Karelian pasties, Karelian pies or Karelian pirogs are traditional pasties or pirogs from the region of Karelia. Today they are eaten throughout Finland as well as in northern Russia; the oldest traditional pasties had a rye crust, but the North Karelian and Ladoga Karelian variants contained wheat to improve the baking characteristics. The common fillings were talkkuna. In the 19th century, first potato and buckwheat were introduced as fillings, also rice and millet. Today, the most common version has a thin rye crust with a filling of rice. Butter mixed with chopped-up boiled egg, is spread over the hot pasties before eating. Mashed potato and rice-and-carrot fillings are commonly available. Karjalanpiirakka has Traditional Speciality Guaranteed status in Europe; this means that any product outside of specific regions and bakeries that make a similar product cannot call them karjalanpiirakka and instead call them riisipiirakka, perunapiirakka etc. depending on the filling. Karelian pasties recipe at Wikibooks Cookbook
Meat is animal flesh, eaten as food. Humans have killed animals for meat since prehistoric times; the advent of civilization allowed the domestication of animals such as chickens, rabbits and cattle. This led to their use in meat production on an industrial scale with the aid of slaughterhouses. Meat is composed of water and fat, it is edible raw, but is eaten after it has been cooked and seasoned or processed in a variety of ways. Unprocessed meat will spoil or rot within hours or days as a result of infection with and decomposition by bacteria and fungi. Meat is important in economy and culture though its mass production and consumption has been determined to pose risks for human health and the environment. Many religions have rules about which meat may not be eaten. Vegetarians may abstain from eating meat because of concerns about the ethics of eating meat, environmental effects of meat production or nutritional effects of consumption; the word meat comes from the Old English word mete. The term is related to mad in Danish, mat in Swedish and Norwegian, matur in Icelandic and Faroese, which mean'food'.
The word mete exists in Old Frisian to denote important food, differentiating it from swiets and dierfied. Most meat refers to skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may describe other edible tissues such as offal. Meat is sometimes used in a more restrictive sense to mean the flesh of mammalian species raised and prepared for human consumption, to the exclusion of fish, other seafood, poultry, or other animals. In the context of food, meat can refer to "the edible part of something as distinguished from its covering", for example, coconut meat. Paleontological evidence suggests that meat constituted a substantial proportion of the diet of the earliest humans. Early hunter-gatherers depended on the organized hunting of large animals such as bison and deer; the domestication of animals, of which we have evidence dating back to the end of the last glacial period, allowed the systematic production of meat and the breeding of animals with a view to improving meat production.
Animals that are now principal sources of meat were domesticated in conjunction with the development of early civilizations: Sheep, originating from western Asia, were domesticated with the help of dogs prior to the establishment of settled agriculture as early as the 8th millennium BCE. Several breeds of sheep were established in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt by 3500–3000 BCE. Today, more than 200 sheep-breeds exist. Cattle were domesticated in Mesopotamia after settled agriculture was established about 5000 BCE, several breeds were established by 2500 BCE. Modern domesticated cattle fall into the groups Bos taurus and Bos taurus indicus, both descended from the now-extinct aurochs; the breeding of beef cattle, cattle optimized for meat production as opposed to animals best suited for work or dairy purposes, began in the middle of the 18th century. Domestic pigs, which are descended from wild boars, are known to have existed about 2500 BCE in modern-day Hungary and in Troy. Pork sausages and hams were of great commercial importance in Greco-Roman times.
Pigs continue to be bred intensively as they are being optimized to produce meat best suited for specific meat products. Other animals have been raised or hunted for their flesh; the type of meat consumed varies much between different cultures, changes over time, depending on factors such as tradition and the availability of the animals. The amount and kind of meat consumed varies by income, both between countries and within a given country. Horses are eaten in France, Italy and Japan, among other countries. Horses and other large mammals such as reindeer were hunted during the late Paleolithic in western Europe. Dogs are consumed in South Korea and Vietnam. Dogs are occasionally eaten in the Arctic regions. Dog meat has been consumed in various parts of the world, such as Hawaii, Japan and Mexico. Cats are consumed in Southern China and sometimes in Northern Italy. Guinea pigs are raised for their flesh in the Andes. Whales and dolphins are hunted for their flesh, in Japan, Siberia, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and by two small communities in Indonesia.
Modern agriculture employs a number of techniques, such as progeny testing, to speed artificial selection by breeding animals to acquire the qualities desired by meat producers. For instance, in the wake of well-publicised health concerns associated with saturated fats in the 1980s, the fat content of United Kingdom beef and lamb fell from 20–26 percent to 4–8 percent within a few decades, due to both selective breeding for leanness and changed methods of butchery. Methods of genetic engineering aimed at improving the meat production qualities of animals are now becoming available. Though it is a old industry, meat production continues to be shaped by the evolving demands of customers; the trend towards selling meat in pre-packaged cuts has increased the demand for larger breeds of cattle, which are better suited to producing such cuts. More animals not exploited for their meat are now being farmed the more agile and mobile species, whose muscles tend to be developed better than those of cattle, sheep or pigs.
Examples are the various antelope species, the zebra, water buffalo and camel, as well as non-
Salt is a mineral composed of sodium chloride, a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of salts. Salt is present in vast quantities in seawater; the open ocean has about 35 grams of solids per liter of sea water, a salinity of 3.5%. Salt is essential for life in general, saltiness is one of the basic human tastes. Salt is one of the oldest and most ubiquitous food seasonings, salting is an important method of food preservation; some of the earliest evidence of salt processing dates to around 6,000 BC, when people living in the area of present-day Romania boiled spring water to extract salts. Salt was prized by the ancient Hebrews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Hittites and the Indians. Salt became an important article of trade and was transported by boat across the Mediterranean Sea, along specially built salt roads, across the Sahara on camel caravans; the scarcity and universal need for salt have led nations to go to war over it and use it to raise tax revenues. Salt has other cultural and traditional significance.
Salt is processed from salt mines, by the evaporation of seawater and mineral-rich spring water in shallow pools. Its major industrial products are caustic chlorine. Of the annual global production of around two hundred million tonnes of salt, about 6% is used for human consumption. Other uses include water conditioning processes, de-icing highways, agricultural use. Edible salt is sold in forms such as sea salt and table salt which contains an anti-caking agent and may be iodised to prevent iodine deficiency; as well as its use in cooking and at the table, salt is present in many processed foods. Sodium is an essential nutrient for human health via its role as an osmotic solute. Excessive salt consumption may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension, in children and adults; such health effects of salt have long been studied. Accordingly, numerous world health associations and experts in developed countries recommend reducing consumption of popular salty foods; the World Health Organization recommends that adults should consume less than 2,000 mg of sodium, equivalent to 5 grams of salt per day.
All through history, the availability of salt has been pivotal to civilization. What is now thought to have been the first city in Europe is Solnitsata, in Bulgaria, a salt mine, providing the area now known as the Balkans with salt since 5400 BC; the name Solnitsata means "salt works". While people have used canning and artificial refrigeration to preserve food for the last hundred years or so, salt has been the best-known food preservative for meat, for many thousands of years. A ancient salt-works operation has been discovered at the Poiana Slatinei archaeological site next to a salt spring in Lunca, Neamț County, Romania. Evidence indicates that Neolithic people of the Precucuteni Culture were boiling the salt-laden spring water through the process of briquetage to extract the salt as far back as 6050 BC; the salt extracted from this operation may have had a direct correlation to the rapid growth of this society's population soon after its initial production began. The harvest of salt from the surface of Xiechi Lake near Yuncheng in Shanxi, dates back to at least 6000 BC, making it one of the oldest verifiable saltworks.
There is more salt in animal tissues, such as meat and milk, than in plant tissues. Nomads who subsist on their flocks and herds do not eat salt with their food, but agriculturalists, feeding on cereals and vegetable matter, need to supplement their diet with salt. With the spread of civilization, salt became one of the world's main trading commodities, it was of high value to the ancient Hebrews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Hittites and other peoples of antiquity. In the Middle East, salt was used to ceremonially seal an agreement, the ancient Hebrews made a "covenant of salt" with God and sprinkled salt on their offerings to show their trust in him. An ancient practice in time of war was salting the earth: scattering salt around in a defeated city to prevent plant growth; the Bible tells the story of King Abimelech, ordered by God to do this at Shechem, various texts claim that the Roman general Scipio Aemilianus Africanus ploughed over and sowed the city of Carthage with salt after it was defeated in the Third Punic War.
Salt may have been used for barter in connection with the obsidian trade in Anatolia in the Neolithic Era. Salt was included among funeral offerings found in ancient Egyptian tombs from the third millennium BC, as were salted birds, salt fish. From about 2800 BC, the Egyptians began exporting salt fish to the Phoenicians in return for Lebanon cedar and the dye Tyrian purple. Herodotus described salt trading routes across Libya back in the 5th century BC. In the early years of the Roman Empire, roads were built for the transportation of salt from the salt imported at Ostia to the capital. In Africa, salt was used as currency south of the Sahara, slabs of rock salt were used as coins in Abyssinia. Moorish merchants in the 6th century traded salt for weight for weight; the Tuareg have traditionally maintained routes across the Sahara for the transportation of salt by Azalai. The caravans
Pork is the culinary name for meat from a domestic pig. It is the most consumed meat worldwide, with evidence of pig husbandry dating back to 5000 BC. Pork is eaten both freshly preserved. Curing extends the shelf life of the pork products. Ham, smoked pork, gammon and sausage are examples of preserved pork. Charcuterie is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, many from pork. Pork is the most popular meat in Eastern and Southeastern Asia, is very common in the Western world in Central Europe, it is prized in Asian cuisines for its fat content and pleasant texture. Consumption of pork is forbidden by Jewish and Rastafarian dietary law, for religious reasons, with several suggested possible causes. Charcuterie is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products such as bacon, sausage, galantines, pâtés, confit from pig. Intended as a way to preserve meats before the advent of refrigeration, these preparations are prepared today for the flavors that are derived from the preservation processes.
In 15th century France, local guilds regulated tradesmen in the food production industry in each city. The guilds that produced charcuterie were those of the charcutiers; the members of this guild produced a traditional range of cooked or salted and dried meats, which varied, sometimes distinctively, from region to region. The only "raw" meat the charcutiers were allowed to sell was unrendered lard; the charcutier prepared numerous items, including pâtés, sausages, bacon and head cheese. Before the mass production and re-engineering of pigs in the 20th century, pork in Europe and North America was traditionally an autumn dish—pigs and other livestock coming to the slaughter in the autumn after growing in the spring and fattening during the summer. Due to the seasonal nature of the meat in Western culinary history, apples have been a staple pairing to fresh pork; the year-round availability of meat and fruits has not diminished the popularity of this combination on Western plates. Pigs are the most eaten animal in the world, accounting for about 38% of meat production worldwide.
Consumption varies from place to place. The meat is taboo to eat in the Middle East and most of the Muslim world because of Jewish kosher and Islamic Halal dietary restrictions. But, pork is consumed in East and Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Americas and Oceania; as the result, large numbers of pork recipes are developed throughout the world. Jamón is the most famous Spanish inlay, made with the front legs of a pig. Feijoada for example, the national dish of Brazil, is traditionally prepared with pork trimmings: ears and feet. According to the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service, nearly 100 million metric tons of pork were consumed worldwide in 2006. Increasing urbanization and disposable income has led to a rapid rise in pork consumption in China, where 2006 consumption was 20% higher than in 2002, a further 5% increase projected in 2007. In 2015 recorded total 109.905 million metric tons of pork were consumed worldwide. By 2017, half the world's pork was consumed in China. Pork is popular throughout eastern Asia and the Pacific, where whole roast pig is a popular item in Pacific Island cuisine.
It is consumed in a great many ways and esteemed in Chinese cuisine. China is the world's largest pork consumer, with pork consumption expected to total 53 million tons in 2012, which accounts for more than half of global pork consumption. In China, pork is preferred over beef for aesthetic reasons. Domestic pigs feed on human waste, thus reducing cost of feeding and helping in recycling; the colours of the meat and the fat of pork are regarded as more appetizing, while the taste and smell are described as sweeter and cleaner. It is considered easier to digest. In rural tradition, pork is shared to form bonding. In China, pork is so important that the nation maintains a "strategic pork reserve". Red braised pork, a delicacy from Hunan Province, inspired Mao Zedong. Other popular Chinese pork dishes are sweet and sour pork and charsiu. In the Philippines, due to 300 years of Spanish colonization and influence, an entire roasted suckling pig, is the national delicacy. Pork may be cured over time. Cured meat products include bacon.
The carcass may be used in many different ways for fresh meat cuts, with the popularity of certain cuts and certain carcass proportions varying worldwide. Most of the carcass can be used to produce fresh meat and in the case of a suckling pig, the whole body of a young pig ranging in age from two to six weeks is roasted. Danish roast pork or flæskesteg, prepared with crispy crackling is a national favourite as the traditional Christmas dinner. Pork is common as an ingredient in sausages. Many traditional European sausages are made with pork, including chorizo, Cumberland sausage and salami. Many brands of American hot dogs and most breakfast sausages are made from pork. Processing of pork into sausages and other products in France is described as charcuterie. Ham and bacon are made from fresh pork by curing with smoking. Shoulders and legs are most cured in this manner for Picnic shoulder and ham, whereas streaky and round bacon come from the side. Ham and bacon are popular foods in the west, their consumption has increased with industrialisation.
Non-western cuisines use preserved meat produc
A stew is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy. Ingredients in a stew can include any combination of vegetables and may include meat tougher meats suitable for slow-cooking, such as beef. Poultry and seafood are used. While water can be used as the stew-cooking liquid, stock is common. Seasoning and flavourings may be added. Stews are cooked at a low temperature, allowing flavours to mingle. Stewing is suitable for the least tender cuts of meat that become tender and juicy with the slow moist heat method; this makes it popular in low-cost cooking. Cuts having a certain amount of marbling and gelatinous connective tissue give moist, juicy stews, while lean meat may become dry. Stews are thickened by reduction or with flour, either by coating pieces of meat with flour before searing, or by using a roux or beurre manié, a dough consisting of equal parts of fat and flour. Thickeners like cornstarch or arrowroot may be used. Stews are similar to soups, in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two.
Stews have less liquid than soups, are much thicker and require longer cooking over low heat. While soups are always served in a bowl, stews may be thick enough to be served on a plate with the gravy as a sauce over the solid ingredients. Stews have been made since ancient times; the world's oldest evidence of stew was found in Japan the place of the origin of fishing equipment. Herodotus says that the Scythians "put the flesh into an animal's paunch, mix water with it, boil it like that over the bone fire; the bones burn well, the paunch contains all the meat once it has been stripped off. In this way an ox, or any other sacrificial beast, is ingeniously made to boil itself." Amazonian tribes used the shells of turtles as vessels, boiling the entrails of the turtle and various other ingredients in them. Other cultures used the shells of large mollusks to boil foods in. There is archaeological evidence of these practices going back 8,000 years or more. There are recipes for lamb stews and fish stews in the Roman cookery book Apicius, believed to date from the 4th century AD.
Le Viandier, one of the oldest cookbooks in French, written in the early 14th century by the French chef known as Taillevent, has ragouts or stews of various types in it. The first written reference to'Irish stew' is in Byron's "The Devil's Drive": "The Devil... dined on... a rebel or so in an Irish stew." In meat-based stews, white stews known as blanquettes or fricassées, are made with lamb or veal, blanched, or seared without browning, cooked in stock. Brown stews are made with pieces of red meat that are first seared or browned, before a browned mirepoix and sometimes browned flour and wine are added. Baeckeoffe, a potato stew from Alsace Beef bourguignon, a French dish of beef stewed in red burgundy wine Beef Stroganoff, a stew with beef from Russia Bigos, a traditional stew in Polish cuisine Birria, a goat stew from Mexico Bo Kho, a beef stew in rich seasonings, served with bread, noodle or plain rice from Vietnam Bollito misto, consisting of beef and pork simmered in an aromatic vegetable broth from Italy Booyah, an American meat stew Bosnian Pot, a stew with beef or lamb, a national dish in Bosnia and Herzegovina Bouillabaisse, a fish stew from Provence Brunswick stew, from Virginia and the Carolinas Burgoo, a Kentuckian stew Caldeirada, a fish stew from Portugal Carbonade flamande, a traditional Belgian beef and onion stew made with Belgian beer Cawl, a Welsh stew Chakapuli, a Georgian stew made with lamp chops and tarragon leaves and white wine Chanakhi, a Georgian lamb stew with tomatoes, potatoes and garlic Charquicán, a Chilean dish Chankonabe, a Japanese dish flavoured with soy sauce or miso.
Chankonabe is traditionally eaten by sumo wrestlers Chicken stew, whole chicken and seasonings Chicken paprikash, chicken stew with paprika Chili con carne, Mexican-American meat and chili pepper stew Chili sin carne, a meatless American adaptation of the Mexican dish Chilorio, a pork stew from Sinaloa, Mexico Cincinnati chili, chili developed by Greek immigrants in the Cincinnati area Cholent, a slow-cooked Jewish dish Chorba, a stew like soup dish found in various Middle Eastern, Central Asian, South Asian and European cuisines Cochinita pibil, an orange color pork stew from Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico Cocido montañés or Highlander stew, a bean and pork meat stew from Cantabria, Spain Cotriade, a fish stew from Brittany Cozido, a traditional Portuguese stew.
The Bay leaf is an aromatic leaf used in cooking. It can be used as dried and ground, it comes from several plants such as: Bay laurel. Fresh or dried bay leaves are used in cooking for their distinctive fragrance; the leaves should be removed from the cooked food before eating. The leaves are used to flavour soups, braises and pâtés in Mediterranean and Latin American cuisine; the fresh leaves are mild and do not develop their full flavour until several weeks after picking and drying. California bay leaf – the leaf of the California bay tree known as California laurel, Oregon myrtle, pepperwood, is similar to the Mediterranean bay laurel, but has a stronger flavour. Indian bay leaf or malabathrum differs in that bay laurel leaves are shorter and light to medium green in colour, with one large vein down the length of the leaf, while tejpat leaves are about twice as long and wider olive green in colour, with three veins down the length of the leaf and is culinarily quite different, having a fragrance and taste similar to cinnamon bark, but milder.
Indonesian bay leaf or Indonesian laurel is not found outside Indonesia. West Indian bay leaf, the leaf of the West Indian bay tree, used culinarily and to produce the cologne called bay rum. Mexican bay leaf; the leaves contain about 1.3% essential oils, consisting of 45% eucalyptol, 12% other terpenes, 8-12% terpinyl acetate, 3–4% sesquiterpenes, 3% methyleugenol, other α- and β-pinenes, linalool, geraniol and contain lauric acid also. If eaten whole, bay leaves have a sharp, bitter taste; as with many spices and flavourings, the fragrance of the bay leaf is more noticeable than its taste. When dried, the fragrance is herbal floral, somewhat similar to oregano and thyme. Myrcene, a component of many essential oils used in perfumery, can be extracted from the bay leaf, they contain eugenol. In Indian and Pakistani cuisine, bay laurel leaves are sometimes used in place of Indian bay leaf, although they have a different flavour, they are most used in rice dishes like biryani and as an ingredient in garam masala.
Bay leaves are packaged as tejpatta, creating confusion between the two herbs. In the Philippines, dried bay laurel leaves are used in several Filipino dishes such as menudo, beef pares, adobo. Bay leaves were used for flavouring by the ancient Greeks, they are a fixture in the cooking of many European cuisines, as well as in the Americas. They are used in soups, meat, vegetable dishes, sauces; the leaves flavour many classic French dishes. The leaves are most used whole and removed before serving. Thai and Laotian cuisine employs bay leaf in a few Arab-influenced dishes, notably massaman curry. Bay leaves can be crushed or ground before cooking. Crushed bay leaves impart more fragrance than whole leaves, but are more difficult to remove, thus they are used in a muslin bag or tea infuser. Ground bay laurel may be substituted for whole leaves, does not need to be removed, but it is much stronger. Bay leaves are used in the making of jerk chicken in the Caribbean Islands; the bay leaves are placed on the cool side of the grill.
Pimento sticks are placed on top of the leaves and the chicken is placed on top and smoked. Bay leaves can be used scattered in a pantry to repel meal moths, cockroaches and silverfish. Bay leaves have been used in entomology as the active ingredient in killing jars; the crushed, young leaves are put into the jar under a layer of paper. The vapors they release kill insects but and keep the specimens relaxed and easy to mount; the leaves discourage the growth of molds. They are not effective for killing large beetles and similar specimens, but insects that have been killed in a cyanide killing jar can be transferred to a laurel jar to await mounting. There is confusion in the literature about whether Laurus nobilis is a source of cyanide to any practical extent, but there is no evidence that cyanide is relevant to its value in killing jars, it is rich in various essential oil components that could incapacitate insects in high concentrations. It is unclear to what extent the alleged effect of cyanide released by the crushed leaves has been mis-attributed to Laurus nobilis in confusion with the unrelated Prunus laurocerasus, the so-called cherry laurel, which does contain dangerous concentrations of cyanogenic glycocides together with the enzymes to generate the hydrogen cyanide from the glycocides if the leaf is physically damaged.
Some members of the laurel family, as well as the unrelated but visually similar mountain laurel and cherry laurel, have leaves that are poisonous to humans and livestock. While these plants are not sold anywhere for culinary use, their visual similarity to bay leaves has led to the oft-repeated belief that bay leaves should be removed from food after cooking because they are poisonous; this is not true. However, they remain unpleasantly stiff after thorough cooking, if swallowed whole or in large pieces, they may pos
A cuisine is a style of cooking characterized by distinctive ingredients and dishes, associated with a specific culture or geographic region. A cuisine is influenced by the ingredients that are available locally or through trade. Religious food laws, such as Hindu and Jewish dietary laws, can exercise a strong influence on cuisine. Regional food preparation traditions and ingredients combine to create dishes unique to a particular region; some factors that have an influence on a region's cuisine include the area's climate, the trade among different countries, religiousness or sumptuary laws and culinary culture exchange. For example, a Tropical diet may be based more on fruits and vegetables, while a polar diet might rely more on meat and fish; the area's climate, in large measure, determines the native foods. In addition, climate influences food preservation. For example, foods preserved for winter consumption by smoking and pickling have remained significant in world cuisines for their altered gustatory properties.
The trade among different countries largely affects a region's cuisine. Dating back to the ancient spice trade, seasonings such as cinnamon, cardamom and turmeric were important items of commerce in the earliest evolution of trade. Cinnamon and cassia found their way to the Middle East at least 4,000 years ago. Certain foods and food preparations are required or proscribed by the religiousness or sumptuary laws, such as Islamic dietary laws and Jewish dietary laws. Culinary culture exchange is an important factor for cuisine in many regions: Japan’s first substantial and direct exposure to the West came with the arrival of European missionaries in the second half of the 16th century. At that time, the combination of Spanish and Portuguese game frying techniques with a Chinese method for cooking vegetables in oil led to the development of tempura, the popular Japanese dish in which seafood and many different types of vegetables are coated with batter and deep fried. Cuisine dates back to the Antiquity.
As food began to require more planning, there was an emergence of meals that situated around culture. Cuisines evolve continually, new cuisines are created by innovation and cultural interaction. One recent example is fusion cuisine, which combines elements of various culinary traditions while not being categorized per any one cuisine style, refers to the innovations in many contemporary restaurant cuisines since the 1970s. Nouvelle cuisine is an approach to cooking and food presentation in French cuisine, popularized in the 1960s by the food critics Henri Gault, who invented the phrase, his colleagues André Gayot and Christian Millau in a new restaurant guide, the Gault-Millau, or Le Nouveau Guide. Molecular cuisine, is a modern style of cooking which takes advantage of many technical innovations from the scientific disciplines; the term was coined in 1999 by the French INRA chemist Hervé This because he wanted to distinguish it from the name Molecular cuisine, introduced by him and the late Oxford physicist Nicholas Kurti.
It is named as multi sensory cooking, modernist cuisine, culinary physics, experimental cuisine by some chefs. Besides, international trade brings new foodstuffs including ingredients to existing cuisines and leads to changes; the introduction of hot pepper to China from South America around the end of the 17th century influencing Sichuan cuisine, which combines the original taste with the taste of introduced hot pepper and creates a unique flavor of both spicy and pungent. A global cuisine is a cuisine, practiced around the world, can be categorized according to the common use of major foodstuffs, including grains and cooking fats. Regional cuisines can vary based on availability and usage of specific ingredients, local cooking traditions and practices, as well as overall cultural differences; such factors can be more-or-less uniform across wide swaths of territory, or vary intensely within individual regions. For example, in Central and South America, both fresh and dried, is a staple food, is used in many different ways.
In northern Europe, wheat and fats of animal origin predominate, while in southern Europe olive oil is ubiquitous and rice is more prevalent. In Italy, the cuisine of the north, featuring butter and rice, stands in contrast to that of the south, with its wheat pasta and olive oil. In some parts of China, rice is the staple, while in others this role is filled by noodles and bread. Throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean, common ingredients include lamb, olive oil, lemons and rice; the vegetarianism practiced in much of India has made pulses such as chickpeas and lentils as important as wheat or rice. From India to Indonesia, the extenive use of spices is characteristic. African cuisines use a combination of locally available fruits, cereal grains and vegetables, as well as milk and meat products. In some parts of the continent, the traditional diet features a preponderance of milk and whey products. In much of tropical Africa, cow's milk is rare and cannot be produced locally; the continent's diverse demographic makeup is reflected in the many different eating and drinking habits and preparation techniques of its manifold populations.
Asian cuisines are many and varied. Ingredients common to many cultures in the east and Southeast regions of the continent include rice, garlic, sesame seeds, dried onions and tofu. Stir frying, steaming