American Food Vs. Somali Food: How Do These Two Cuisines Differ From Each Other?

Somali food is definitely not a famous cuisine compared to American food which is a melting pot of a variety of cultures.

If you cannot travel to Somalia but still want to learn more about its cuisine, we are here to help.

In this article, we are going to discuss American food and Somali food so that you can see how dishes from this African country differ from the standard American diet.

What is special about American food?

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America has a lot of different types of cuisine to offer, from Mexican, Italian, French, Chinese or Korean, and so much more.

There are also endless traditional dishes throughout the country that can satisfy different taste buds.

Typically, the American diet includes omelet or scrambled eggs with toast, bacon, cereal, and milk for breakfast, a burger for a quick but flavorful lunch, and a hearty dinner including salads, roast meat, and mashed potatoes to share with family members.

American food is often rich in dairy products like butter, cream, cheese, and milk, in both savory and sweet recipes.

They mainly have their meat, usually, beef, pork, chicken, or turkey, roasted, baked, grilled, or deep-fried depending on the cut and personal preference, and served with some sauce or gravy on the side.

Vegetables are often baked with meat, or some popular kinds like lettuce, tomatoes, and bell peppers are typically eaten raw in their salad recipe.

Americans also enjoy fast food and canned products because these options help them save a lot of time instead of cooking for hours in the kitchen.

However, this is also the reason why the United States has one of the most obese and type 2 diabetes populations in the world.

What is special about Somali food?

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Somali food is full of flavor and tradition.

It has been influenced by African culture and the Middle East, as well as some countries in Europe, which results in a unique cuisine with many delicacies.

Somali food heavily relies on meat, normally red meat like beef, pork, goat, lamb, and white meat like chicken, but rarely eat seafood.

Meat is often roasted, ground, or fried in ghee and served with various carb options, including rice, couscous, pudding, flatbread, and pasta.

Somali food can range from mild to spicy, and it is optional depending on personal preference, but normally, the dishes are relatively spicy.

Common spices like cinnamon, chilies, coriander, ginger, cumin, cloves, or fenugreek are served on the side so that eaters can choose to add them to their dishes in desired quantities.

They also have many curry dishes that feature different kinds of vegetables like spinach, beans, and green peppers.

Fruits like bananas, lemon, grapes, or dates can be eaten with savory dishes.

What are the differences between American food vs Somali food?

Now, let’s take a closer look at how American food and Somali food differ from each other:

Somali food is generally spicier than American food

Somali food, in general, is spicier than American food.

Not all Somali food has to be spicy, but they tend to use more pungent spices like chilies, cumin, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, and coriander in their cooking, and also served on the side so people can add more if they want to increase the heat level.

American food, on the other hand, is sweeter, more savory, and greasy.

Somali food is served with rice, flatbread, curries, or pasta whereas American food is served with bread and mashed potatoes

Another difference between Somali food and American food is that American food is traditionally served with bread or mashed potatoes, while Somali food has more carb options.

They eat rice, flatbread, curries, or pasta equally.

Somali food often has a saucy and curry-like texture, while American food has different textures depending on the cooking method

The textures of Somali food and American food are also different from each other.

You can notice that Somali food is often finely chopped, mashed, and stewed, so their dishes look saucier than American food, which usually makes use of the whole cut.

The main dairy product in Somalia is ghee, while Americans use butter, cream, cheese, and milk in their cooking

One more thing that sets the two cuisines apart from each other is their dairy products.

These ingredients are widely used in both cuisines, but Somali cooking uses ghee, while Americans use butter, cream, milk, and cheese in almost every dish from savory to sweet.

American food includes a lot more canned products, while Somali food is mainly made from fresh ingredients

Canned products are a staple in American cooking.

You can find canned stock, broth, tuna, meat, beans, or any ingredient in every grocery store, supermarket, and kitchen throughout the world.

They prefer these items because of their convenience over flavor.

Meanwhile, Somali food is typically made from fresh ingredients that are locally sourced.

American food is more popular than Somali food

Typically, American food is much more popular in the world compared to Somali food.

You can ask anyone and they probably know about American food rather than have heard about food from the Eastern African country.

One of the reasons for this might be the United States is one of the most developed countries in the world and there are millions of immigrants from all over the world in this country.

What are the similarities between American food vs Somali food?

American cuisine and Somali cuisine, despite many aforementioned differences, also have some things in common, as listed below:

Somali cuisine and American cuisine are diverse and made from different ingredients

We have to admit that both offer countless delicious dishes.

Their ingredients can be meat, seafood, vegetables, grains, fruits, spices, and herbs that are cooked in numerous ways and create plenty of dishes to satisfy any taste buds.

Their cuisines heavily rely on meat

Another thing in common between Somali food and American food is that their diets are heavier on meat rather than seafood.

Although seafood is sometimes featured in Somali and American cooking too, especially in coastal regions, in general, it is not widely eaten on a daily basis.

Which one is better?

Melba's American Comfort: 100 Recipes from My Heart to Your KitchenMy Favorite Somalian Recipes: Blank cookbooks to write in
Melba's American Comfort: 100 Recipes from My Heart to Your KitchenMy Favorite Somalian Recipes: Blank cookbooks to write in
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In comparison, American food is more diverse with more influences from many countries in the world.

American food and Somali food are different in the spices they use to marinate and season their dishes, the ingredients, and cooking methods too.

Hopefully, our comparison of American food and Somali food has helped you determine your favorite cuisine between these two options.

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