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 Surinamese Food
Suriname is located northern coast of South America. The country boasts a rich culinary tradition from the diverse cultural influences of its population. With a fusion of Creole, Javanese, Hindustani, Chinese, and Indigenous flavors, Surinamese cuisine stands out as a being quite unique. The five countries with the most similar food also have tropical climates. Four of the five were once British colonies.
- Guyana is on Suriname’s western border. Both Guyana and Suriname have diverse populations, including Indigenous peoples, descendants of African slaves, and immigrants from East India. Rice is a staple in the diets of both Guyanese and Surinamese people. Rice and peas dishes, often prepared with kidney beans or black-eyed peas, are commonly enjoyed there.
- Malaysia is in Southeast Asia, but its food still has a lot in common with Suriname’s. This is because Malaysia’s cuisine, is a blend of Malay, Chinese, and Indian traditions. Noodles and fried rice are staples in both Malaysian and Surinamese diets. Coconut and aromatic spices are a prominent ingredients in the cuisines of both countries.
- Panama borders the Caribbean Sea. Both nations have a strong tradition of preparing rice and beans dishes. Given their coastal locations, both countries have a rich tradition of fish, shrimp, and shellfish in their cuisines. Furthermore, both countries enjoy a wealth of tropical fruits, and these fruits often find their way into various dishes.
- Trinidad & Tobago and Suriname both have a mix of people with ancestry from Africa and the Indian Subcontinent. As a result, their food is rather similar as well. Both countries have a strong tradition of curry dishes. Roti is a beloved dish in both Trinidad and Suriname as well. Due to their African influences, both countries commonly use cassava and other root vegetables in their dishes.
- Mauritius is located in the Indian Ocean, but it is yet another country with African and Indian influences. In each country, rice is a fundamental component of many dishes, including biryanis and curries. Furthermore, chicken and marine fish are the two most commonly eaten proteins in these tropical nations.
The Least Similar Cuisines to Surinamese Food
The five countries with the least similar food to Suriname are all located in Africa. In addition, all five are landlocked as well. However, relatively few countries have a diet that is extremely different from Suriname’s, since it has influences from many different regions of the world.
- Chad is a predominately Muslim country that was once a French colony in Africa. Sorghum and millet are the two most commonly consumed grains in the country. These crops are well adapted to the Sahel’s harsh climate. Popular dishes include sesame soup and fried dough balls.
- South Sudan is another country that borders Sudan. Cassava is its staple food, however the country eats a lot of sorghum as well. Porridge is one of the most popular dishes in the country. In addition, South Sudanese cuisine features a variety of sauces and condiments made with peanuts and sesame seed.
- Niger is a predominately Muslim country in Africa located along the Sahara Desert, so it has an extremely hot and dry climate. Its two most common staple foods are millet and sorghum. Some traditional dishes in Niger include tuwo, a porridge made from millet or sorghum, and dambunama.
- 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 makes up a much greater share of the diet in Central African Republic than in Suriname.
- Ethiopia is yet another African country on this list. Corn and teff are the two most commonly consumed grains in Ethiopia, in contrast to Suriname, where wheat and rice have more prominence. Furthermore, beef is the most popular protein in Ethiopia, while chicken and seafood are more widely consumed in Suriname.
Suriname’s Most Common Food Ingredients
Protein: Chicken, Saltwater Fish
Fruit: Banana, Orange
Vegetable: Onion, Garlic
Starch: Rice, Wheat
Primarily based on 2020 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.