meat and dairy products in contrast to Ethiopia. Belgian cuisine is known for its hearty, potato-based dishes, while Ethiopia places more emphasis on legumes, grains, and vegetables.

Related: The 10 Least Similar Countries to Ethiopia

Full Food Similarity Ranking of Countries and Territories

Ethiopia’s Most Common Food Ingredients

Protein: Beef, Lamb
Fruit: Banana, Watermelon
Vegetable: Fava Bean, Pea
Starch: Corn, Teff

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

Leave a Reply