Chances are you have some staple foods in your diet. They may be similar to what people eat in your community because of its availability. It may be different because you choose to live a specific lifestyle. Staple foods vary around the world. While there is a lot of overlapping of foods and definitely a few staples that are universal, there are some interesting staples in other countries you probably haven’t heard of that are worth trying.
This is a cereal-like grain consumed mainly in Asian and African regions. It’s commonly used for feeding their livestock as well. It’s gluten-free and a good source of protein and fiber. It comes with some great health benefits, including improved digestive health and lowering cholesterol.
It’s not so different from cooking rice either and can be substituted for other grains in your already existing recipes.
You may be thinking this is not a new food, but potatoes are only one variety of tuber that shows up as a staple food. And with companies like Klondike Brands, you can eat more than the regular Russet potatoes, including purple potatoes which are more common in France.
You’ll recognize yams (found in Indochina and Africa) and sweet potatoes (also found in South America), but you’ll also find cassava in this group, which originates in South America with the potato. Cassava can be converted into flour, is gluten and nut-free, and comes with a bit of an edgy reputation. The root contains some naturally occurring cyanide compounds, but don’t worry, commercially sold cassava isn’t harmful.
Rice is another staple you should be familiar with. It is used in the Chinese-Japanese, and Indonesian regions. White rice is the most commonly consumed, but you can also find the Basmati variety in India and Pakistan or jasmine rice in Thailand.
Though rice isn’t native to the Americas, it has become a staple crop for Latin America and the Caribbean and is eaten almost always alongside brown or black beans.
Maize is corn. The type of maize you eat may depend on the region you live in. Maize originates in the Americas but is now gaining status as a staple in Africa as well.
There are six different types of corn, and the one most people think of is sweet corn, but there are specific varieties for flour and even popcorn. If you’re looking for another alternative to wheat flour, corn flour or corn meal is good option to look into.
Wheat is the most widely grown staple crop of them all and is grown on nearly every continent. Asia grows the most wheat of any country, providing more than half of what we use.
We commonly make bread with wheat; however, it is also used for cereal, pasta, crackers, tortillas, and couscous. Though many people have started to avoid wheat or stick to gluten-free varieties, it’s still the most widely used and versatile.