We often hear the words 'cuisine' and 'food' used interchangeably, but are they really the same? Cuisine is a term used to describe the style of cooking of a particular region or culture. We usually use this word with country adjectives (Italian cuisine, Brazilian cuisine, Moroccan cuisine) or ethnic or regional (Cajun cuisine, Jewish cuisine, South Indian cuisine). In Italy, for example, the cuisine of the north, with butter and rice, contrasts with that of the south, with wheat pasta and olive oil. A recent example of a new type of cuisine is fusion cuisine, which combines elements from various culinary traditions without being classified according to any cooking style.
This type of cuisine has been popular in many contemporary restaurants since the 1970s. A global kitchen is a type of cuisine that is practiced all over the world and can be classified according to the common use of the main food products, including cereals, agricultural products and cooking fats. Similarly, national dishes have variations, such as gyros in Greek cuisine and hamburgers in American cuisine. Some factors that influence the cuisine of a region are the climate of the area, trade between different countries, religious or sumptuary laws, and the exchange of culinary culture.
Regional ingredients are developed and commonly contribute to regional or national cuisine, such as Japanese rice in Japanese cuisine or New Mexico chili in New Mexico cuisine. New Zealand cuisine also consists of European-inspired dishes, such as Pavlova, and native Maori cuisine. For example, foods preserved for winter consumption by smoking, curing and pickling have continued to be important in world cuisine because of their altered taste properties. African cuisine uses a combination of locally available fruits, cereals and vegetables, as well as milk and meat products.
Native American cuisine is prepared by indigenous populations across the continent, and their influences can be seen in multi-ethnic Latin American cuisine. European cuisine (alternatively known as Western cuisine) includes the cuisines of Europe and other Western countries. Oceanic cuisines include Australian cuisine, New Zealand cuisine and the cuisines of many other islands or island groups throughout Oceania. Due to the enormous size of Asia and enormous geographical and demographic diversity, Asian cuisines are many and varied; they include East Asian cuisine, South Asian cuisine, Southeast Asian cuisine, Central Asian cuisine and Western Asian cuisine.
European cuisine also includes non-indigenous cuisines from North America, Australasia, Oceania and Latin America.