While everyone has their favorite food, seeing how many people love the same dishes is surprising! There’s something about certain foods that speak to people’s hearts – and stomachs. Recently, men and women worldwide converged in an online discussion to uncover truths and answer an age-old question: what are the most universally-loved foods?
Beloved by billions of people, rice’s popularity is due to two factors. First, it’s inexpensive. The cost-per-serving ratio is perfect for serving large families without breaking the budget. Secondly, rice is an incredibly versatile food. It can be featured as the star of a dish or the perfect complement to protein and vegetables, making its popularity wholly warranted.
There’s something about the mouthwatering combination of marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and dough that can’t be replicated in any other dish. Millions of people worldwide proudly call pizza their favorite food, myself included. “You’ll never understand how much people love pizza until you work at a pizza chain,” reveals one man. “It doesn’t matter what country it is; everyone is obsessed with pizza.”
3. Meats on Sticks
It doesn’t matter what you call your version of meat on a stick; they’re delicious! Whether you call them skewers, kabobs, or shawarmas, most cultures have their spin on this timeless delicacy. “Everybody’s got some sort of meat on a stick, usually seasoned to their regional tastes,” explains one woman. “It’s usually cooked over fire. My only explanation is that I think there’s something primal about it.”
4. Garlic Bread
For many, garlic bread represents everything a perfect food should be: delicious carbohydrates and sweet, sweet garlic. Whether you’re enjoying a basket of garlic bread in an Italian restaurant or a perfectly-cooked garlic naan at an Indian restaurant, most people love this bread so much they frequently fill up on it before the main courses arrive.
5. Mexican Food
There’s nothing like a perfect taco or burrito. The flavor combinations found in these authentic Mexican dishes are unparalleled. “I took a couple of groups of students to Russia on three-week homestays in the early 2000s,” recalls one man. “When we debriefed the experience at the Frankfurt airport on the way home, everyone agreed that Mexican food was what they missed most, culinary-wise. I realized I was craving it, too.”
For many people, the perfect meal is a giant bowl of pasta. As someone who includes himself in that subsect of people, I admit that there’s nothing better than a good old-fashioned bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. Italy is known for many things, but arguably, the country’s lasting achievement is introducing countless different types of pasta to billions of people.
Nearly as versatile a food as rice, potatoes are loved by everyone no matter where they live. They can take many forms: from French fries to mashed potatoes to gnocchi, potato lovers can rest easy knowing their favorite delicacy is incredibly easy to find and eat.
8. Anything in Pocket Form
Growing up eating countless Hot Pockets, I understand the love for any food available in pocket form. Different versions of an enclosed sandwich with a meat or vegetable filling are found in hundreds of countries worldwide. “I feel like anything in a food pocket tends to be pretty well-liked, like empanadas, tamales, dumplings, samosas, clangers, calzones, and steamed buns,” reports one woman. “Handheld pocket food is universally loved in cultures around the world.”
9. Fried Chicken
While chicken is already incredibly popular worldwide, deep-frying the meat turns it into a multicultural phenomenon. Foodies globally can’t get enough of the crispy outer skin and the juicy, delectable meat found underneath. Thankfully, people with all budgets can enjoy this delicacy, as it’s available everywhere, from fast-food establishments to high-end restaurants.
10. Ice Cream
Kids and adults agree: ice cream is delicious and seemingly soothes your soul simultaneously. Nothing is better than an ice cream cone on a hot summer day (or any day, for that matter). Even though it has no redeeming nutritional value, countless people confess they don’t plan on removing ice cream from their diets anytime soon.
Written by: Chris Phelan