8 of the World’s Most Popular Foods

The world is full of diverse culinary choices. Pizza in Italy. Vegemite in Australia. Borshch in Ukraine. Tex-Mex in Texamexico. But there are also certain foods that are universally eaten no matter where you are. So if you’re a picky eater, fear not! There are certain foods that you are guaranteed to find regardless of your destination.

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1. Rice

Although first cultivated in China anywhere between 13,500 and 8,000 years ago, rice is a staple food for people far beyond the Asian continent. In fact, it is estimated that around 3.5 billion people — or half the world’s population — eat rice on a daily basis. This is because it is a relatively easy crop to grow no matter the climate. It is served as sushi in Japan, burritos in Mexico, as a side with German wienerschnitzel, and is probably even a mainstay in Canadian cuisine (if that is an actual thing and we presume it is).

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2. Eggs

It would be super weird if you visited a country where eggs were nowhere to be found. Although the exact number of eggs that chickens lay every year can’t truly be known, it is believed that it is around one trillion per year!

Eggs are essential for almost all types of baking whether it is bread, cake, or pastries. Of course, eggs are also eaten throughout the day in various dishes or as a stand-alone item. They can be fried, boiled, scrambled, and steamed. Packed with protein and good fats, it’s not a surprise why they are so popular.

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3. Chicken

Of all the meats in the world, chicken is by far the most consumed globally. First, unlike cows and pigs, chickens are significantly easier to raise and don’t require anywhere near the same amount of feed. Also, it is low in fat, high in protein, and far healthier than red meat. It is a key element of so many different dishes, including the mainstay when we all get sick: chicken soup!

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4. Bread

Bread is yet another type of food that can be found in various forms on every continent. Steamed buns are a common breakfast item in China, while the Brits are crazy about sandwiches, consuming around 12 billion of them annually. Not surprisingly, the Germans make 1,300 different types of bread. In some countries, no meal is complete without a loaf of bread at the table. Let’s not forget about toast or bread crumbs either!

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5. Potatoes

Much like the other foods on this list, potatoes are popular because they are so versatile. They can be fried, baked, mashed, shredded, and boiled. They make sense to eat as hashbrowns for breakfast, french fries for lunch, and mashed potatoes for dinner. There are more than 4,000 dishes that incorporate the potato in one way or another. The bad rap they get for their carb count is overrated. They are full of nutrients and fiber, allowing you to stay full for longer which in turn keeps your weight in check.

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6. Pizza

Although pizza has its origins in Italy, it is one of those foods that everybody loves due to the fact that it is simple but satisfying. All it requires is a baked crust, some tomato sauce, cheese, and a couple of toppings. It is therefore not a complete surprise that one survey found that 13% of Americans eat pizza literally every day. Load it with vegetables and it becomes a healthy meal that vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike can enjoy. Tell any child that it’s pizza time and watch their eyes light up!

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7. Apples

One of the oldest domesticated fruits in the world, there are more than 7,500 varieties grown worldwide. It can be enjoyed as a snack on its own, baked into a pie, or as an ingredient for a lot of different desserts. Of course, everybody knows that apples are among the healthiest foods you can eat, with studies that show it reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer.

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8. Ice Cream

Whether you are an adult or a kid, there is no dessert more beloved by practically everyone than ice cream. The world eats around 15.4 billion liters (or around 4 billion gallons) of sweet frozen cream every year. It can be served in a cup, regular or waffle cone, or even fried. Due to the trend of introducing all sorts of weird flavors, you can even order avocado or garlic-flavored ice cream if you dare. According to one survey, 98% of Americans keep ice cream in their fridge in the summer.