A national dish is a culinary dish that is strongly associated with a particular country. A dish can be considered a national dish for a variety of reasons:
National dishes are part of a nation's identity and self-image. During the age of European empire-building, nations would develop a national cuisine to distinguish themselves from their rivals.
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, cultures, and cuisines. 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.
In Latin America, dishes may be claimed or designated as a "plato nacional", although in many cases, recipes transcend national borders with only minor variations. Preparations of ceviche are endemic in Peru and Ecuador, while a thin cut of beef known as matambre is considered close to being a national dish in Paraguay. Stews of meat, plantains, and root vegetables are the platos nacionales of several countries in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean: Colombian ajiaco, as well as the sancocho of the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Panama, are examples of platos nacionales. Janer (2008) observes that this sharing of the same plato nacional by different countries calls into question the idea that every country has a unique national dish that is special to that country; she states that cuisine does not respect national and geopolitical borders.
The identification of Latin American national dishes is stronger among expatriate communities in North America. In Latin American countries, the plato nacional is usually part of the cuisine of rural and peasant communities, and not necessarily part of the everyday cuisine of city dwellers. In expatriate communities, the dish is strongly reclaimed in order to retain the sense of national identity and ties to one's homeland, and is proudly served in homes and restaurants. By this show of national identity, the community can resist social pressures that push for homogenization of many ethnically and culturally diverse communities into a single all-encompassing group identity, such as Latino or Hispanic American.
This is not a definitive list of national dishes, but rather a list of some foods that have been suggested to be national dishes.
Main article: List of national drinks
A national drink is a distinct beverage that is strongly associated with a particular country, and can be part of their national identity and self-image. National drinks fall into two categories, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. An alcoholic national drink is sometimes a national liquor drank straight/neat (as in the case of whiskey in Ireland), but is most often a mixed drink (e.g., caipirinhas in Brazil and pisco sours in Peru and Chile), or beer or wine. Examples of non-alcoholic national drinks include tea for China, Coca-Cola for the US, lassis for India, mate for Uruguay, and kompot for East European nations.
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The "Sklandrausis" can be considered a Latvian national dish
‘Jāņu siers’ has become a national treasure.
Beetroot soup: it may not sound that enticing, and it certainly doesn't look it. But imagine it's freezing cold outside, that the snow has been piling up for months. Imagine that a pot of soup has been sitting on the stove all day, improving and intensifying. Imagine that the best root vegetables have gone in there, plus herbs, and maybe hunks of sausage. Imagine that a steaming bowl is placed in front of you, topped with a dollop of sour cream. Now you're getting why this is Russia's favourite dish.
Large, thin meat patties made from lamb and beef, known as pljeskavica, are considered a national dish of Serbia but are also a favorite with Bosnians and Croatians
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For the Region of Valencia, paella is much more than a recipe, it is a ritual and an icon of our culture.[permanent dead link]
En el caso de la paella valenciana, se trata de una tradición culinaria y social que constituye un icono de hospitalidad y un símbolo de unión e identidad valencianas ...
Popular foods in Puerto Rico include the national dish, mofongo (below), made with fried and mashed plantains that are mixed with shrimp, bacon, olive oil and garlic.
From urban Old San Juan to the beaches of Isla Verde, past the cities of Bayamón and Ponce, through lush rainforest and striking coastlines, mofongo proudly stands as Puerto Rico's unofficial national dish.