The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







A cuisine (from French cuisine, meaning "cooking; culinary art; kitchen"; itself from Latin coquina, meaning the same; itself from the Latin verb coquere, meaning "to cook") is a specific set of cooking traditions and practices, often associated with a place of origin. Religious food laws can also exercise a strong influence on cuisine. A cuisine is primarily influenced by the ingredients that are available locally or through trade. The "Asian" dish chop suey clearly reflected the adaptation of Chinese immigrant cooking styles to the different ingredients available in North America.



The last century or so has produced enormous improvements in food production, preservation, storage and shipping. Today almost every locale in the world has access to not only its traditional cuisine, but also to many other world cuisines, as well. New cuisines are constantly evolving, as certain aesthetics rise and fall in popularity among professional chefs and their clientele.

In addition to food, a cuisine is also often held to include beverages, including wine, liquor, tea, coffee and other drinks. Increasingly, experts hold that it further includes the raw ingredients and original plants and animals from which they come. The Slow Food movement is a global effort to preserve local plants, animals, and techniques of food preparation. It has 70,000 adherents in 50 countries.

There are also different cultural attitudes to food, for example:

  • In India, consumption of food is regarded as an offering, a Yajna. Thus the stomach is considered to be a homagunda (holy fire) and all the food consumed is an offering to the holy fire.
  • In Japan, Tea drinking is a fine-art and there is an elaborate ceremonial about it. Not drinking tea in the right way is considered to be an act of barbarianism.

The following section is an overview of world cuisines. It is incomplete. It is organized roughly by geographical area, starting in the Western hemisphere and working Eastward and from North to South. Please help complete it.

Cuisines of the Americas

Cuisines of the Americas are based on the cuisines of the countries from which the immigrant peoples came, primarily Europe. However, the traditional European cuisine has been adapted to a greater or lesser degree and many local ingredients and techniques have been added to the tradition.

Cuisines of Canada

See also: Canadian cuisines

  • First nations cuisines
  • Quebecois
  • Atlantic Canada

Cuisines of the United States, including Puerto Rico

See also: Cuisine of the United States

Cuisines of Mexico

Cuisines of the Caribbean

See also: Caribbean cuisines

Cuisines of South America

See also: South American cuisines

Cuisines of Europe

See also: European cuisines

Cuisines of Northern Europe

Cuisines of the Mediterranean

See also: Mediterranean cuisine

Cuisines of Africa

See also: African cuisines

Cuisines of the Middle East

See also: Middle-Eastern cuisines

Cuisines of East Asia

See also: Asian cuisine

Cuisines of India

See also: Indian cuisine, Wikibooks' Cuisine of India

  • North Indian
    • Rajasthani /Gujarati
    • Punjabi
    • Kashmiri
    • Benarsi
  • South Indian
    • Kerala
    • Andhra
    • Canarese
    • Tamilian
    • Maharashtrian
  • Eastern

Cuisines of Oceania

Non-regional cuisines

See also

Last updated: 06-02-2005 02:10:21
Last updated: 08-17-2005 09:53:34