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 Omani Food
While Omani cuisine has its unique characteristics, some countries share similarities in terms of flavors, spices, and traditional dishes.The five nations with the most similar food to Oman are also Arab countries that border the Persian Gulf. They are all predominately Muslim countries that are relatively affluent. They all have a hot, dry climate.
- Bahrain and Oman have a tradition of preparing rice-based dishes like Biryani and Mandi. Grilled meats, such as kebabs and grilled fish, are popular in both countries as well. Halwa, a sweet confection made from ingredients like sugar, rosewater, and nuts, is enjoyed in both Oman and Bahrain.
- Kuwait is another country that has many similar dishes to Oman. Wheat and rice are the two most commonly eaten grains in both countries. Their people tend to eat a lot of chicken. However, people in Kuwait tend to eat less fish and more lamb than people in Oman.
- Saudi Arabia and Oman border each other. Flatbreads and rice-based dishes are commonly eaten in both countries. Dates and various nuts, such as almonds and pistachios, are commonly used in both Saudi Arabian and Omani cuisines.
- Qatar has a tradition of preparing rice-based dishes, such as Biryani, Mandi, and Kabsa, similar to Oman. These dishes often feature spiced rice and slow-cooked meat, such as lamb, chicken, or fish. While both countries enjoy Halwa, the specific recipes and variations may differ.
- United Arab Emirates is another wealthy Arab country that borders Oman. Rice, wheat, and potatoes are the most commonly eaten staples in these countries. In addition, chicken and saltwater fish are the two most popular sources of protein in UAE and Oman as well.
The Least Similar Cuisines to Omani Food
Four of the five countries with the least similar food to Oman are all located in Africa. All of these countries have tropical climates and get significantly more rainfall. As a result, they are also more densely forested than Oman. Furthermore, these countries are all predominately Christian, in contrast to Oman.
- Central African Republic is a former French colony in the middle of Africa. The majority of the country’s diet is based on cassava and yams. Bananas and plantains are also an extremely common source of food in the country. In contrast, Oman typically eats more dates and citrus fruits.
- Micronesia is a group of small tropical islands in the Pacific Ocean. As a result, their diet is heavily based on seafood. Furthermore, coconut and cassava are a bigger part of Micronesia’s cuisine than Oman’s.
- South Sudan borders Central African Republic. Cassava is the nation’s staple food. Sorghum is a large part of the country’s diet as well. Porridge is one of the most popular dishes in the country. Relatively little chicken meat is consumed there compared to Oman.
- Burundi is a landlocked African country located in the tropical regions of Africa. Its diet is in large part based on cassava, sweet potatoes, plantains, and bananas. Very little rice and wheat is eaten in Burundi as well, compared to Oman.
- Democratic Republic of Congo is yet another French-speaking country on this list. Cassava is the dominant staple food in the country, unlike in Oman, where wheat and rice are more prevalent. Freshwater fish is also more commonly eaten in Congo than in Oman.
Oman’s Most Common Food Ingredients
Protein: Saltwater Fish, Chicken
Fruit: Date, Orange
Vegetable: Tomato, Cucumber
Starch: Wheat, Rice
Primarily based on 2020 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.