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Perhaps the oldest and simplest cultural exchange one can undertake is trying world cuisines. Essentially, a plate of food can offer insight into its origin’s culture and local customs. It’s 2023, an excellent time to update our list of the top 5 cuisines with the most significant influence on the world palate. A recent study by pickyeaterblog.com determined the most popular cuisines, meal types, and availability by analyzing Instagram hashtags, mentions, and the number of restaurants (82,995) in the top 50 cities serving top cuisines.
Top 5 cuisines with greatest influence on world palate
All graphs and data presented below are presented as shared by ‘Picky Eater Blog’.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the study found that Italian cuisine is the most popular worldwide, followed by Japanese, Indian, Korean, and Mexican. Italian and Japanese cuisines have been tagged more than 20 million times on Instagram and Indian cuisine with more than 12 million tags.
Regarding the most popular meal type, the humble Pizza was the runaway winner, with over 60M mentions on Instagram. An American icon, the Barbecue, with over 40M Instagram tags, was placed second, followed by Brunch, Sushi, and Seafood.
The study also looked at the most typical restaurants in the top most visited cities and found that Chinese restaurants were the most common eateries, closely followed by Italian, Indian, and Japanese restaurants.
Given the data discussed above, it’s not hard to see why the top 5 cuisines that influenced the world palate the most in 2023 are;
In 2019, we also highlighted Joel Waldfogel’s paper, ‘Dining out as a cultural trade,’ using restaurant listings from TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Tabelog and sales figures from Euromonitor to estimate world’ trade-in cuisines from 52 countries. He denoted domestic consumption of foreign cuisine as an ‘import’ and foreign consumption of domestic cuisine as an ‘export.’ He summarized the largest “net exporters” and “net importers” of world cuisine.
The graph below, summarizes the largest “net exporters” and “net importers” of world cuisine, according to Waldfogel’s study, as published in The Economist.
Waldfogel also made two exciting observations;
- Thatthe market for food at restaurants is roughly ten times larger than the markets for music and film
- That “cuisine trade patterns more closely resemble migration patterns than patterns of food trade or patterns arising from the extent of arable land in origin countries. “
Influence on world palate aside, my personal top 5 cuisines are;
Are your favorite cuisines represented in the studies above? Share with a comment below.