National dish

A Sunday roast—in this example, consisting of roast beef, mashed potatoes, vegetables and mini Yorkshire puddings—is a national dish of England.
Pilaf (O'sh), a national dish in the cuisines of Central Asia
Hainanese chicken rice, a national dish of Singapore
Tumpeng, a national dish of Indonesia
Nasi lemak is a national dish of Malaysia, served with anchovies, peanuts, boiled egg, lamb curry, cucumber, vegetables, and "sambal tumis" (hot spicy sauce).
Pierogi ruskie ("Ruthenian dumplings"), the most enduring of Polish culinary traditions, recall the Ruthenian culinary traditions of the former Polish eastern territories (Kresy),[1] a national dish of Poland.
Chelo kabab, a national dish of Iran
Cepelinai, Lithuanian potato dumplings
Biryani, a spicy national dish of Pakistan
Philippine adobo, a national dish of the Philippines
Sarmale with mămăligă, national dishes of Romania and Moldova
Amok trey, a national dish of Cambodia
Swedish crayfish called Kräftskiva
Dal bhat, Nepal
Polenta, Italy
Couscous, Morocco and Algeria
Ndolé from Cameroon
Ukrainian borscht

A national dish is a culinary dish that is strongly associated with a particular country.[2] A dish can be considered a national dish for a variety of reasons:

National dishes are part of a nation's identity and self-image.[3] During the age of European empire-building, nations would develop a national cuisine to distinguish themselves from their rivals.[4]

According to Zilkia Janer, a lecturer on Latin American culture at Hofstra University, it is impossible to choose a single national dish, even unofficially, for countries such as Mexico or India because of their diverse ethnic populations and cultures.[3] The cuisine of such countries simply cannot be represented by any single national dish. Furthermore, because national dishes are so interwoven into a nation's sense of identity, strong emotions and conflicts can arise when trying to choose a country's national dish.

Latin American dishes

In Latin America, dishes may be claimed or designated as a "plato nacional", although in many cases, recipes transcend national borders with only minor variations. Both Peru and Ecuador claim ceviche as their national dish. Stews of meat, plantains, and root vegetables are the platos nacionales of several countries in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean: Colombian ajiaco, as well as the sancocho of the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Panama, are examples of platos nacionales. Janer (2008) observes that this sharing of the same plato nacional by different countries calls into question the idea that every country has a unique national dish that is special to that country; she states that cuisine does not respect national and geopolitical borders.[3]

The identification of Latin American national dishes is stronger among expatriate communities in North America.[3] In Latin American countries, the plato nacional is usually part of the cuisine of rural and peasant communities, and not necessarily part of the everyday cuisine of city dwellers. In expatriate communities, the dish is strongly reclaimed in order to retain the sense of national identity and ties to one's homeland, and is proudly served in homes and restaurants. By this show of national identity, the community can resist social pressures that push for homogenization of many ethnically and culturally diverse communities into a single all-encompassing group identity, such as Latino or Hispanic American.[3]

By country

This is not a definitive list of national dishes, but rather a list of some foods that have been suggested to be national dishes.


National liquors

A national liquor is an alcoholic drink considered a standard and respected adult beverage in a given country. While the status of such drinks may be informal, there is usually a general consensus in a given country that a specific drink is the national beverage or "most popular liquor".

See also


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