Maison Culinaire’s Guide to Identifying International Cuisine

International cuisine is often defined by flavor profiles. Different regions of the world developed their cuisine using the ingredients, spices and herbs that were most available to them throughout the ages. Of course, with today’s modern distribution systems, any cuisine can be reproduced. Here’s a quick guide on how to identify and produce international cuisines through their flavor profiles.

Guide to International Cuisine - Maison Culinaire's Guide to Identifying International Cuisine

American Cooking


  • Thyme, garlic salt, cayenne pepper, creole mustard
  • Celery, garlic, scallions, okra, onions, bell peppers
  • Shrimp, crab, chicken, crawfish


  • Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, barbeque sauces
  • Carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, corn, celery, onion, peas, squash, beans, rice
  • Parsley, sage, marjoram, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice
  • Chicken, turkey, beef, ham, bacon


  • Lime juice
  • Chili powder, oregano, cumin, cilantro
  • Garlic, onions, tomatoes, chilies, black beans, corn, cheese
  • Beef, chicken

American Cuisine 6 - Maison Culinaire's Guide to Identifying International Cuisine


European Cooking


  • Butter, cheese, cream, Dijon mustard, olive oil, crème fraiche
  • Red or white wine
  • Shallots, garlic, onions, mushrooms, carrots, celery, tomatoes, lemon, truffle, eggs
  • Thyme, tarragon, parsley, fennel seeds, herbes de Provence
  • Chicken, lamb, beef
  • Black olives, capers, anchovies


  • Mustard, quark
  • Sauerkraut, cabbage, onions, mushrooms, carrots, juniper berries, potatoes
  • Pork, beef, bacon, sausages
  • Pickles, capers
  • Egg noodles, spätzle


  • Olive oil, balsamic vinegar
  • Red or white wine
  • Parmesan, mozzarella, ricotta, provolone, Pecorino cheeses
  • Tomatoes, fennel, porcini mushrooms, onions, garlic, carrots, capers, truffle
  • Oregano, basil, sage, rosemary, parsley, red pepper flakes
  • Black olives, sardines, pine nuts, capers, raisins, Arborio rice
  • Pasta, meats

European 1 1 - Maison Culinaire's Guide to Identifying International Cuisine


  • Olive oil, yogurt
  • White wine
  • Garlic, onions, tomatoes, lemon, honey, cucumbers, capers, chickpeas
  • Oregano, parsley, dill, mint, fennel
  • Feta cheese
  • Olives, pine nuts, raisins, orzo


  • Garlic, onions, bell peppers
  • Paprika, caraway
  • Egg noodles
  • Pork veal, sausage


  • Butter, sour cream, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, dry sherry
  • Black beans, chili paste, garlic, scallions
  • Ginger, cilantro, five-spice powder, anise seed

european 2 - Maison Culinaire's Guide to Identifying International Cuisine


Asian Cooking


  • Sesame oil, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chili oil, oyster sauce, rice wine
  • Garlic, ginger, scallions, tofu, bean curd, mushrooms, cabbage
  • Cilantro, five-spice powder, anise seed, peppers
  • Pork, beef, shrimp, crab, duck
  • Noodles, rice


  • Soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, miso, mirin, teriyaki sauce
  • Ginger, scallions, cucumber, rice, panko, wasabi
  • Seafood, seaweed, Kobe beef
  • Buckwheat, udon, soba, cellophane and rice noodles

Southeast Asian

  • Anchovy paste, tomato paste, fish sauce, hoisin, sesame oil
  • Cayenne, garlic, cilantro, Thai basil, five-spice powder, Vietnamese coriander
  • Coconut, peanuts, chilies, scallions
  • Peanuts, bean sprouts
  • Pork, beef, shrimp, crab
  • Rice, udon and mung bean paste noodles, vermicelli
  • Jasmine rice

Asian - Maison Culinaire's Guide to Identifying International Cuisine


  • Ghee
  • Garlic, ginger, onions, chilis, Yogurt, tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, marsala
  • Turmeric, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, cumin, cayenne pepper, saffron, mustard seed, chili powder
  • Lamb, mutton

Middle Eastern

  • Olive oil, sesame paste, yogurt
  • Tomatoes, cucumbers, lentils, chickpeas, pine nuts, walnuts, garlic, onions, lemon, raisins
  • Parsley, mint, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, cumin
  • Ground lamb

middle eastern food 7 - Maison Culinaire's Guide to Identifying International Cuisine


Maison Culinaire Can Create Any International Cuisine!

International flavor profiles identify foods of different cultures and countries and can personalize your event with a menu that is exclusively yours—no matter what cuisine you’d like to serve.

We specialize in catering International Cuisine and can help you design a memorable meal whether it’s American, Mediterranean, Asian, fusion, traditional or contemporary. Think of us for your wedding, corporate or special event.

Contact Maison Culinaire today for impeccable food, artistry and flawless service. Serving Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC.