Europe is home to some of the most amazing culinary tastes and flavors. It is a melting pot for chefs and cooks who come from all over the world. They work in the thousands of restaurants and cafes that are so commonplace to Europe. Many European cuisines share their origins, with Western cuisine developing from the early settlers and even some countries in Latin America, North America and Oceania, where the influence of European settlers helped to shape the national culinary identity. There is no one 'European cuisine' that stands out more than any other. The term suggests a collective of different kinds of food which are distinguishable from the cuisines of other continents.
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There are many ways to help classify and distinguish European cuisine from other foods and ways of cooking around the world. Firstly, meat is much more frequently used in Europe and the West when compared to the cuisine of Asia, for example. Serving size is also typically greater, but this seems to be rooted in the traditional styles of Europe when compared to the sparing, perhaps less expensive, foods of Asia. Steak and chicken are two of the most popular meats in European cuisine, and dairy products such as cheese are commonly used to add flavor to dishes. Since the European colonization of North and South America, potatoes have quickly become a vital part of European cuisine, moving away from the more traditional elements of pasta, dumplings, and pastries. Maize is a big part of cuisine in the Americas, yet Europeans often overlook it and finally, salads play a huge role in European cuisine but are nowhere near as popular elsewhere around the world.
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