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Traditional food refers to the food prepared in regions based on cultures and geographical condition. It has been in vogue since centuries or ages and continues to prevail over regional food preferences of people. Traditional recipes incorporate varied ingredients and employ different cooking techniques. Traditional dishes can also be prepared to suit certain occasions and religious interests. Popular traditional food varieties include- Noodles from Chinese and Thai cuisines, Pies from European cuisine, Dosa from Indian cuisine and Tacos from Mexican cuisine.

History of Traditional Recipes

  • Traditional food has evolved as traditional cuisines developed. Typically-Mexican traditional recipes developed during the time of Aztecs and traditional food was cooked with an open fire on ceramic pots or cast iron skillets. Traditional recipes from Mexico include- quesadillas, tortilla, fajita, enchilada and guacamole.
  • In Sweden traditional food developed by early inhabitants and later on upon the invasion of Vikings. Smörgåsbord (SMUR-gawssboord) is a traditional Swedish home cooking where a number of small hot and cold dishes are served in buffet-style. The typical traditional Swedish smörgåsbord commonly includes herring (fish), smoked eel, roast beef, jellied fish and boiled potatoes to name a few.
  • The origin of Chinese cuisine dates back to 400,000 years ago during the time of Peking man and discovery of fire. Chinese cuisines in turn include sub cuisines including Sichuan cuisine, Shandong cuisine, Jiangsu cuisine and Guangdong (Cantonese) cuisine. Chinese traditional recipes include -Dim Sum, Tea, soups, noodles and congee porridge to name a few.
  • Indian cuisine has a history of 5000 years dating back to 3300–1300 BCE- the time of Indus valley civilization. Like Chinese Indian cuisine too has many sub-cuisines including Punjabi, Gujarati, Chettinad, Bengali and Andhra to name a few. Popular traditional recipes from India include- Roti, sabzi, saag, dhokla, tepla, biryani, bisibele bhath, rasagulla, singada and avakkai to name a few.

Popular Traditional Dishes from Different Cuisines

Traditional recipes incorporate varied ingredients and can be cooked by employing different cooking techniques. They may also be prepared to suit occasions or religious interests.

  • Noodles are a popular traditional dish from China and Thailand that can be prepared through different traditional recipes.
  • Pizza is a traditional food based on bread from Italy which contains a base and toppings. The toppings can include meat, vegetables, cheese, herbs and seasonings. Of late pizza toppings have got more diverse as the dish has spread across countries in the world.
  • Payasam is a traditional food from South India prepared with milk, sugar or jaggery and rice and garnished with nuts and raisins fried in ghee.
  • Rose hip soup is a traditional recipe of savoury soup made in Sweden with fruit of rose plant.
  • America has a whole range of traditional recipes of cakes, puddings, cookies, pies and tarts for Christmas and Easter. So does Europe.
  • Sushi and Tofu are traditional dishes from Japan that can be prepared through varied recipes. Tofu or bean curd is made from soya beans. Sushi is a Japanese traditional dish comprising of cooked vinegar flavoured rice that is commonly topped with ingredients, such as fish or other seafood or placed into rolls.

Preparation and Commercial Availability of Traditional Recipes

Traditional food is commonly prepared at home. However with time as people travelled across regions, they carried along with them traditional food and traditional recipes which they spread in the regions they went.

Similarly they brought back traditional recipes from the regions they travelled. As a result people got more familiar to traditional foods from different regions. This led to the commercial developments in engaging in traditional food industry.

Speciality hotels and food outlets that make and serve traditional food have come up. Chinese cuisine can be found and had in Chinese restaurants across the globe. Similarly Italian food in Italian, Indian food in Indian, American in American and Mexican in Mexican.

The latest development in this arena happens to be multi-cuisine restaurants which make and serve traditional food from different regions across the world under one roof. Traditional foods such as pickles and seasoning mixes can be had from retail outlets or counters. They can also be shopped from the web or television.

Traditional food development has also had a considerable impact on economic progress of countries. Traditional preserved food and seasonings are exported to other countries from the countries where they are produced.

Traditional Dishes Trivia

  • Japanese cuisine has a traditional elaborate tea ceremony for serving tea.
  • The sandwich was a traditional food of the English invented in England.
  • Thai food is reputed for the balance of the five basic taste senses in each traditional dish or the overall meal: hot (spicy), sour, sweet, salty and (optional) bitter.
  • The oldest traditional fruitcake company in the United States is the Collin Street Bakery, Corsicana Texas [1896]