Traditional foods greatly depend on the history of the region you are in.
In Ethiopia, injera is a traditional sourdough flatbread, in the Southeastern United States barbecue is a traditional cuisine that actually transcends the aboriginal populations that roamed these regions before colonization. Traditional food is an extension of the history of the land, and thus any land one may be on had indigenous populations and heirloom plants that contributed to the culinary advancement of that food. Traditional food is a story, it is a gift from generation to the next. In essence, your grandmother’s soup is a traditional food because it has been passed down through the generations to you!
That said traditional food does not always originate in one land or group of people sometimes it is a combination. The traditional pastas of Italy have an interesting story, some believe pasta originated in Asia and arrived in Italy in the 13th Century by Marco Polo. Tomatoes also are not Italian, the tomato is a South American fruit that was also brought to Italy by adventurers. So the pasta that we think of when we think Italian food eg; Spaghetti & Meatballs, Linguini Alfredo, etc. May very well have traditional recipes from grandfathers/mothers past, but the ingredients didn’t even originate there! Who would have thought that something from one side of the world would work so well with something from a completely opposite side of the world and come together in between!
Here are some other examples of traditional food:
- Tourtiere is a French-Canadian meat pie.
- Challah is a Jewish bread.
- Lox is a vital part of the Ashkenazi culture.
- Ciba is a Sichuan rice cake.
- Faggot is meat off-cut like heart, belly, and liver served in South Wales.
- Fish and Chips is a UK dish.
- Haggis is Scotch.
- Garnatalg is a Faroe Island sausage.
- Black Forest Ham from Germany.
- Puerco Iberico de Bellota from Spain, Portugal, and Andorra.
- Hakari is Icelandic Shark.
- Fiambre a salad from Guatemala’s Dia de los Muertos.
- Gudeg is an unripe jackfruit stew from Yogyakarta in the Java region of Indonesia.
- Dizi is a hearty mutton stew thickened with chickpeas from Persia.
- Prosciutto is Italian aged pork.
- Mochi is a Japanese rice dessert.
- Nurungji is scorched rice from Korea.
- Garudiya is a clear fish stock from the Maldives.
- Capirotada is a Mexican bread pudding.
- Dhindo is a Nepalese meal.
- Hininy is from Najd in Saudi Arabia.
- Hainanese is Singapore’s national dish.
- Borona is a Basque bread made of corn.
- Imam Bayildi from Turkey.
- Malewa smoked bamboo shoot from Uganda.
- Lap lap from Vanuatu.
- Kabsa from Yemen.
- In the Commonwealth Caribbean Rice & Peas is traditional food.
- Kraftskiva is a crayfish party celebrated in Scandinavia.
- Low Country Boil is a Southeastern USA tradition.
- Scoured Milk is a Bantu Tribe tradition.