The food that has been consumed locally for a very long time is better known as the traditional food. With the increasing health concern, the demand for traditional dishes has increased. They are often considered to be the nutritious food. They are the most important elements of a country’s culinary heritage and culture. Unfortunately, due to modern lifestyles these foods are threatened with extinction. So, sincere efforts are needed to preserve these foods.
Let’s look at the traditional foods of some countries.
• Austria: Traditional Austrian cuisine is greatly influenced by the food of neighboring countries. Maize and rye were very popular in traditional cooking. A traditional Austrian cuisine includes a variety of desserts and pastries such as Apfelstrudel (apple strudel), Mohnkuchen (poppy seed cake) and chocolate cake.
• Germany: Sauerkraut, Wiener Schnitzel (veal cutlet), frankfurters, bratwurst and dumplings are some of the traditional German dishes. Traditional food of Germany is influenced by the food of neighboring countries. Deserts such as apple cakes, apple pancakes and apple strudel are the vital ingredients of the traditional German cuisine.
• Greece: The traditional diet of Greece involves a high consumption of fruits, vegetables and cereals. Fish, milk, dairy products and small intake of meat and meat products are the integeral elements of the traditional food of Greece. The traditional cuisine of Greece is typically Mediterranean and involves a lot of Mediterranean dishes.
• Italy: Traditional Italian cuisine greatly varies across the various parts of Italy. Each location has a different dish to offer reflecting the past history of that location. Basically, traditional foods of Italy are meat-based and involve a variety of meats. Pasta and pizza are prepared in a variety of shapes and sizes. Italian desserts such as: cannoli (from Sicily), panettone di Milano, ricciarelli di Siena and amaretti (almond based biscuits) with a variety of tastes are served at the end of the dinner.
• Spain: Many people would be surprised at the varied cuisines that Spain can offer. Traditional dishes of Spain usually involve a lot of Mediterranean ingredients such as: olive oil, tomatoes and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Traditional cuisine of Spain includes dishes like tortillas, (omelettes, especially potato omelettes or Spanish omelette), pulpo a feira (Galician style octopus), pesca’to frito (small fried fish) or pimientos de padr’n (miniature roasted green peppers).
• Bulgaria: Bread, pickled vegetables, salads, soups, stews, casseroles, stuffed vegetables, kebabs, spicy sausages (past’rma) cheese dishes (kashkaval vitosha made from cow's milk or kashkaval Balkan from ewe's milk) are few of the many traditional dishes of Bulgaria. Rice or bulgar wheat are the staple foods of Bulgaria which are served with many fish and vegetable dishes. Popular desserts of Bulgaria are pancakes and baklava (walnuts and syrup pie).
EC regulation 2081/92 and EC regulation 2082/92 are the regulations which aim at preserving the food names of particular geographical location.