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Outline of cuisines

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to cuisines:

Cuisine – specific set of cooking traditions and practices, often associated with a specific culture. It is frequently named after the region or place where its underlining culture is present. A cuisine is primarily influenced by the ingredients that are available locally or through trade. Religious food laws can also exercise a strong influence on culinary practices.

What type of thing is a cuisine?

  • Style of food preparation – preparing food for eating, generally requires selection, measurement and combination of ingredients in an ordered procedure so as to achieve desired results. Food preparation includes but is not limited to cooking.
  • Food and drink – see 'Components of a cuisine', below

Types of cuisine

See: List of cuisines

Components of a cuisine

Food and drink

  • Drink (beverages) of particular types – drinks are liquids specifically prepared for human consumption. In addition to basic needs, beverages form part of the culture of human society. Although all beverages, including juice, soft drinks, and carbonated drinks, have some form of water in them, water itself is often not classified as a beverage, and the word beverage has been recurrently defined as not referring to water.See List of beverages.
  • Food of particular types, including the way it is presented – food is any substance[1] consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells to provide energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth. See List of foods.
    • Food presentation – art of modifying, processing, arranging, or decorating food to enhance its aesthetic appeal. The visual presentation of foods is often considered by chefs at many different stages of food preparation, from the manner of tying or sewing meats, to the type of cut used in chopping and slicing meats or vegetables, to the style of mold used in a poured dish. The food itself may be decorated as in elaborately iced cakes, topped with ornamental sometimes sculptural consumables, drizzled with sauces, sprinkled with seeds, powders, or other toppings, or it may be accompanied by edible or inedible garnishes.
  • Food preparation styles – see Food preparation techniques


Meal – cuisine is generally served in the form of a meal. A meal is an eating occasion that takes place at a certain time and includes specific, prepared food, or the food eaten on that occasion.[2][3] The names used for specific meals in English vary greatly, depending on the speaker's culture, the time of day, or the size of the meal. Meals are composed of one or more courses,[4] which in turn are composed of one or more dishes.

Types of meals, in the order served throughout the day

  • Breakfast – first meal taken after rising from a night's sleep, most often eaten in the early morning before undertaking the day's work.[5] Among English speakers, "breakfast" can be used to refer to this meal or to refer to a meal composed of traditional breakfast foods (such as eggs, porridge and sausage) served at any time of day.
  • Second breakfast – small meal eaten after breakfast, but before lunch. It is traditional in Bavaria, in Poland, and in Hungary. In Bavaria or Poland, special dishes are made exclusively to be eaten during second breakfast. In Vienna and most other parts of Austria the second breakfast is referred to as Jause.[6]
  • Brunch – combination of breakfast and lunch eaten usually during the late morning but it can extend to as late as 3 pm.[7][8] The word is a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch.[9]
  • Lunch – midday meal[10] of varying size depending on the culture. The origin of the words lunch and luncheon relate to a small meal originally eaten at any time of the day or night, but during the 20th century gradually focused toward a small or mid-sized meal eaten at midday. Lunch is the second meal of the day after breakfast.
  • Tea (also "Tea time") – refers to several different meals in countries formerly part of the British Empire, typically occurring at 5pm or in the early evening.
  • Dinner – most significant and important meal of the day, which can be the noon or the evening meal. However, the term "dinner" can have many different meanings depending on the culture; it may mean a meal of any size eaten at any time of day.[11] The meaning as the evening meal, generally the largest of the day, is becoming standard in most parts of the English-speaking world.
    • Full course dinner – dinner consisting of multiple dishes, or courses. In its simplest form, it can consist of four or five courses, such as hors d'oeuvre, soup, entrée, main course and dessert.

Components of a meal

  • Course – specific set of food items that are served together during a meal, all at the same time. A course may include multiple dishes or only one, and often includes items with some variety of flavors. For instance, a hamburger served with fries would be considered a single course, and most likely the entire meal. See also full course dinner.
    • Hors d'oeuvre – literally "apart from the [main] work") or the first course, is a food item served before the main courses of a meal, typically smaller than main dishes, and often meant to be eaten by hand (with minimal use of cutlery).[12] Hors d'oeuvres may be served at the dinner table as a part of the meal, or they may be served before seating.
    • Entrée – dish served before the main course, or between two principal courses of a meal.[13][14][15]
    • Main course – featured or primary dish in a meal consisting of several courses. It usually follows the entrée ("entry") course. In the United States and parts of Canada, it may be called "entrée".
    • Dessert – typically sweet course that concludes an evening meal. The course usually consists of sweet foods, but may include other items. In world cultures there are a wide variety of desserts including cakes, tarts, cookies, biscuits, gelatins, pastries, ice creams, pies, puddings, custards, and sweet soups. Fruit is also commonly found in dessert courses because of its naturally occurring sweetness.
  • Dishes – specific food preparation, a "distinct article or variety of food",[16] with cooking finished, and ready to eat, or be served. A "dish" may be served on tableware, or may be eaten out of hand; but breads are generally not called "dishes".
  • Beveragesee Drink, above.
  • Bread – staple food prepared from a dough of flour and water, usually by baking. Throughout recorded history it has been popular around the world and is one of the oldest artificial foods, having been of importance since the dawn of agriculture. See List of breads.
  • Garnishes – items or substances used as a decoration or embellishment accompanying a prepared food dish or drink. In many cases, it may give added or contrasting flavor. Some garnishes are selected mainly to augment the visual impact of the plate, while others are selected specifically for the flavor they may impart.[22]
  • Condiments – spice, sauce or other food preparation that is added to foods to impart a particular flavor, enhance its flavor,[23] or in some cultures, to complement the dish. See List of condiments.

Styles of service

Meal structure in cuisines

Meal structure varies by culture. Here are some examples:

File:Ramadan Dinner 2005-11-07.jpg
Ramadan dinner known as iftar in Cairo, Egypt.
A full English breakfast with fried egg, sausage, white and black pudding, bacon, mushrooms, baked beans, hash browns, toast, and half a tomato
File:Buffet Germany.jpg
Typical German breakfast buffet
  • Meal structure in Arab cuisine – includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner (including dessert). However, during Ramadan (9th month), fasting is paramount, and lasts from dawn to sunset. Each day during Ramadan, before dawn, many Muslims observe a pre-fast meal called the suhoor. After stopping a short time before dawn, Muslims begin the first prayer of the day, Fajr.[24][25] At sunset, families hasten for the fast-breaking meal known as iftar.
  • Meal structure in Bolivian cuisine – lunch (almuerzo) is the most important meal of the Bolivian day. Bolivians observe an afternoon tea time (té)similar to those in England. Dinner (la cena) is a lighter, much more informal affair than lunch.
  • Meal structure in Danish cuisine – usually consists of a cold breakfast with coffee or tea, a cold lunch at work and a hot dinner at home with the family. Some also have a snack in the middle of the afternoon or in the late evening.
  • Meal structure in Dutch cuisine – the Dutch eat at breakfast and lunch (which differ little from each other), tea time, and dinner (including dessert)
  • Meal structure in English cuisine – Breakfast is traditional throughout England. Lower-middle-class and working-class people, especially from the North of England, the English Midlands, and Scotland, traditionally call their midday meal dinner and their evening meal (served around 6 pm) tea, whereas the upper social classes call the midday meal lunch (or luncheon), and the evening meal (served after 7 pm) dinner (if formal) or supper (often eaten later in the evening),[26] with afternoon tea as a light meal typically eaten between 4 pm and 6 pm.
  • Meal structure in French cuisine – breakfast (le petit déjeuner), lunch (le déjeuner), dinner (le dîner) and dessert. Beverages that precede a meal are called apéritifs (literally: that opens the appetite), and can be served with amuse-bouches (literally: mouth amuser). Those that end it are called digestifs.
  • Meal structure in German cuisine – traditionally,the day starts with breakfast (frühstück), lunch (mittagessen) is the main meal, followed by a smaller dinner (abendessen or abendbrot) with dessert.
  • Meal structure in Iranian cuisine – breakfast is called sobhāneh. Lunch and dinner (naahaar va shaam) are not distinguished in Persian. You can usually find tea brewing throughout the day in most Iranian homes.
  • Meal structure in Italian cuisine – breakfast (colazione), lunch (pranzo), mid-afternoon snack (merenda), and dinner (cena)
  • Meal structure in Moroccan cuisine

History of cuisine

  • History of cooking – no known clear archeological evidence for the first cooking of food has survived. Most anthropologists believe that cooking fires began only about 250,000 years ago, when hearths started appearing.[27]
  • History of Asian cuisine
    • History of Chinese cuisine – marked by both variety and change. The archaeologist and scholar K.C. Chang says “Chinese people are especially preoccupied with food” and “food is at the center of, or at least it accompanies or symbolizes, many social interactions.” Over the course of history, he says, "continuity vastly outweighs change." He explains basic organizing principles which go back to earliest times and give a continuity to the food tradition, principally that a normal meal is made up of fan(饭/飯 (grains and other starches) and cai( (vegetable or meat dishes).[28]
    • History of South Asian cuisine – consists of the cuisines of modern-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal, is rich and diverse. As a land that has experienced extensive immigration and intermingling through many millennia, the Indian subcontinent has benefited from numerous food influences. The diverse climate in the region, ranging from deep tropical to alpine, has also helped considerably broaden the set of ingredients readily available to the many schools of cookery in India.** History of Japanese cuisine
  • History of Latin cuisine
    • History of Argentine cuisine – is rich and diverse. As a land that has experienced extensive immigration through many years, the country has benefited from numerous food influences. The diverse climate in the region, ranging from subtropical to subpolar, has also helped considerably broaden the set of ingredients readily available.
  • History of Middle Eastern cuisine
    • History of Iraqi cuisine – among the ancient texts discovered in Iraq is a Sumerian-Akkadian bilingual dictionary, recorded in cuneiform script on 24 stone tablets about 1900 BC. It lists terms in the two ancient Iraqi languages for over 800 different items of food and drink. Included are 20 different kinds of cheese, over 100 varieties of soup and 300 types of bread – each with different ingredients, filling, shape or size.

See also

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  1. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica definition
  2. ^ meal noun (FOOD) - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online
  3. ^ meal - Definition from Longman English Dictionary Online
  4. ^ Andrew F. Smith (1 May 2007). The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink. Oxford University Press. pp. 19–. ISBN 978-0-19-530796-2. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "breakfast - definition of breakfast by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia". Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Invalid language code. Database of Austrian German. Retrieved 2010-03-19.
  7. ^ Palmatier, Robert Alan (2000). Food: A Dictionary of Literal and Nonliteral Terms. Greenwood Press. p. 40. ISBN 978-0313314360. 
  8. ^ "brunch (meal)". Memidex/WordNet Dictionary. Retrieved 2011-07-25. 
  9. ^ "foodnetwork". Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  10. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary
  11. ^ Olver, Lynne. "Meal times". Lynne Olver. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  12. ^ "hors d'oeuvre - definition of hors d'oeuvre in English from the Oxford dictionary". Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Oxford Dictionaries
  14. ^ American Heritage Dictionary
  15. ^ According to Alexandre Dumas' Grand dictionnaire de cuisine (1871), an entrée is a "Préparation chaude qui accompagne ou suit le potage," a "hot preparation that accompanies or follows the soup".
  16. ^ OED
  17. ^ American Heritage Dictionary
  18. ^ According to Alexandre Dumas' Grand dictionnaire de cuisine (1871), an entrée is a "Préparation chaude qui accompagne ou suit le potage," a "hot preparation that accompanies or follows the soup".
  19. ^ "Side dish." (definition.) Accessed August 2011.
  20. ^ a b c d "Top Ten National Dishes". National Geographic Magazine (Travel section). Retrieved 2013-03-06. 
  21. ^ Zilkia Janer (2008). Latino food culture. Food cultures in America. ABC-CLIO. pp. 71–73. ISBN 9780313340277. 
  22. ^ "Garnish". Food Encyclopedia. Food Network. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  23. ^ Merriam-Webster: Definition of condiment
  24. ^ Muslim-Ibn-Habaj, Abul-Hussain (2009). "Sahih Muslim - Book 006 (The Book of Fasting), Hadith 2415". Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  25. ^ Ibn-Ismail-Bukhari, AbdAllah-Muhammad (2009). "Sahih Bukhari - Book 031 (The Book of Fasting), Hadith 144". Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  26. ^ "Tea with Grayson Perry. Or is it dinner, or supper?". The Guardian (London). August 2012. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  27. ^ "Pennisi: Did Cooked Tubers Spur the Evolution of Big Brains?". Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  28. ^ Chang Kwang-chih (ed.) Food in Chinese Culture: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives, pp. 15–20. Yale Univ. Press (New Haven), 1977.

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