European cuisine

European cuisine, or alternatively Western cuisine, is a generalised term collectively referring to the cuisines of Europe[1] and other Western countries,[2] including (depending on the definition) that of Russia,[2] as well as non-indigenous cuisines of Australasia, the Americas, Southern Africa, and Oceania, which derive substantial influence from European settlers in those regions. The term is used by East Asians to contrast with Asian styles of cooking.[3] (This is analogous to Westerners' referring collectively to the cuisines of East Asian countries as Asian cuisine.) When used by Westerners, the term may sometimes refer more specifically to cuisine in Europe; in this context, a synonym is Continental cuisine, especially in British English.

Rump steak
Grilled steak

The cuisines of Western countries are diverse by themselves, although there are common characteristics that distinguish Western cooking from cuisines of Asian countries[4] and others. Compared with traditional cooking of Asian countries, for example, meat is more prominent and substantial in serving-size.[5] Steak and cutlet in particular are common dishes across the West. Western cuisines also put substantial emphasis on grape wine and on sauces as condiments, seasonings, or accompaniments (in part due to the difficulty of seasonings penetrating the often larger pieces of meat used in Western cooking). Many dairy products are utilised in the cooking process, except in nouvelle cuisine.[6] Cheeses are produced in hundreds of different varieties, and fermented milk products are also available in a wide selection. Wheat-flour bread has long been the most common source of starch in this cuisine, along with pasta, dumplings and pastries, although the potato has become a major starch plant in the diet of Europeans and their diaspora since the European colonisation of the Americas, particularly in Northern Europe. Maize is much less common in most European diets than it is in the Americas; however corn meal (polenta or mămăligă), is a major part of the cuisine of Italy and the Balkans. Although flatbreads (especially with toppings such as pizza or tarte flambée), and rice are eaten in Europe, they do not constitute an ever-present staple. Salads (cold dishes with uncooked or cooked vegetables with sauce) are an integral part of European cuisine.

Formal European dinners are served in distinct courses. European presentation evolved from service à la française, or bringing multiple dishes to the table at once, into service à la russe, where dishes are presented sequentially. Usually, cold, hot and savoury, and sweet dishes are served strictly separately in this order, as hors d'oeuvre (appetizer) or soup, as entrée and main course, and as dessert. Dishes that are both sweet and savoury were common earlier in ancient Roman cuisine, but are today uncommon, with sweet dishes being served only as dessert. A service where the guests are free to take food by themselves is termed a buffet, and is usually restricted to parties or holidays. Nevertheless, guests are expected to follow the same pattern.

Historically, European cuisine has been developed in the European royal and noble courts. European nobility was usually arms-bearing and lived in separate manors in the countryside. The knife was the primary eating implement (cutlery), and eating steaks and other foods that require cutting followed. In contrast in the Sinosphere, the ruling class were the court officials, who had their food cut ready to eat in the kitchen, to be eaten with chopsticks. The knife was supplanted by the spoon for soups, while the fork was introduced later in the early modern period, ca. 16th century. Today, most dishes are intended to be eaten with cutlery and only a few finger foods can be eaten with the hands in polite company.

Baguette mie
French baguette
Italian pasta

Central European cuisines

All of these countries have their specialities.[7][8] Austria is famous for their Wiener Schnitzel - a breaded veal cutlet served with a slice of lemon, the Czech Republic for their world renowned beers. Germany for their world-famous wursts, Hungary for their goulash. Slovakia is famous for their gnocchi-like Halusky pasta. Slovenia for their German and Italian influenced cuisine, Poland for their world-famous Pierogis which are a cross between a Ravioli and an Empanada. Liechtenstein and German speaking Switzerland are famous for their Rösti and French speaking Switzerland for their Raclettes.


Austrian Wiener Schnitzel


Czech Vepřo-knedlo-zelo

Sauerbraten with potato dumplings

German Sauerbraten with potato dumplings

Goulash dish

Hungarian gulyás

Pierogi frying

Polish pierogi


Slovakian Skalický trdelník

Ajdovi zganci

Slovenian žganci

Swiss fondue

Swiss fondue

Eastern European cuisines

Barbecue Armenian

Armenian khorovats (shashlik)

Плов (азербайджанский вариант)

Azerbaijani plov

Th babka

Belarusian potato babka

Banitsa borzo

Bulgarian Banitza

Bulgarian yogurt

Bulgarian Yogurt (Kiselo mlyako)


Crimean Tatar chiburekki


Georgian chanakhi

Sarmalute mamaliguta

Moldovan and Romanian sărmăluţe cu mămăligă


Russian pirozhki

Olivier Russian salad made to the Hermitage restaurant recipe

Russian Olivier salad


Tatar azu (veal stew)

Borscht served

Ukrainian borscht

Chicken Kiev - Ukrainian East Village restaurant

Ukrainian Chicken Kiev

Northern European cuisines

Stegt flæsk med persillesovs

Danish Stegt flæsk med persillesovs

Sunday roast - roast beef 1

English Sunday roast

Kamadessert i Palmse

Estonian kama dessert

Cepelinai Sauce

Lithuanian cepelinai

Får i kål

Norwegian fårikål

Haggis neeps and tatties

Scottish haggis, neeps, and tatties

Southern European cuisines


Bosnian ćevapi

Coniglio e polenta 01

Italian polenta with rabbit

Malta Octopus

Maltese octopus stew

Eq it-na pizza-margherita sep2005 sml

Neapolitan pizza

Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato

Portuguese amêijoas à bulhão pato

Cozido a portuguesa 1

Portuguese cozido


Serbian Đuveč


Spanish tapas

Baklava - Turkish special, 80-ply.JPEG

Turkish baklava

Paella de marisco 01

Valencian paella

Western European cuisines

Moules Frites

Belgian moules frites

Fondue savoyarde

French fondue savoyarde


French magret

Quiche Lorraine

French quiche lorraine

Quetschentaart 02

Luxembourgian Quetschentaart

See also


  1. ^ Culinary Cultures of Europe: Identity, Diversity and Dialogue. Council of Europe.
  2. ^ a b "European Cuisine." Accessed July 2011.
  3. ^ Leung Man-tao (12 February 2007), "Eating and Cultural Stereotypes", Eat and Travel Weekly, no. 312, p. 76. Hong Kong|publisher=Next Media Limited
  4. ^ Kwan Shuk-yan (1988). Selected Occidental Cookeries and Delicacies, p. 23. Hong Kong: Food Paradise Pub. Co.
  5. ^ Lin Ch'ing (1977). First Steps to European Cooking, p. 5. Hong Kong: Wan Li Pub. Co.
  6. ^ Kwan Shuk-yan, pg 26
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ " - rr".

Further reading

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