Ask any seasoned traveler about their most memorable experiences, and you’ll likely hear more than a few stories about incredible food that they’ve tasted in different parts of the world.
But what are some of the best dishes in the world that are renowned across borders? And what are some of the most popular foods in the world?
Let’s explore the top common foods in the world, their origin, and the reasons why they are so popular.
No list of the most popular food in the world can be complete without the inclusion of pizza. Although historians are still disputing when exactly the first pizza came to be, the truth is, various forms of pizza (or focaccia) have existed for thousands of years. It’s the modern form (with the most popular toppings) that only just appeared in the last couple of hundred years. The Italian immigrants that came to America in the late 19th century brought their culinary heritage with them as well, and it’s not surprising that a simple yet brilliant dish like the pizza became an instant hit in the U.S. and worldwide, with many people naming it the best dish in the world.
Pasta is not only one of the most consumed foods in the world, but it’s also one of the most accessible. Numerous cultures from around the globe have their own variations of pasta. If talking about the Italian variant of pasta, it is made using durum wheat, water, and sometimes eggs. The high-gluten and low-moisture qualities of pasta make it perfect for cutting it into various shapes and serving with a range of sauces, as it can blend with and enhance almost any flavor. The versatility and simplicity of pasta are the main reasons why the dish is so popular, but even though almost anyone can make it, pasta remains an incredibly popular dish among even the most high-end chefs from around the globe.
No list of food would be complete without the inclusion of bread—the most basic of foods that’s also a symbol of civilization and agriculture. The first traces of bread were found in the current Egypt territories more than 10,000 years ago. Since then, it has been reimagined in various forms across the globe. This makes it one of the top 10 most eaten foods in the world, perhaps even the most eaten, period. Although most people, when thinking of bread, imagine it being made from wheat, it can actually be made from almost any kind of grain. In different cultures, bread is made from corn, barley, rice, millet, and amaranth.
Although the earliest civilization used mainly wheat cultures, rice has been around for around 5,000 years. According to some estimates, rice has fed more people than any other type of grain. Over the centuries, rice has become an integral part of some of the most popular cuisines in the world. It has been used across cultures in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. The reason why rice has been so prominently used around the world is its versatility—it can grow in almost any conditions and thus has fed many generations of people in various climate zones.
For many people, eggs are an integral part of a full and healthy breakfast. But while the omelet or a boiled egg may seem like Western dishes, eggs have been used across the world in various shapes and forms for almost 10,000 years, including about 5,000 years in Egypt, and 3,000 years in Europe. Throughout history, humans have valued the nutritional value and versatility that eggs provided, cooking them, adding them to various other dishes, or even eating them raw.