Although in earliest times, wheat was mainly eaten, rice has been around for about 5,000 years. As a matter of fact, some estimates have it that 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.
One of The reasons why rice has been so prominently eaten around the world is apparently its versatility—it can grow in almost any conditions, thus making it capable of feeding many generations of people regardless of their climatic zone.
Whether it’s the famous risotto in Italy, nasi goreng in Indonesia, tahdig in Iran, or the jollof in Nigeria, each culture has found its own way to bring out the flavor and qualities that rice has to offer.
There’s no way you’d put up a list of popular foods in the world without including bread—the most basic of foods that also has 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 re-imagined 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.
Pasta is not only one of the most consumed foods in the world, it is 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.
Vegetables have been an integral part of the human diet for thousands of years, so it’s not surprising that salads are some of the most popular foods in the world.
A salad is healthy, easy to make, very versatile, and allows getting the most out of the available fresh produce. The only limitation on this dish comes from the specific ingredients that are available and the imagination of the chef.
The first recorded instances of salad dishes can be traced back to Roman times. This is where they get their name as well. “Salad” is derived from the word “salt” because, back then, salads featured a salt-based dressing.
But salad-type dishes have been popular throughout history in all of the continents, even if they may look quite different in other parts of the world.
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 entered into America in the late 19th century took 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.