Americanversus Kuwait Food Culture
Comparingand Contrasting American versus Kuwait food
Thecultivation, preparation, distribution and appreciation of healthyand delicious foods form important aspects that distinguish one’sculture from the other. Historically, every society has cultural foodpreferences based on traditions, geographical region, economicpractices, religious and food taboos that differ. Even the foodchoices made by medieval primitive hunters and gatherers were largelydependent on culture of availability economics, medicinal value(nutrition and digestibility) that formed specific food culture amongthe societies. According to the historical records, the invention ofcooking enhanced humans to transform edible foods onto cuisinesfacilitated in the development of recipes. The food recipes in turnled to the growth of complex cultural foods based on geography,climate, and pleasure and health desire in various societies. Assuch, many cultures have differing food preferences based onreligion, traditions, economics, geographic and food taboos. Forinstance, kosher foods are eaten by Judaism, beef is restricted inHinduism, and Halal foods are eaten in Islam. In the same way, thereexist significant difference and similarities between American foodand Kuwait food culture. In this essay, an analysis of comparison andcontrast is made between these two nations food culture.
TheAmerican culture is primarily westernized, but it has been influencedby natives and immigrants over the years. However, the Americans havediverse food culture that significantly differ or resemble otherinternational food cultures owing to interracial mixtures from thenatives and the immigrants. The American food culture is primarilybased on corn and wheat (Smith,2004).Traditional American foods are corn, sweet potatoes, squash, turkey,deer and maple syrups which are indigenous foods from the AmericanIndians and European settlers. Most immigrants eat food similar tothat of origin countries, and this has led to the Americanization ofthese foods. As such, the American cuisine has developed to includepotatoes, roasts, cakes, stews and noodles. American foods such ashotdogs, hamburgers, pot roast, and baked ham were derived fromGerman cuisines (Smith,2004).Other iconic foods such as pizza, apple pie, fried chicken werederived from other immigrants and through local innovations. However,doughnuts, breads, cheese, rice, sandwiches, sausages, fries andHamburgers are considered American foods (Smith,2004).
Porkand alcohol are largely not part of Kuwait food culture due toreligious beliefs. However, Kuwait cuisine is composed of seafood andfish. Fish commonly eaten are Safi, Chanad, zobaidi and hamour whichare fried or grilled (Riolo, 2007). The fish meal is prepared andeaten with rice. The Kuwait cuisine is influenced by the Persians,Arabian, Mediterranean and the Indian cuisines. Another major disheaten is the Machboos that is rice prepared with spices, mutton,fish, eggs, vegetables and spices. A traditional flatbread is alsoserved with fish sauce. Food is rarely eaten in restaurants, and mostpeople eat homemade foods (Riolo, 2007).
Comparisonbetween American and Kuwait food
Thereis a great difference between the American and Kuwait food diets. Inparticular, the American diet is composed of highly refinedcarbohydrates, red meats and sugars which are the opposite of Kuwaitdiet that is composed of whole grains, vegetables and fruits. InKuwait, dairy and poultry products like fried chicken, cheese andyoghurt are moderately eaten unlike in the American diet where suchfoods are heavily eaten (Smith,2004).Seafood and fish are regularly eaten in Kuwait diets unlike in theAmerican diets where red meat and chicken are common (Riolo, 2007).Most of fats eaten in Kuwait diets come from olive oil, fish, nutsand omega-3s which are less saturated in fats unlike the Americandiet that has high fat dairy products that have saturated fats(Smith, 2004).In addition, the American diet has food ingredients and more chemicaladditives unlike the Kuwait food diets that is why the American dietis considered unhealthy and lead to deficiencies in fiber andminerals. Kuwait diet has for a long been praised for their efficacyin preventing heart and obesity. The diet has high fiber content,unsaturated fats and antioxidants coming from whole grains products,more vegetables and fruits which are not a common case in theAmerican diet food culture. Another great difference is that, theAmerican food culture is composed of nine percent soft drinksbeverages unlike in the Kuwait food culture (Riolo, 2007).
Oneimportant similarity in the two food cultures is that, the diets havehigh-fat calories. However, in the Kuwait diets, only non-saturatedfats are consumed and have less cholesterol than the saturated fatseaten in the American diets. Rice, chicken, beef and coffee aresimilar foods that are eaten in by the two cultures. While Kuwaitfood diet is regarded as highly nutritional and of medical valuethere exists similarities in ingredients, food preparation andlifestyle associated with the two food cultures. For instance, foodculture in Kuwait involves food serving at every social function, andthis is attributed to the growing cases of obesity. Eating snacks,fast food and sweetened drinks frequently is a common food culture inthe America this lifestyle has picked up in Kuwait (Riolo, 2007).
Inthe same way, the American food culture is characterized with muchsnacking during the day chocolate, ice-cream and potato crisps, thisfood culture has been picked up in the Kuwait food culture. Unlike inthe traditional times when Kuwait people only at food at home,introduction of fast food restaurants has influenced the local foodculture, as well as a healthy lifestyle. Fast foods are now common inKuwait just like in the American society deep fried chicken, cannedfoods, baked cakes, roasted and other fast foods like hotdogs andhamburgers. This type of food is rich in saturated fats, sodium,sugar and additives just like in the American foods. Most Kuwaitisnow eat out in many social occasions as well as in modern malls wheretypical food include baked cakes and breads, pastries, biscuits,margarine and ghee as in the American food culture (Smith,2004).In addition, highly sweetened drinks such as fruit juice and sodashave become a common food culture between these two societies owingto globalization. Furthermore, vegetables, fresh fruits and fish areless eaten in Kuwait as it was the case earlier.
Thefood culture analysis between the American and the Kuwait foodsindicates salient difference. In particular, the traditional Kuwaitfood indicates food preferences on fish, rice, vegetables, spices,olive oil and whole grain products. The American foods, on the otherhand, are primarily highly refined carbohydrates, red meat, fries,chicken, dairy products and fast-foods. The major difference is thatmost American foods have high calorie and saturated fat contents,unlike the Kuwait food. In addition, snacking and eating out is acommon food culture in the American society than in Kuwait.
However,there exist significant similarities in the food culture between thetwo societies. American fast foods such as deep fried chicken,hamburgers, hotdogs and highly sweetened drinks are now common foodsin Kuwait. Another similarity is that snacking and eating often is acommon dietary practice among the two societies. Furthermore, thetraditional method of food preparation in Kuwait has been abandonedin favor of Americanized method of food preparation. Overall,although there are distinct differences in foods cuisines betweenKuwait and American, the underlying differences are been eclipsed byglobalization thereby making it hard to delineate cultural foods.However, pork and alcoholic beverages remain a major food differencein the two cultures due to religious beliefs.
Riolo,Amy (2007). ArabianDelights: Recipes & Princely Entertaining Ideas from the ArabianPeninsula.New Zealand: Capital Books, p. 23- 24.
Smith,Andrew F. (2004). TheOxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America.New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 131–32.