'Best Cuisines' ranking offends Twitter as Middle Eastern, North African countries score low

'Best Cuisines' ranking offends Twitter as Middle Eastern, North African countries score low
2 min read
07 June, 2022
Twitter users said TasteAtlas' "50 Best Cuisines" ranking unfairly favoured countries in Europe over those in the Middle East, North Africa, and elsewhere.
Turkey and Algeria fared best of MENA countries, ranking 17th and 26th respectively [AFP via Getty]

Twitter users have been up arms this week over a widely-shared ranking of the world's best cuisines, saying non-European countries including those in the Middle East and North Africa were hard done by.

Food website TasteAtlas shared their "50 Best Cuisines" ranking on Twitter this weekend.

"Each country's rating is obtained by the users average rating of the 30 best dishes, beverages and food products in that country," TasteAtlas said of their ranking.

Turkey sat highest of all Middle Eastern or North African nations, in 17th place. Six other MENA countries - Iran, Algeria, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia and Egypt - made the top 50.

TasteAtlas is an online travel guide that describes itself as "a world atlas of traditional dishes, local ingredients, and authentic restaurants". Founded by Croatian journalist Matija Babic in 2015, the website is said to feature 10,000 dishes, drinks, and ingredients.

Twitter users said the site's list unfairly favoured countries in Europe over those elsewhere.

"The top five countries being European tell me enough about this list," one user said.

"Lebanese food deserves better," another said.

Some expressed shock that Algeria - ranked 26, higher than any other Arab country - fared so well.

Other users described the list as "racist", noting that no west or east African countries made the cut for the top 50.

The New Arab contacted TasteAtlas for more information on how the ranking was compiled and a reaction to its reception, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.