Let’s take a look at cuisine of Western and Eastern Europe. To much of the world food of the western countries especially France are the most identifiable and permeated the culinary landscape of the world. France is the culinary star of Europe probably followed by Italy, Greece and
Spain. French cuisine was codified in the 20th century by Auguste Escoffier to become the modern haute cuisine; Escoffier, however, left out much of the regional culinary character to be found in the regions of France. Gastro-tourism and the Guide Michelin helped to acquaint people with the rich bourgeois and peasant cuisine of the French countryside starting in the 20th century. Gascon cuisine has also had great influence over the cuisine in the southwest of France. Many dishes that were once regional have proliferated in variations across the country.
Knowledge of French cooking has contributed significantly to Western cuisines and its criteria are used widely in Western cookery school boards and culinary education.
If we go back in history, the European discovery of the New World represented a momentous turning point in the history of food. Foods previously unknown in Europe and Africa, such as tomatoes, potatoes, corn, yams, cassava, manioc, and a vast variety of beans migrated eastward, while other sources of food, unknown in the Americas–including pigs, sheep, and cattle–moved westward. Sugar, coffee, and chocolate grown in the New World became the basis for the world’s first truly multinational consumer-oriented industries.
Until the late 19th century, the history of food in America was a story of fairly distinct regional traditions that stemmed largely from England. (READ MORE on the history of Food in America)
The Multilingual Thesaurus of the European Union defines the following countries as Eastern Europe: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. Check out PBS listing of Eastern European Recipes.