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 Lithuanian Food
Lithuanian food can be considered a blend of Baltic, Slavic and Germanic influences, since it is located at the crossroads of Northern, Eastern and Central Europe. Four of the five countries with the most similar food are in the European Union. In addition, their climates tend to be quite cold.
- Latvia and Lithuania are neighbors that have extremely similar languages. Their diets are also alike too. Latvian and Lithuanian cuisines have an appreciation for bread, potatoes, and dairy products. In fact, savoury meat pies like Lithuanian kibinai or Latvian spekrauši are common in both countries as well.
- Poland is located to the south of Lithuania. Both countries are predominately Catholic. When it comes to food, both nations offer a delightful array of dishes. For example, the Lithuanian kibinai is extremely similar to Poland’s famed pierogi. Furthermore, both countries also have a particular fondness for dairy products.
- Slovakia is another predominately Catholic Slavic country on this list. Pork and chicken are the two most commonly consumed meats in Lithuania and Slovakia. Fermented cabbage holds a special place in the cuisine of both countries. Yogurt and cheese are also popular ingredients in these nations.
- Czechia and Lithuania also do not border each other, but their food has many similarities. Both nations have a deep appreciation for dairy products, crafting creamy cheeses and luscious creams. For instance, the Czech trdelnik is similar to Lithuanian šakotis, both being delightful, spiral-shaped pastries.
- Sweden is another country that borders the Baltic Sea. As a result, both nations have a rich tradition of smoked and pickled fish. Rye bread is also popular in Sweden and Lithuania as well. Furthermore, both countries have a deep-rooted tradition of foraging for wild ingredients, like mushrooms and herbs.
The Least Similar Cuisines to Lithuanian Food
All five countries with the least similar food to Lithuania 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 Lithuania, 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 Lithuania.
- Democratic Republic of Congo is mostly rainforest, so its climate is far different from the Lithuania’s. Cassava most consumed ingredient in the country. The most commonly eaten meat in Congo is fish, whereas pork and chicken are more popular in Lithuania. Furthermore, their diet has little meat in it.
- 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 Lithuania, which consumes more pork, chicken, and dairy products.
Lithuania’s Most Common Food Ingredients
Protein: Pork, Chicken
Fruit: Banana, Watermelon
Vegetable: Tomato, Cabbage
Starch: Wheat, Potato
Primarily based on 2020 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.