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Food Inspiration Magazine is the online magazine for foodservice professionals in search of inspiration and innovation. With the magazine we collect, enrich and spread inspiration. The free subscription magazine is published eight times per year and is an abundant source of inspiration for food and hospitality professionals. Our readers can be found in the U.S., Northern Europe, Latin America and Asia.

RESEARCH

CULINARY GEOGRAPHY

  5 min

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Central European and Slavic cuisines are rich due to the great variety of natural resources and climates ranging from Scandinavian to Mediterranean. Their populations share, among other things: spicy sauces, yoghurt, sour cream and fresh cheese, the use of butter and lard as cooking oil, black pepper and sweet pepper, vegetables such as beetroot and cabbage.

Hero ingredients:
onion, sweet pepper, pepper, root vegetables, pork, beef, game, preserved fish

Dutch cuisine was inspired by the country’s agricultural and stock farming past. The colonial past has infused a lot of dishes from Indonesia and Surinam. But dishes and/or ingredients from France, Italy, Greece, Germany and Spain have been incorporated as well. Today, there is a unique culinary movement, Dutch Cuisine, that is working to put Dutch cuisine and food culture on the national and international map.

Hero ingredients:
potatoes, apples, herring, cheese, cauliflower, bread

Iberian cuisine follows the seasons and geography. There are various cuisines: rural cuisine, mountain cuisine and in the coastal areas fish, crustaceans and shellfish play an important role. Culinary practice differs greatly per region, both in terms of history and expression. Such as Portuguese, Galician and Basque cuisine.

Hero ingredients:
jamon Iberico, pork, chorizo, sheep’s cheese, olive oil

Catalan and Provençal cuisines stretch across the regions around Valencia, the Baleares and Catalonia in Spain. And the French Provence. The area distinguishes itself with a great variety of ingredients due to the large number of micro-climates: tall mountains, stretches of coast, dry regions and cultivated areas.

Hero ingredients:
anchovies, tomato, garlic, rosemary, cod

Two historic culinary trends originated in France. The traditional, highly complex and varied cuisine with striking differences between the various French regions. And the cuisine of the Court of Versailles from the sixteenth century with banquets, snacks, light meals and buffets, as well as how the table is set. French chefs from those days and after introduced the world to gastronomy, such as Marie-Antoine Carême, Auguste Escoffier, Fernand Point and Paul Bocuse.

Hero ingredients:
cheeses, snails, creme fraiche, butter, haricots verts

Italian cuisine has great regional wealth, strongly influenced by the products and how to use them: from butter-based cuisine in Piemonte, to cold cuts from the Emilia-Romagna region, to spicy food in Sicily. Italian gastronomy has an elaborate repertoire of vegetables, reflected in the great variety of salads and their use in antipasti.

Hero ingredients:
garlic, tomato, cheese (Parmesan, mozzarella), pasta, basil, oregano, olive oil

Scandinavian cuisine is often described as simple. The same goes for the ingredients used. And yet their food culture offers dishes that have been perfected over the course of thousands of years. Scandinavian cuisine is not limited to fish alone. Dishes from Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark and Finland are also made of a variety of vegetables and meat.

Hero ingredients:
berries, fish, grains, mushrooms, wild birds, elk, deer, bear, bread, root vegetables

The culinary traditions in Anglo-Saxon cuisine were introduced by early colonists and immigrants. Brits in New-Zealand, who influenced the cuisine of the Maori people. Irish in the United States. French and English in Canada. Meat and fish dishes make up a large portion of the diet in the area, but they do exhibit great differences per continent. Sauces and spices are spicier in the American zone. In Europe the sauces are more acidic as they are made of mint, cream, berries or citrus.

Hero ingredients:
berries, fish, grains, mushrooms, wild birds, elk, deer, bear, bread, root vegetables

Mexican cuisine is a very influential cuisine. Ingredients that originated in Mexico are used all over the world, such as corn, beans, peppers, tomatoes, avocado and turkey. Dishes vary greatly per territory or even per family.

Marinades and tortillas are very important. Tex-Mex is the cuisine shared between the north of Mexico and the south of the USA. Tex-Mex cuisine distinguishes itself with its spicy character. Herbs such as cilantro, cumin and chilli take care of the spiciness. Guacamole provides a cooling balance.

Hero ingredients:
avocado, corn, cilantro, beans, tortillas, chocolate

Peru’s main crops are corn, sweet potato, quinoa and of course potato which was first cultivated by the Incas. Peruvian cuisine is rich in flavours: a lot of vegetables and fruit, spicy ceviche and the spicy flavour of Peruvian chilli peppers. Several regional cuisines exist. The Criolla cuisine by the coast influenced by the Spanish, Nikkei cuisine influenced by Japanese immigrants, Andes cuisine, Chifa combining Peruvian with Chinese influences and Afro-Peruvian with dishes from former slave plantations.

Hero ingredients:
lime, huacatay, chillies, corn, potatoes, quinoa

Hero ingredients:
beans, cassava, chorizo, beef, mate, plantain, cilantro

The culinary traditions of South America are the result of the interaction between indigenous people and colonists. Apart from the Criolla cuisine, Brazilian cuisine was influenced by the Portuguese and slaves from Africa who had to work the plantations. The holy corn plant is being cultivated for thousands of years and consumed as a vegetable. But corn is found everywhere as a flour. Arepas in Colombia, Panama and Venezuela, tortillas in Mexico, chuquisaqueñas in Bolivia and rissoles in Brazil. Other important ingredients are beans and rice, introduced by the Europeans, and chilli and sweet peppers dominate the flavour of South American cuisines.

Hero ingredients:
sumac, yoghurt, pomegranate, couscous, sweet pepper, mint

This region stretches from Pakistan to modern-day Greece, and from the Russian border to Iraq. Culinary traditions were inherited from many civilizations that have ruled the regions or can be traced back to rituals and rules from Islamic or orthodox faith. The glory of cuisines often lasted several centuries. The cuisine of this region is one of the oldest and richest in the world. Slightly aromatic, a lot of herbs, especially mind and cilantro. Pleasantly acidic due to the use of lemons, pomegranate and yoghurt.

Hero ingredients:
bulgur, feta, lemon, thyme, flatbread, zaatar, saffron, aubergine

Islam has a great influence on the food and cuisine of the Arab world: pork and alcohol are not allowed, animals must be slaughtered in a specific way and they fast during Ramadan. The Arabs produced an agricultural revolution by cultivating aubergine, spinach and rice as well as fruit and citrus.

The cuisine is based on vegetables and grains. Meat and spices play an important role as well, supported by fruits and dairy.

Hero ingredients:
oyster sauce, noodles, dried mushrooms, five spice powder, hoisin sauce, peanut oil

The large number of regions and territories in China makes for a wealth of culinary techniques, diversity of food, use of herbs and multitude of dishes. According to the yin and yang philosophy, it’s all about internal harmony. What and how does one eat, how it is cooked, selected and treated. An important element is how the ingredients are cut into the right shape and size.

Hero ingredients:
rice noodles, fish sauce, lemon grass, coconut milk, lime, chilli peppers

Cuisines in this region all share their rice culture. Which also links hundreds of festivals and rituals. Rice is usually the main dish, combined with salad, soup or a prepared dish. Nature is their pantry: fresh herbs, edible plants, fruit. It is a cuisine with the flavour of aromatic herbs, kaffir lime and curry leaf, coriander and basil.

Hero ingredients:
cumin, garam masala, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, tamarind, cardamom

One of the oldest in the world, Indian cuisine is a melting pot of history and merged cultures. It is very much connected to religion, a lot of rules about food, preparation and how to serve it. This influence can be found in any doctrine. From Hinduism where cows are considered holy, to Islam where pork and alcohol are forbidden.

Hero ingredients:
sesame seeds, soy sauce, short rice, rice wine, hot pepper paste, perilla leaves, Chinese cabbage (for kimchi)

The development of Korean cuisine began with agricultural, nomadic and cultural traditions. This Asian cuisine is large based on rice, vegetables and meat. Traditional meals were named after the number of side dishes served with steamed rice. The fermented cabbage dish kimchi is served with almost every meal.

Hero ingredients:
onions, crayfish, black eyed peas, cardamom, milk, red palm fruit oil, smoked vis

The wide range of cuisines in the African continent make use of a combination of locally available fruits, grains and vegetables, milk and meat. Food is usually not imported. In some parts of the continent the traditional diet contains an abundance of milk, curd, and whey products.

  5 min

Central European and Slavic cuisines are rich due to the great variety of natural resources and climates ranging from Scandinavian to Mediterranean. Their populations share, among other things: spicy sauces, yoghurt, sour cream and fresh cheese, the use of butter and lard as cooking oil, black pepper and sweet pepper, vegetables such as beetroot and cabbage.

Hero ingredients:
onion, sweet pepper, pepper, root vegetables, pork, beef, game, preserved fish

Dutch cuisine was inspired by the country’s agricultural and stock farming past. The colonial past has infused a lot of dishes from Indonesia and Surinam. But dishes and/or ingredients from France, Italy, Greece, Germany and Spain have been incorporated as well. Today, there is a unique culinary movement, Dutch Cuisine, that is working to put Dutch cuisine and food culture on the national and international map.

Hero ingredients:
potatoes, apples, herring, cheese, cauliflower, bread

Iberian cuisine follows the seasons and geography. There are various cuisines: rural cuisine, mountain cuisine and in the coastal areas fish, crustaceans and shellfish play an important role. Culinary practice differs greatly per region, both in terms of history and expression. Such as Portuguese, Galician and Basque cuisine.

Hero ingredients:
jamon Iberico, pork, chorizo, sheep’s cheese, olive oil

Hero ingredients:
anchovies, tomato, garlic, rosemary, cod

Catalan and Provençal cuisines stretch across the regions around Valencia, the Baleares and Catalonia in Spain. And the French Provence. The area distinguishes itself with a great variety of ingredients due to the large number of micro-climates: tall mountains, stretches of coast, dry regions and cultivated areas.

Two historic culinary trends originated in France. The traditional, highly complex and varied cuisine with striking differences between the various French regions. And the cuisine of the Court of Versailles from the sixteenth century with banquets, snacks, light meals and buffets, as well as how the table is set. French chefs from those days and after introduced the world to gastronomy, such as Marie-Antoine Carême, Auguste Escoffier, Fernand Point and Paul Bocuse.

Hero ingredients:
cheeses, snails, creme fraiche, butter, haricots verts

Italian cuisine has great regional wealth, strongly influenced by the products and how to use them: from butter-based cuisine in Piemonte, to cold cuts from the Emilia-Romagna region, to spicy food in Sicily. Italian gastronomy has an elaborate repertoire of vegetables, reflected in the great variety of salads and their use in antipasti.

Hero ingredients:
garlic, tomato, cheese (Parmesan, mozzarella), pasta, basil, oregano, olive oil

Scandinavian cuisine is often described as simple. The same goes for the ingredients used. And yet their food culture offers dishes that have been perfected over the course of thousands of years. Scandinavian cuisine is not limited to fish alone. Dishes from Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark and Finland are also made of a variety of vegetables and meat.

Hero ingredients:
berries, fish, grains, mushrooms, wild birds, elk, deer, bear, bread, root vegetables

The culinary traditions in Anglo-Saxon cuisine were introduced by early colonists and immigrants. Brits in New-Zealand, who influenced the cuisine of the Maori people. Irish in the United States. French and English in Canada. Meat and fish dishes make up a large portion of the diet in the area, but they do exhibit great differences per continent. Sauces and spices are spicier in the American zone. In Europe the sauces are more acidic as they are made of mint, cream, berries or citrus.

Hero ingredients:
berries, fish, grains, mushrooms, wild birds, elk, deer, bear, bread, root vegetables

Mexican cuisine is a very influential cuisine. Ingredients that originated in Mexico are used all over the world, such as corn, beans, peppers, tomatoes, avocado and turkey. Dishes vary greatly per territory or even per family.

Marinades and tortillas are very important. Tex-Mex is the cuisine shared between the north of Mexico and the south of the USA. Tex-Mex cuisine distinguishes itself with its spicy character. Herbs such as cilantro, cumin and chilli take care of the spiciness. Guacamole provides a cooling balance.

Hero ingredients:
avocado, corn, cilantro, beans, tortillas, chocolate

Peru’s main crops are corn, sweet potato, quinoa and of course potato which was first cultivated by the Incas. Peruvian cuisine is rich in flavours: a lot of vegetables and fruit, spicy ceviche and the spicy flavour of Peruvian chilli peppers. Several regional cuisines exist. The Criolla cuisine by the coast influenced by the Spanish, Nikkei cuisine influenced by Japanese immigrants, Andes cuisine, Chifa combining Peruvian with Chinese influences and Afro-Peruvian with dishes from former slave plantations.

Hero ingredients:
lime, huacatay, chillies, corn, potatoes, quinoa

The culinary traditions of South America are the result of the interaction between indigenous people and colonists. Apart from the Criolla cuisine, Brazilian cuisine was influenced by the Portuguese and slaves from Africa who had to work the plantations. The holy corn plant is being cultivated for thousands of years and consumed as a vegetable. But corn is found everywhere as a flour. Arepas in Colombia, Panama and Venezuela, tortillas in Mexico, chuquisaqueñas in Bolivia and rissoles in Brazil. Other important ingredients are beans and rice, introduced by the Europeans, and chilli and sweet peppers dominate the flavour of South American cuisines.

Hero ingredients:
beans, cassava, chorizo, beef, mate, plantain, cilantro

This region stretches from Pakistan to modern-day Greece, and from the Russian border to Iraq. Culinary traditions were inherited from many civilizations that have ruled the regions or can be traced back to rituals and rules from Islamic or orthodox faith. The glory of cuisines often lasted several centuries. The cuisine of this region is one of the oldest and richest in the world. Slightly aromatic, a lot of herbs, especially mind and cilantro. Pleasantly acidic due to the use of lemons, pomegranate and yoghurt.

Hero ingredients:
sumac, yoghurt, pomegranate, couscous, sweet pepper, mint

Islam has a great influence on the food and cuisine of the Arab world: pork and alcohol are not allowed, animals must be slaughtered in a specific way and they fast during Ramadan. The Arabs produced an agricultural revolution by cultivating aubergine, spinach and rice as well as fruit and citrus.

The cuisine is based on vegetables and grains. Meat and spices play an important role as well, supported by fruits and dairy.

Hero ingredients:
bulgur, feta, lemon, thyme, flatbread, zaatar, saffron, aubergine

The large number of regions and territories in China makes for a wealth of culinary techniques, diversity of food, use of herbs and multitude of dishes. According to the yin and yang philosophy, it’s all about internal harmony. What and how does one eat, how it is cooked, selected and treated. An important element is how the ingredients are cut into the right shape and size.

Hero ingredients:
oyster sauce, noodles, dried mushrooms, five spice powder, hoisin sauce, peanut oil

Cuisines in this region all share their rice culture. Which also links hundreds of festivals and rituals. Rice is usually the main dish, combined with salad, soup or a prepared dish. Nature is their pantry: fresh herbs, edible plants, fruit. It is a cuisine with the flavour of aromatic herbs, kaffir lime and curry leaf, coriander and basil.

Hero ingredients:
rice noodles, fish sauce, lemon grass, coconut milk, lime, chilli peppers

One of the oldest in the world, Indian cuisine is a melting pot of history and merged cultures. It is very much connected to religion, a lot of rules about food, preparation and how to serve it. This influence can be found in any doctrine. From Hinduism where cows are considered holy, to Islam where pork and alcohol are forbidden.

The development of Korean cuisine began with agricultural, nomadic and cultural traditions. This Asian cuisine is large based on rice, vegetables and meat. Traditional meals were named after the number of side dishes served with steamed rice. The fermented cabbage dish kimchi is served with almost every meal.

Hero ingredients:
sesame seeds, soy sauce, short rice, rice wine, hot pepper paste, perilla leaves, Chinese cabbage (for kimchi)

Hero ingredients:
cumin, garam masala, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, tamarind, cardamom

The wide range of cuisines in the African continent make use of a combination of locally available fruits, grains and vegetables, milk and meat. Food is usually not imported. In some parts of the continent the traditional diet contains an abundance of milk, curd, and whey products.

Hero ingredients:
onions, crayfish, black eyed peas, cardamom, milk, red palm fruit oil, smoked vis