Basic Foods That Exist In Every Culture
Here is a list of prepared foods that exist in every culture.
Some form of baked grain food product exists all over the world. In Europe, America, and northern Asia we have the traditional bread loaf. All countries have some form of leavened or unleavened, baked grain product, similar to a tortilla.
Harvesting and using grain is a more sophisticated process than simply picking fruits and vegetables, since grains must be prepared, usually by drying and then grinding them.
Simple bread-like products, such as tortillas and crackers, can be created using only grain and water, but more sophisticated products use yeast, animal fat, eggs, and and chemical ingredients such as baking powder to change the texture or flavor.
Mankind’s transition from hunter-gatherers to farmers was necessary in order to develop leavened bread, as it would be difficult to drag around the equipment, nor would it be feasible to spend the necessary time baking, if one is constantly on the move. Unleavened products, such as tortillas, can be made on-the-fly, and cooked quickly over a camp fire.
Once we have bread, it’s a simple matter to either slice it, or create a bread pocket, and stuff it with meats, cheeses, and vegetables.
Sandwiches are very portable, and can be eaten with one hand, making them extremely convenient.
The taco and gyro are more exotic examples of a sandwich.
A step up from the sandwich, a dumpling is a filling (such as meat, cheese, or vegetables) wrapped in dough, and then either boiled or fried.
Examples include wantans, egg rolls, flautas, empenadas, gyoza, and others.
4. Beer and Wine
Wine may have pre-dated leavened bread – no one is really sure. Once mankind figured out how to use yeast to make bread rise, we certainly, quickly found other uses for it.
Wines are made from fruit, while beer is made from grain. In each case, the raw materials are smashed up and mixed with water, in to a “mash”, that may or may not be cooked. Yeast eats the sugar, and slowly releases alcohol and carbon dioxide gas.
Every culture has at least one kind of wine, beer, sake, or mead.
5. Cheese and Tofu
The other thing we can do with bacteria is to ferment animal milk (or soybean) curd, to create cheese.
Every culture has some form of cheese, tofu, or both.