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 Czech Food
Czech cuisine can be considered a blend of Slavic and Germanic influences. The country is located at the crossroads of Central Europe, and throughout its history, it has been influenced by its neighbors. It is no coincidence that four of the five countries with the most similar food ingredients border the Czech Republic.
- Slovakia and the Czech Republic were part of the same country until 1992. It is no surprise that the two nations have extremely similar food. Their cuisines feature a lot of pork, potatoes, bread, and savory sauces. Bryndzové Halušky, Vepřo Knedlo Zelo, Smažený Sýr, and Guláš are popular dishes in both countries.
- Germany is located to the east of the Czech Republic. Before World War II, many German-speaking communities lived in the country for centuries. Both Czech and German cuisines feature a wide range of pork sausages and soups. Czech and German bakeries offer a variety of bread types, including rye, wheat, and sourdough bread.
- Austria is another Germanic country on this list. Both countries were once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Czechia has a few breaded and fried meat dishes that resemble Austria’s Wiener Schnitzel. Both cuisines also share a love for pastries, with strudels and sweet dumplings being enjoyed on both sides of the border.
- Sweden and the Czech Republic have a tradition of curing and preserving meats. Pork is the most commonly eaten meat in both countries, although Sweden tends to consume more fish. Wheat, potatoes, and rye are the three most popular starches in these countries. Furthermore, both countries have a rich tradition of dairy products.
- Poland is located to the north of the Czech Republic. It is the only other Slavic country that borders Germany. Czech cuisine is known for its dumplings that are very similar to Polish pierogi. Both countries also use cabbage in various forms, such as sauerkraut and cabbage rolls. Pork and rye bread are also popular ingredients in these nations.
The Least Similar Cuisines to Czech Food
All five countries with the least similar food to the Czech Republic are located in Africa. The climate in these countries is also significantly warmer, since they are closer to the equator. This affects what type of crops are grown in these countries. Moreover, these countries are much less developed. Neither potatoes nor pork are commonly eaten in these nations.
- 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 harsh climate. Beef is the most popular meat, but lamb meat is also often eaten there. Peanuts and sesame seeds are also commonly parts of their cuisine.
- South Sudan is another country that borders Sudan. Cassava is the country’s staple food, however people in South Sudan eat a lot of sorghum as well. Porridge is one of the most popular dishes in the country. Unlike in the Czech Republic, beef is the most commonly consumed meat there.
- Central African Republic borders both Chad and South Sudan. 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 the Czech Republic.
- 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 the Czech Republic.
- Democratic Republic of Congo is mostly rainforest, so its climate is far different from the Czech Republic. Cassava most consumed ingredient in the country. The most commonly eaten meat in Congo is fish, whereas pork and chicken are more popular in the Czech Republic. Furthermore, their diet has little meat in it.
Czechia’s Most Common Food Ingredients
Protein: Pork, Chicken
Fruit: Grape, Apple
Vegetable: Onion, Tomato
Starch: Wheat, Potato
Primarily based on 2020 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.