Flavour Profiles From Around the World

Flavour Profiles
Flavour Profiles

If you are like most home cooks, you have spent your fair share of time on Pinterest and scanning cookbooks to find interesting recipes. Sometimes it is even just to find that perfect in a pinch recipe.

It doesn’t take long before you see patterns arise. Flavour patterns are everywhere, and for good reason.

Most cultures around the world have their own very distinct flavour profiles that are consistently seen in their recipes. This consistency exists for a number of reasons:

  • The availability of herbs and spices within specific regions
  • Cultural traditions surrounding certain herbs and spices
  • The use of cooking techniques that pair particularly well with specific herbs and spices

This is not to say that cultures will not venture out and use unique herbs and spices, they certainly do. It also needs to be said that many cultural flavour profiles vary by region as well.

But, if you are just beginning to learn about flavour profiles, let’s keep it as simple.

We have created an infographic that helps visualize some common flavour profiles of cultures around the world. It is interesting to see the flavours that cultures share, and the ones they do not.

As you peruse the Internet and your own cookbook stash, watch out for these flavour profiles. If you are wondering which flavours to use in order to create a flavour profile of a specific culture, this graphic can be a good reference. Please note that the graphic does not show all of the flavours used by each culture or region, but it is a good starting point.

Flavour Profiles from Around the World
Flavour Profiles from Around the World

Summary of Flavour Profiles

North African

  • Ginger, Cinnamon, Paprika, Cumin, Garlic, Cardamom


  • Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Allspice, Ginger


  • Thyme, Parsley, Garlic, Rosemary, Oregano, Red Pepper Flakes


  • Basil, Cardaom, Garlic, Cinnamon, Ginger, Bay Leaf, Coriander, Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme,


  • Oregano, Cumin, Coriander, Cinnamon, Chili Powder, Garlic, Onion


  • Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley, Garlic, Nutmeg, Oregano, Fennel

Middle Eastern

  • Garlic, Ginger, Oregano, Bay Leaf, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cumin, Coriander, Cardamom


  • Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric, Star Anise, Cinnamon
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