National dish

A national dish is a culinary dish that is strongly associated with a particular country.[1] A dish can be considered a national dish for a variety of reasons:

Frans Snyders, The Pantry

National dishes are part of a nation's identity and self-image.[2] During the age of European empire-building, nations would develop a national cuisine to distinguish themselves from their rivals.[3]

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, China or India because of their diverse ethnic populations and cultures.[2] 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.


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