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Which country has the best cuisine, in your opinion?

  • 23-07-2021 5:02pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,790 ✭✭✭

    With the Olympics upon us, it might be fun to get a thread going on which country has the best cuisine, in your opinion?

    Also: feel free to include your favorite dish from said country


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,068 ✭✭✭Mervyn Skidmore

    Thailand. Incredible variety and flavours. Food is an obsession there on a level I haven't seen in any other country I've been to.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,815 ✭✭✭✭odyssey06

    France. For quality and variety... each region is a food world of its own... it has comfort food and summer food and wonderful breads and cheeses. And perfect wines as super condiments.

    Fish... seafood... duck... chicken... beef... lamb. They have the ingredients and the recipes to do them justice.

    "To follow knowledge like a sinking star..." (Tennyson's Ulysses)

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,778 ✭✭✭sporina

    Thai is my fav I think - but I really love food like seafood/Chicken, with lemon, garlic, parsley, etc - dunno what you could class that as origin wise? French, Irish, Italian? Also lovvveeee Greek/Middle Eastern food - hummus, flatbread, sumac, chargrilled meats, koftas etc..

  • Registered Users Posts: 777 ✭✭✭machaseh

    Any but Ireland. Irelands cuisine is shayte. Not its ingredients, mind you, which are good. The beef and lamb and dairy are good. But what they do with it is pretty shayte.

    Portugal has good cuisine. North of Brazil (Para state) has good cuisine. Indonesia also has great cuisine. And in general I like anything from the middle east in terms of cuisine.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,277 ✭✭✭✭ednwireland

    i love polish food (ok i grew up eating it) but pierogi, kopytki, stuffed cabbage leaves, rye bread.

    also malaysia with a mix of chinese indian and malay is just fantastic

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,301 ✭✭✭Snickers Man

    I'm going to be controversial and say Britain.

    Roast beef carvery dinner in a pub on a Sunday.

    Cream tea after an autumn ramble in the countryside (Fresh scones, clotted cream, home or farm-made jam, pot of tea--beat that!)

    Sticky toffee puddings and spotted dick are among the finest desserts you can get anywhere

    And of course there is the marvelous mashup of cuisines that is Indian-British cuisine. It's not traditionally British, but it's not authentically Indian as well. But it's MAGNIFICENT!!!!

    Of course at the fag-end of the English culinary spectrum there is the truly hideous "greasy spoon" culture of cheap sausages, battery-hen fried eggs, eel pie, cheap tinned beans and chips that have been fried multiple times to keep them warm, which is largely what has contributed to England's traditional reputation as the worst place on earth to go out to eat.

    But at its best, it's terrific!

  • Registered Users Posts: 187 ✭✭sergioaguero

    Thailand and imo its not even close

  • Posts: 17,381 [Deleted User]

    Vietnam. The variety and flavours are amazing. Favourite dish is Bun rieu cua.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    French overall from provincial peasant dishes to high-end restaurant fare and variety from starters to desserts

    And as said excellent wine and cheese also.

    I'd pick as a sample menu

    soupe a l'oignon (properly done)

    pan-seared fois gras

    steak au poivre

    creme brulee (properly done)

    all washed down with a nice Gigondas

  • Registered Users Posts: 187 ✭✭sergioaguero

    pad kra pao or khao man gai, sticky rice and mango dessert, quality

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  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,453 Mod ✭✭✭✭Shenshen

    It would have to be India for me.

    The variety of food is unmatched by any other cuisine I've come across, the ingredients and spices are amazing, incredibly varied and so versatile. Fresh or dried staples, I'll never stop being amazed at what an Indian chef can do with just the humblest of items.

    Unfortunately, this has been limited down to maybe 10 default dishes served in every Indian restaurant over here. It's a very poor reflection even of simple, home-cooked Indian food, never mind restaurant-style.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 3,031 Mod ✭✭✭✭Black Sheep

    Seems to me that national cuisine is already a somewhat contradictory thing as to various degrees what people consider national dishes are sometimes perfect examples of cultural cross pollination.

    Vietnamese food as Irish people know it wouldn't have been possible without the French.

    Contemporary British cooking wouldn't have been possible without their ongoing historical relationship with Indian and other colonies, for all the heartache concerned.

    I think you could also answer the question by saying which country has the best food scene, full stop, within its borders. That might allow you to answer differently than trying to identify which national cuisine is the best.

    If we strictly go for a best national cuisine I think the example already given of France is hard to argue against. They have peasant cooking as good as any other in the world (Italy springs to mind) but not every country has such a prevalence of truly world-class high-end fine dining. You only have to open the Michelin guide and France is like a beacon of three star entries. There is only one other country which has elevated food to an art form to a degree comparable to the French...

    My other answer is Japan, the country concerned...

    I think Japan answers this question no matter how it is sliced.... Because of the Japanese concept of kaizen, the pursuit of perfection, when a Japanese chef attempts the cuisine of other cultures they will invariably try to do it to the best possible standard they can. So in Japan you will find Italian, French and other world cuisines cooked to authentic and incredible standards. Outside of France, you will find the best French cooking in ... Japan. Outside of Italy, the best Italian cooking in... Japan. And so on.

    I would go into a little pasta restaurant in Shibuya and find that the chef spend 3 months of the year touring Italy and learning in Italian kitchens. Or you'd go into a burger joint and find that they had basically copied the cutting edge smash burger methods from NYC and imported thousands of dollars worth of the specific utensils used.

    Even if you stick with national cuisine, Japan makes a strong argument in its favour. They have the equivalent of peasant cooking, in ramen, teppanyaki, yakkitori, soba and okonmiyaki dishes sold in izakaya and little shops... But they also have multi course season kaiseki cooking that is inherently fine dining. Even with sushi you will find accessible, humble regional styles to it and then you can go into a two or three star Michelin sushi restaurant and be served fish from the same market, Tsukiji, but prepared in such a way that the price increases by a multiple of 10.

    Post edited by Black Sheep on

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,309 ✭✭✭Gloomtastic!

    I've been thinking about this question since it was posted and I still can't decide!

    I love the spicy flavours of far eastern cuisine, the simplicity of Mediterranean food, the comfort of Irish/British food and the indulgence of American food - bbq and breakfast.

    Then again, I'm also a huge fan of olde world food, made before refrigeration - sourdough, kimchi and home-cured meat.

    I just love good food! 🤤

  • Registered Users Posts: 13 figleaf25

    Thailand! Pad thai is the world's greatest invention

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 11,065 Mod ✭✭✭✭igCorcaigh

    I'm a fan of Eastern Med and Middle Eastern food, at least my understanding of it. Particularly flatbreads, grilled meat/kebab/pulses/vegetables, lots of fresh salads, herbs, etc. It's what I tend to make quickly for myself, especially during the summer. Except for the flatbreads, which I just cannot master, so I buy them. Meat kebabs are usually bought too, but I must try making my own.

    I love East/Southeast Asian food too, but some of it does seem quite alien to me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,670 ✭✭✭4Ad

    As a vegetarian it has to be India..I couldnt stop eating, the dhosa's were unreal.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13 figleaf25

    I'm a sucker for Mexican food

    Tacos de lengua covered in hot sauce, cilantro, radish, and lime juice in my kryptonite.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,677 ✭✭✭Happydays2020

    Great thread. Hard to actually say what countries food is the best as usually good and travel go together.

    • everything I ate in Hoi An was delicious.
    • grilled prawns from the Sydney fish market.
    • fresh grilled fish on a beach in Greece with feet in the sand.
    • that first pizza I ever had in Naples with tables on the road and ladies or the night opposite. Dodgy as hell but delicious.
    • Fried calamari in a nice tavern in Rhodes.
    • the best amatriciana in a small restaurant in Osaka on a wet night in April.
    • tapas in Donostia - favourite was a small piece of steak topped with fresh foie gras. Close second is a plate of bellota ham and fried Padron peppers.
    • oysters in a Lyon market with wine.
    • the tastiest mussels in the Bordeaux indoor market. Seriously good value for money.
    • Fantastic Indian food in a small place on the outskirts of Johannesburg.
    • celebrating an anniversary in Chapter One and deciding to say feck it on cost knowing sacrifices will need to be made.