Cool business ideas for startups and business development

It’s hot in here!!! Hacking noodle broth using a Nigerian pepper soup recipe


Mapping food migration and transformation; what are the possibilities of using of ingredients from around the world as is or modified? Recently I made a noodle soup using Nigerian pepper soup as a base Nigerian pepper soup  as I had a cold, and it was fantastic. But for the puritans they would have been scandalised and I would have been denounced as a barbarian or coloniser. Never the less I started looking at the other Nigerian and African soups (eg Ghanian peanut soup) as a base for noodles it was an interesting experiment.

I classified my experiments into categories:

As is

  • Authentic using the broth as a base sifted at the end of the cooking process
  • The second is all in with all the fixings


  • Adaptation \ invention to other countries taste

This happened with Indian food in the UK creating flavour profile for the indigenous population e.g. chicken tikka masala or Beef and broccoli, General Tso’s Chicken

Haute cuisine

  • Creating haute cuisine using the ingredients and elevating and creating new menus using ethnic menus as a reference library of taste and experience

It’s worth noting that in certain markets e.g. the UK there is enough of a diverse and well travelled population to support all models and more ingredients are available in the Asian, African and south American shops.  

 So, what to do with this experiment?

The business end of things

Market analysis of the ingredients market

The global food ingredients market size was valued at $270.2 billion in 2021, and is projected to reach $475.4 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 5.8% from 2022 to 203

Remember this is a wide definition that includes; Food Ingredients Market (By Type: Flavors, Colour additives, Preservatives, Fat Replacers, Sweeteners, Stabilizers, Emulsifiers and Binders, Thickeners, pH control agents, Nutrients, Others; By Application: Food and Beverages, Nutraceuticals, Animal feed, Others) – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, Regional Outlook, and Forecast 2023-203 , this focus is on but not limited to Grains, Vegetables, Meats, Flavourings, spices, Fats/Oils, Dairy, Fruits, etc

Exploring Business Opportunities in the World of Ingredients: 

Considerations: Before we examine the business ideas here are some consumer considerations:

The consumer

Customers purchasing exotic ingredients to experiment with recipes may encounter several issues related to usability, managing unwanted or excess ingredients, costs, and the desire to sample as a one-off. Here are some common challenges and potential solutions:

1. Usability:

   – Lack of familiarity: Customers may struggle to incorporate exotic ingredients into their cooking due to limited knowledge of their flavour profiles and culinary uses.

   – Language barriers: Ingredient packaging or online descriptions may be in a foreign language, making it difficult for customers to understand usage instructions.


   – Provide detailed usage instructions and recipe ideas in multiple languages to cater to diverse customer needs.

   – Offer online resources such as cooking tutorials, recipe videos, or live cooking demonstrations to educate customers on how to use exotic ingredients effectively.

2. Managing Unwanted or Excess Ingredients:

   – Buying in bulk: Customers may be required to purchase exotic ingredients in larger quantities than needed for a single recipe, leading to leftover ingredients that may go to waste.

   – Limited shelf life: Exotic ingredients may have a shorter shelf life compared to commonly used ingredients, increasing the risk of spoilage if not used promptly.


   – Offer smaller portion sizes or pre-packaged ingredient kits tailored for single recipes to reduce waste.

   – Provide storage tips and suggestions for preserving unused ingredients, such as freezing or drying, to extend their shelf life.

3. Cost:

   – High prices: Exotic ingredients are often more expensive than mainstream alternatives, making them less accessible to budget-conscious customers.

   – Shipping fees: Customers may incur additional costs for shipping exotic ingredients, especially if they are sourced from overseas.


   – Offer budget-friendly options for exotic ingredients or provide discounts for bulk purchases to incentivize customers to try new ingredients.

   – Consider partnering with local suppliers to reduce shipping costs and offer competitive pricing to customers.

4. Desire to Sample as a One-Off:

   – Reluctance to commit: Customers may hesitate to purchase large quantities of exotic ingredients if they are unsure about their taste preferences or suitability for their recipes.

   – Fear of waste: Customers may be hesitant to invest in exotic ingredients for a single recipe, fearing that they may not enjoy the end result.


   – Offer sample packs or trial sizes of exotic ingredients to allow customers to test them before committing to a larger purchase.

   – Provide recipe recommendations or cooking tips to reassure customers and inspire confidence in their culinary experiments.   By addressing these issues proactively and offering tailored solutions, businesses can enhance the customer experience and encourage experimentation with exotic ingredients

Build a consumer and country profile:

Building a consumer and country profile for exotic ingredients involves gathering and analysing data related to consumer preferences, market trends, and the availability of ingredients in different countries. Here’s a outline guide on how to create such profiles:

1. Market Research:

   – Identify target consumer demographics: Determine the characteristics of consumers who are interested in purchasing exotic ingredients, such as age, gender, income level, and culinary preferences.

   – Analyse consumer behaviour: Study consumer purchasing habits, including where they buy exotic ingredients, how often they purchase them, and their willingness to try new products.

   – Assess market demand: Evaluate the demand for exotic ingredients in different regions or countries based on factors such as population size, cultural diversity, and culinary trends.

2. Country-Specific Analysis:

   – Identify key markets: Determine which countries or regions have a high demand for exotic ingredients and are conducive to business growth.

   – Analyse cultural factors: Understand the culinary traditions, dietary preferences, and cooking styles of each country to tailor product offerings accordingly.

   – Assess regulatory environment: Research import/export regulations, food safety standards, and labelling requirements in each target country to ensure compliance with local laws.

3. Ingredient Sourcing and Availability:

   – Identify exotic ingredients: Compile a list of exotic ingredients commonly used in global cuisine, including spices, herbs, grains, fruits, vegetables, fats/oils, and flavourings.

   – Assess availability: Determine the availability of exotic ingredients in each target country, considering factors such as local production, imports, and distribution channels.

   – Evaluate supply chain logistics: Analyse the logistics involved in sourcing and transporting exotic ingredients, including sourcing partners, transportation methods, and storage facilities.

4. Consumer Preferences and Trends:

   – Conduct surveys and focus groups: Gather insights directly from consumers through surveys, interviews, or focus groups to understand their preferences, needs, and challenges related to exotic ingredients.

   – Monitor social media and online forums: Track discussions, reviews, and trends related to exotic ingredients on social media platforms, food blogs, and online forums to stay informed about consumer sentiment and emerging trends.

   – Analyse sales data: Review sales data and market reports to identify popular exotic ingredients, emerging trends, and growth opportunities in the market.

5. Competitive Analysis:

   – Identify competitors: Identify competitors in the exotic ingredients market, including both local and international suppliers, and analyse their product offerings, pricing strategies, and market positioning.

   – Assess strengths and weaknesses: Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of competitors to identify gaps in the market and opportunities for differentiation.

   – Benchmark performance: Benchmark your company’s performance against competitors to identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to gain a competitive edge.

By conducting thorough market research, analysing consumer behaviour, and assessing country-specific factors, businesses can build comprehensive profiles for exotic ingredients and develop targeted strategies to meet the needs of consumers in different markets.

The ideas: listed below are focused on food ingredients:

The Online and Real-Life Ingredient Emporium

Imagine a virtual haven where food enthusiasts and professionals alike can access a vast array of ingredients from around the globe. This online ingredient emporium would not only offer a wide selection of products but also provide valuable resources such as virtual recipes with AI-powered substitution analysis. Additionally, incorporating a real-world component, akin to world food sales centres, would enhance the experiential aspect. Picture sales and ingredient centres established in various counties, featuring spaces for food tasting and sampling, reminiscent of Singaporean food malls or specialty tea shops. Consider the potential of incorporating pop-up shops by country, rotating on a periodic basis to keep the offerings fresh and engaging. This venture holds immense promise, especially considering the burgeoning global specialty food ingredient market. (I am currently writing a business plan) latest global specialty food ingredient market sizeshare


– Conduct market research to identify target demographics and assess demand for specialty ingredients.

– Develop partnerships with suppliers and vendors globally to ensure a diverse and high-quality product range.

– Leverage AI technology to provide personalized recipe suggestions and substitution analysis based on user preferences.

– Consider implementing a loyalty program to incentivize repeat customers and foster brand loyalty.

The food ingredients evolution and migration App.

Drawing inspiration from platforms like @OTRontheroad on YouTube, envision creating an innovative interactive map that traces the evolution of food ingredients and profiles across different countries. This app would serve multiple purposes: as a scientific and food history tool, a valuable resource for the culinary industry, and a fun and engaging exercise for users. Explore the potential of this concept for new food services, such as:

– Mapping Indigenous Foods and Recipes: Preserving and celebrating the culinary heritage of different regions before they undergo dilution or transformation.

– Creating an Ingredient Database: Compiling a comprehensive database of ingredients from around the world, complete with location-specific information and biological analysis.

– Utilizing as a Marketing Database: Leveraging the wealth of data collected by the app for marketing purposes, catering to food scientists, culinary schools, and industry professionals.


– Collaborate with historians, chefs, and food experts to ensure accuracy and authenticity in mapping the evolution of food ingredients.

– Incorporate user-generated content features to encourage community engagement and contribution to the app’s database.

– Explore potential revenue streams such as premium features, sponsored content, and partnerships with culinary schools and research institutions.

Sub category: Superfoods

Creating an alternative superfood database within the app, quite a number of ingredients and food preparations\ recipes have a beneficial health effects and are ready for prime time and this may reduce pressure on superfood of the week in exploitation such as what happened to:

Note!!!: Some of these examples should be treated with extreme caution due to the damage caused by the introdution invasive species. The base business instinct by some enteprenuirs is to import seeds and grow for local consumption to meet growing demand with a devastating effect on local ecology.

App Outline: Culinary Exploration Companion with AI Integration

The Culinary Exploration Companion is a revolutionary app that combines the convenience of mobile technology with the richness of global cuisine. With AI integration featuring vocal and visual interaction, users can explore curated (by experts): ingredients, YouTube, food blogs or online recipes, access personalized recipes, and create culinary masterpieces with ease.

 From AI-guided profile setup to step-by-step recipe creation assistance, the app offers a seamless user experience.

Community engagement features, including forums and challenges, foster a sense of camaraderie among users. With additional features like smart kitchen integration and personalized meal planning.

One purpose of the app app is to revolutionize the way people cook and explore food.

See appendices for details

Conceptualizing a Food Cart Van Chain: Revolutionizing Culinary Exploration

Embark on a culinary adventure like no other by conceptualizing a food cart van chain that brings the concepts of online ingredient emporiums and the food ingredients evolution and migration app to life. This venture combines the convenience of mobile food carts with the richness of global ingredients and culinary history, offering customers a truly immersive gastronomic experience.

The Mobile Ingredient Emporium

Imagine a fleet of food cart vans transformed into mobile ingredient emporiums, each stocked with a curated selection of specialty ingredients sourced from around the world. Customers can explore and purchase unique spices, grains, vegetables, fruits, fats/oils, and flavourings, all conveniently located right in their neighbourhood.


– Design the food cart vans to resemble miniature versions of the online ingredient emporium, complete with digital screens showcasing product information and recipe ideas.

– Offer personalized recipe consultations, where customers can receive recommendations based on their culinary preferences and dietary restrictions.

– Implement a loyalty program that rewards frequent customers with discounts or exclusive access to new ingredient arrivals.

Culinary Exploration Workshops and Tastings

Hosting interactive workshops and tastings. From spice blending tutorials to cooking demonstrations featuring indigenous recipes from around the world, these events will inspire and educate customers about the diverse Flavors and ingredients available.


– Collaborate with local chefs, food historians, and cultural experts to curate immersive workshops that highlight the culinary traditions of different regions.

– Offer tasting flights showcasing unique ingredients and flavour combinations, allowing customers to expand their palate and discover new favourites.

– Partner with schools, community centres, and corporate offices to host private events and team-building activities cantered around culinary exploration.

Mobile Ingredient Evolution Tours

Take customers on a journey through the culinary history of different cultures with mobile ingredient evolution tours around the city. Providing insights into the origins and migration patterns of various ingredients while offering hands-on learning opportunities. Incorporating restaurant, food cart visits and exploration of grocery stores and supermarkets that sell these products food from different countries.


– Develop themed tours focusing on specific regions or ingredients, such as the spices of India or the grains of Africa etc.

– Incorporate multimedia elements such as videos, interactive maps, and virtual reality simulations to enhance the educational experience.

– Partner with local farmers, producers, and artisans to offer behind-the-scenes tours and tastings at ingredient sourcing locations.

Digital Integration and Community Engagement

Harness the power of technology to enhance customer engagement and foster a sense of community. Develop a mobile app that complements the in-person experience, allowing customers use QR and barcodes to access recipes descriptions, track ingredient origins, and connect with fellow food enthusiasts.


–  Create QR codes\Barcodes to be displayed in shops restaurants on menus that indicate these ingredients (this will involve coordination with producers, shops, restaurants and retailers)

-Create a social networking platform within the app where customers can share cooking tips, recipe modifications, and photos of their culinary creations.

– Implement gamification elements such as scavenger hunts and challenges that encourage customers to explore new ingredients and cuisines.

– Leverage data analytics to gather insights into customer preferences and behaviour, enabling personalized recommendations and targeted marketing campaigns.

By embracing, modifying or referencing these innovative ideas, entrepreneurs can tap into the vast potential of the global food ingredients market while fostering culinary exploration and appreciation on a global scale

Introduce new ingredients and recipes to the uncooked prepped\ portioned meal kit delivery Sector.

Meal Kit Delivery Services Market Size, Share, Trends, Analysis, and Future Outlook:

The global meal kit delivery services market size had a value of approximately USD 20.60 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach around USD 65.10 billion by 2030, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 15.47% from 2023 to 2030.  Meal Kit Delivery Services Market Size, Share, Trends, Analysis, and Future Outlook – Navigating Consumer Preferences, Market Dynamics

Summary below: The details are in the appendices needs work (should be a separate blog post):

– Featured Ingredient of the Week: Introduce a new exotic ingredient weekly.

– Educational Content: Provide info on origin, flavour, and culinary uses.

– Recipe Cards: Include step-by-step recipes featuring the exotic ingredients.

– Ingredient Substitution: Offer suggestions for alternative ingredients.

– Interactive Cooking Demos: Host virtual workshops showcasing usage.

– Community Challenges: Encourage users to share creations and experiences.

– Local Supplier Partnerships: Source exotic ingredients from local suppliers.

– Feedback Loop: Gather user feedback to refine offerings and tailor to preferences.

Sub category :Introduced dried\ flash frozen proportioned ingredient packs with recipes as an alternative to pre portioned meal kits above.

1. Market Research: Identify trends and niche opportunities in the global ingredients market.

2. Product Development: Source high-quality ingredients and create versatile packets for various cuisines.

3. Brand Development: Establish a strong brand identity and design informative packaging.

4. Distribution: Set up efficient distribution channels and logistics for product delivery.

5. Marketing: Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy to raise awareness and engage customers.

6. Customer Engagement: Foster a community around the brand and gather feedback for continuous improvement.

7. Expansion and Innovation: Monitor market trends and explore opportunities for growth and diversification.

See appendices for details:


In the midst of culinary experimentation and market analysis, the journey of hacking noodle broth using a Nigerian pepper soup base has led to a profound exploration of ingredients, Flavors, and business opportunities. From the humble beginnings of a soup concoction born out of necessity to the exploration of haute cuisine possibilities, the path has been rich with discoveries and insights.

As we delve into the realm of business possibilities, we envision a future where the culinary world is seamlessly integrated with technology, community engagement, and sustainable practices. The concept of an online and real-life ingredient emporium promises to revolutionize the way we access and interact with ingredients, while the food ingredients evolution and migration app opens doors to a wealth of educational and experiential opportunities.

By embracing innovative ideas such as introducing exotic ingredients in delivered portioned meal prep kits, entrepreneurs can tap into the vast potential of the global food ingredients market while fostering culinary exploration and appreciation on a global scale. As we continue to navigate the evolving landscape of food and business, let us remain committed to creativity, sustainability, and the joy of culinary discovery. In culinary exploration, every ingredient tells a story and every meal is a celebration of diversity and creativity.


App Outline: Culinary Exploration Companion with AI Integration

 I. Introduction

   A. Overview of the App

   B. Mission Statement: Empowering Users to Explore, Create, and Enjoy Culinary Delights

   C. Introduction to AI Integration: Enhancing User Experience through Vocal and Visual Interaction

 II. User Registration and Profile Creation

   A. Sign-Up/Login Options: Email, Social Media Integration

   B. User Profile Setup: Preferences, Dietary Restrictions, Cooking Skill Level

   C. AI Chatbot Assistance: Guided Profile Setup and Personalized Recommendations through Vocal Interaction

 III. Ingredient Curation and Exploration

   A. Search Functionality: Browse by Ingredient, Cuisine, Recipe Type

   B. Curated Content:

      1. YouTube Integration: Curated Videos Featuring Recipes and Cooking Techniques

      2. Recipe Database: Explore a Vast Collection of Recipes from Around the World

      3. Ingredient Spotlight: Highlighting Unique and Specialty Ingredients with Tips and Usage Ideas

   C. AI Visual Recognition: Snap a Photo of Ingredients to Receive Instant Recipe Suggestions and Cooking Tips

 IV. Personalized Recommendations

   A. Algorithmic Suggestions: Based on User’s Profile, Search History, and Favourite Recipes

   B. “Try Something New” Feature: Introduce Users to Unfamiliar Ingredients and Recipes

   C. AI Vocal Assistant: Receive Personalized Recipe Recommendations and Cooking Instructions through Vocal Interaction

 V. Recipe Creation and Sharing

   A. Recipe Builder Tool: User-Friendly Interface for Creating and Customizing Recipes

   B. Ingredient Database Integration: Access to a Comprehensive Library of Ingredients with Nutritional Information

   C. Multimedia Support: Ability to Add Photos, Videos, and Personalized Notes to Recipes

   D. Sharing Options: Share Recipes with Friends, Family, and the App Community

   E. AI Vocal and Visual Assistance: Step-by-Step Guidance for Recipe Creation and Sharing

 VI. Community Engagement

   A. User Forums and Groups: Join Discussions, Ask Questions, Share Tips and Tricks

   B. Recipe Challenges: Monthly or Weekly Challenges to Encourage Creativity and Exploration

   C. User-Generated Content: Showcase User-Created Recipes and Cooking Videos

   D. AI Chatbot Moderation: Facilitate Community Engagement and Answer User Queries through Vocal Interaction

 VII. Additional Features

   A. Shopping List Generator: Automatically Generate Shopping Lists Based on Chosen Recipes

   B. Meal Planning: Plan Weekly Meals, Save Favourite Recipes for Future Reference

   C. Cooking Timer and Conversion Tools: Handy Tools for Ensuring Perfectly Timed and Proportioned Dishes

   D. Cooking Classes and Workshops: Access Virtual Cooking Classes Led by Expert Chefs

   E. AI Integration for Smart Kitchen Appliances: Control and Monitor Appliances through Vocal and Visual Interaction

 VIII. Monetization Strategies

   A. Freemium Model: Basic Features Available for Free with Premium Subscription Options for Enhanced Features

   B. In-App Purchases: Access to Exclusive Recipes, Cooking Classes, and Premium Content

   C. Sponsored Content and Partnerships: Collaborate with Brands and Food Suppliers for Promotional Opportunities

 IX. Future Development and Expansion

   A. User Feedback Mechanisms: Gather User Feedback and Suggestions for App Improvement

   B. Regular Updates: Introduce New Features, Enhancements, and Content to Keep Users Engaged

   C. Expansion into AI-Driven Personalized Meal Planning and Health Tracking Features

 Introduce new ingredients and recipes to the uncooked prepped\ portioned meal kit delivery


The ideas: albeit weak needs work;

1. Featured Ingredient of the Week: Each week, introduce a new exotic ingredient as the star of the meal prep kits. Include information cards or digital content with background information, nutritional benefits, and recipe ideas to inspire users to experiment with the ingredient.

2. Educational Content: Provide educational content within the meal prep kits or through the app, highlighting the origin, flavour profile, and culinary uses of exotic ingredients. Include tips on how to incorporate them into everyday cooking and suggestions for complementary Flavors.

3. Recipe Cards with Step-by-Step Instructions: Include recipe cards in the meal prep kits that feature the exotic ingredient in a delicious and approachable way. Provide clear, step-by-step instructions along with visuals to guide users through the cooking process.

4. Ingredient Substitution Suggestions: Offer suggestions for ingredient substitutions in case users are unable to find the exotic ingredient locally. This encourages experimentation and flexibility while still maintaining the essence of the recipe.

5. Interactive Cooking Demos: Host virtual cooking demonstrations or workshops featuring chefs or culinary experts showcasing creative ways to use exotic ingredients. Allow users to interact, ask questions, and share their own experiences.

6. Community Challenges and Contests: Encourage users to share their creations using the exotic ingredient on social media platforms or within the app. Host challenges or contests with prizes to incentivize participation and foster a sense of community.

7. Collaborations with Local Suppliers: Partner with local suppliers or specialty food stores to source exotic ingredients for the meal prep kits. Highlight the partnerships and promote the importance of supporting local businesses.

8. Feedback Loop: Solicit feedback from users on their experience with the exotic ingredients, including taste preferences, cooking difficulties, and overall satisfaction. Use this feedback to refine future meal prep kit offerings and tailor them to user preferences.

By incorporating these strategies, meal prep kit services can effectively introduce exotic ingredients to users in a way that is educational, engaging, and conducive to culinary exploration.

A pathway for creating packets of dried or frozen ingredients for recipes from around the world as a business:

1. Market Research and Niche Identification:

   – Conduct thorough market research to identify trends, demand, and gaps in the market for globally-inspired ingredients.

   – Identify a niche within the market, such as focusing on specific cuisines, dietary preferences (e.g., vegan, gluten-free), or unique ingredients not commonly found in local markets.

2. Product Development:

   – Source high-quality ingredients from reputable suppliers and producers around the world.

   – Develop a range of dried or frozen ingredient packets tailored to different cuisines or recipe types, ensuring authenticity and versatility.

   – Consider factors such as shelf stability, packaging materials, portion sizes, and ease of use in recipe preparation.

3. Brand Development and Packaging Design:

   – Develop a strong brand identity that reflects the authenticity, quality, and global appeal of the products.

   – Design eye-catching and informative packaging that clearly communicates the origin, usage, and culinary benefits of each ingredient packet.

   – Consider eco-friendly packaging options to align with sustainable practices and consumer preferences.

4. Distribution and Logistics:

   – Establish efficient distribution channels, including partnerships with local retailers, specialty food stores, and online marketplaces.

   – Develop robust logistics and inventory management systems to ensure timely delivery and restocking of products.

   – Explore options for direct-to-consumer sales through an e-commerce platform or subscription service.

5. Marketing and Promotion:

   – Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy to raise awareness and generate interest in the product range.

   – Utilize digital marketing channels such as social media, content marketing, and influencer partnerships to reach target audiences.

   – Participate in food fairs, trade shows, and culinary events to showcase the products and engage with potential customers.

   – Offer recipe inspiration, cooking tips, and educational content through blogs, videos, and social media to enhance the value proposition of the products.

6. Customer Engagement and Feedback:

   – Foster a community around the brand by encouraging customer interaction, feedback, and user-generated content.

   – Implement customer loyalty programs, referral incentives, and exclusive offers to reward and retain customers.

   – Use feedback from customers to continuously improve product offerings, packaging, and customer experience.

7. Expansion and Innovation:

   – Monitor market trends, consumer preferences, and competitor activities to identify opportunities for expansion and innovation.

   – Explore new product lines, collaborations, and partnerships to diversify the product range and stay ahead of the competition.

   – Consider international expansion into new markets or strategic alliances with global distributors to broaden the reach of the brand.

By following this pathway, entrepreneurs can ideate on creating a successful business focused on providing high-quality, globally-inspired ingredient packets for consumers to explore and enjoy in their own culinary adventures.



This list represents just a fraction of the diverse range of ingredients found across the African continent, each contributing unique Flavors and textures to the rich tapestry of African cuisine. Here’s a short list of African ingredients categorized by type and country. there are 54 recognized countries and if you perform a search for each country (For ChatGPT try the search parameter “provide a list range of ingredients found in xxx country,such as spices, Grains, Vegetable, Fruits, Fats/Oils Flavourings). Verify search results remember results could contain; errors, wrong local names and ommited items. Then dig deeper for regions and variants examples will be Nigeria, South Africa, India, China, Thailand etc: export results to a speadsheet or database for analysis) you will discover the results are pages long:

1. Ethiopia:    – Berbere (a spice blend) – Ethiopian cardamom   – Ethiopian saffron (false saffron)

2. Morocco:   – Ras el hanout (a spice blend) – Preserved lemons   – Harissa (spicy paste)

3. Nigeria:   – Suya spice blend   – Egusi seeds (melon seeds) – Cameroon pepper (grains of paradise) -Pepper soup ingredients

4. South Africa:   – Cape Malay curry powder   – Peri-peri (African bird’s eye chili)

5. Ghana:   – Ghanaian curry powder   – Grains of Selim (pepper substitute)


1. Ethiopia:   – Teff (used to make injera) – Barley   – Sorghum

2. Nigeria:   – Ogi (fermented cereal pudding) – Fonio (a type of millet) – Acha (hungry rice)

3. South Africa:   – Mealie meal (maize meal) – Sorghum   – Amaranth


1. Egypt:   – Molokhia (Jute leaves) – Fava beans   – Okra

2. Kenya:   – Sukuma wiki (collard greens) – Managu (African nightshade) – Mrenda (Jute mallow)

3. Nigeria:   – Bitter leaf   – Ugu (fluted pumpkin leaves) – Waterleaf


1. Nigeria:   – African pear (ube) – African star apple (agbalumo) – Soursop (graviola)

2. Ghana:   – Mango   – Papaya (pawpaw) – Plantain

3. South Africa:   – Marula   – Rooibos (used for tea) – Baobab fruit


1. Ghana:   – Shea butter   – Palm oil   – Coconut oil

2. Nigeria:   – Palm oil   – Groundnut oil   – Coconut oil

3. Morocco:   – Argan oil   – Olive oil


1. Ethiopia:   – Korerima (Ethiopian cardamom) – Besobela (sacred basil) – Netch azmud (wild ginger)

2. Nigeria:   – Locust bean (iru) – Ogiri (fermented sesame seeds or melon seeds) – African nutmeg (ehuru)

3. Morocco:   – Orange blossom water   – Rose water   – Mint


A  breakdown of some ingredients commonly found across various some Asian countries this is a totally non exhaustive list. Asia is comprised of 49 recognized countries:


Spices: – Turmeric- Cumin- Coriander- Cardamom- Cloves- Cinnamon- Fenugreek- Mustard seeds- Red chili powder- Garam masala

Grains: – Basmati rice- Wheat (for chapati and naan)- Lentils (various types like masoor dal, moong dal, and chana dal)- Millet (especially pearl millet or bajra)- Rice flour

Vegetables: – Potato- Tomato- Onion- Garlic- Eggplant (brinjal)- Okra (bhindi)- Spinach- Cauliflower – Green peas- Bitter gourd (karela)

Fruits: – Mango- Banana- Guava- Papaya- Apple- Grapes- Pomegranate- Coconut- Jackfruit- Lychee

Fats/Oils: – Mustard oil- Ghee (clarified butter)- Coconut oil- Sunflower oil- Peanut oil- Sesame oil

Flavourings: – Tamarind- Curry leaves- Asafoetida (hing)- Amchur (dried mango powder) – Kokum- Panch phoron (Bengali five-spice blend)- Chaat masala- Ajwain (carom seeds) – Jaggery (unrefined cane sugar)


Spices: – Sichuan peppercorn- Five-spice powder- Star anise- Ginger powder- Garlic powder – White pepper- Black pepper- Chili flakes- Chinese cinnamon- Cloves

Grains: – Rice (various types including jasmine and glutinous rice)- Wheat (for noodles, dumplings, and steamed buns)- Corn- Barley- Buckwheat

Vegetables: – Bok choy- Chinese cabbage- Shanghai greens- Chinese broccoli (gai lan)- Snow peas – Bean sprouts- Chinese eggplant- Water spinach (kangkong)- Lotus root- Chinese radish (daikon)

Fruits: – Lychee- Dragon fruit- Pomelo- Loquat- Longan- Star fruit- Chinese bayberry- Jujube – Chinese pear- Winter melon

Fats/Oils: – Peanut oil- Sesame oil- Soybean oil- Corn oil- Rice bran oil

Flavourings: – Soy sauce- Hoisin sauce- Oyster sauce- Black vinegar- Shaoxing wine- Fermented tofu (doufu ru)- Doubanjiang (spicy bean paste)- Sichuan chili bean paste (doubanjiang)- Plum sauce – Sweet bean sauce


Spices: – Shichimi togarashi (seven-spice blend)- Wasabi powder- Yuzu kosho- Sansho pepper – Nori seaweed flakes

Grains: – Short-grain rice- Sushi rice- Mochi rice- Soba (buckwheat noodles)- Udon (thick wheat noodles)- Ramen noodles- Barley (for barley rice or barley tea)

Vegetables: – Daikon radish- Wakame seaweed- Shitake mushrooms- Bamboo shoots- Edamame – Japanese eggplant- Kabocha squash- Enoki mushrooms- Japanese cucumber- Green onions (negi)

Fruits: – Yuzu- Japanese persimmon (kaki)- Japanese plum (ume)- Fuji apple- Nashi pear- Mikan (Japanese mandarin orange)

Fats/Oils: – Sesame oil- Vegetable oil- Canola oil

Flavourings: – Soy sauce- Mirin- Sake- Miso paste- Dashi stock (from kombu seaweed and bonito flakes)- Ponzu sauce- Rice vinegar- Sushi vinegar- Furikake (rice seasoning)- Yuzu ponzu


Spices: – Thai chili peppers- Galangal- Lemongrass- Kaffir lime leaves- Thai basil- Coriander root – Turmeric- Thai red curry paste- Shrimp paste- Thai ginger (krachai)

Grains: – Jasmine rice- Sticky rice- Rice noodles- Rice flour- Tapioca pearls (for desserts)

Vegetables: – Thai eggplant- Yardlong beans- Thai pea eggplant- Morning glory (water spinach) – Thai pumpkin- Thai winged bean- Thai holy basil

Fruits:- Mango- Papaya- Thai guava- Longan- Rambutan- Mangosteen- Dragon fruit- Pineapple – Durian- Pomelo

Fats/Oils: – Palm oil- Coconut oil- Peanut oil

Flavourings: – Fish sauce- Tamarind paste- Palm sugar- Thai shrimp paste (kapi)- Coconut milk – Thai sweet chili sauce- Thai soy sauce (thin soy sauce)- Oyster sauce- Thai curry powder- Thai chili paste (nam prik pao)


Spices: – Lemongrass- Star anise- Cinnamon- Cloves- Black peppercorns- Annatto seeds- Coriander seeds- Galangal- Turmeric- Thai basil

Grains: – Jasmine rice- Rice noodles- Rice paper- Sticky rice- Rice flour

Vegetables: – Vietnamese mint – Water spinach (rau muống)- Bitter melon- Morning glory (rau muống)- Bean sprouts- Vietnamese coriander (rau răm)- Banana flower- Vietnamese eggplant (cà tím)

Fruits: – Dragon fruit- Pomelo- Rambutan- Durian- Longan- Mangosteen- Jackfruit- Sapodilla- Star apple (vu sua)

Fats/Oils: – Fish sauce- Coconut oil- Sesame oil

Flavourings: – Vietnamese fish sauce (nước mắm)- Hoisin sauce- Shrimp paste (mắm tôm)- Fermented bean paste (tương)- Tamarind pulp- Rice vinegar- Soy sauce- Palm sugar- Rice wine vinegar


Spices:  – Kroeung paste (lemongrass, galangal, turmeric, garlic, shallots, and chili)- Star anise – Cloves- Black peppercorns- Coriander seeds- Cinnamon- Cardamom- Turmeric- Galangal- Lemongrass

Grains:  – Jasmine rice- Sticky rice- Rice noodles- Rice paper

Vegetables: – Cambodian mint- Water spinach- Yardlong beans- Banana blossom- Chinese chives- Khmer basil- Cambodian eggplant- Chayote

Fruits: – Mango- Pineapple- Rambutan- Dragon fruit- Papaya- Jackfruit- Durian- Longan- Mangosteen

Fats/Oils:- Palm oil- Coconut oil- Fish sauce

Flavourings: – Prahok (fermented fish paste) – Tamarind paste- Palm sugar- Oyster sauce – Soy sauce- Rice wine- Kaffir lime leaves- Lemongrass paste- Coconut milk

South Korea:

Spices: – Gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)- Sesame seeds- Sesame oil- Perilla seeds- Korean chili powder- Ginger powder- Garlic powder- Black pepper- Korean mustard powder- Korean chili paste (gochujang)

Grains: – Short-grain rice – Barley- Buckwheat- Rice cakes (tteok)- Sweet rice flour

Vegetables: – Napa cabbage- Korean radish- Korean spinach (sigeumchi)- Green onions (pa)- Bean sprouts- Korean cucumber (oi)- Korean perilla leaves (kkaennip)- Korean sweet potato (goguma) – Korean zucchini (aehobak)

Fruits: – Korean pear- Persimmon- Korean melon- Korean apple- Asian pear- Strawberries- Grapes- Tangerines- Watermelon

Fats/Oils: – Sesame oil- Perilla oil- Soybean oil- Corn oil

Flavourings: – Soy sauce- Doenjang (fermented soybean paste)- Ganjang (Korean soy sauce)- Rice vinegar- Plum extract- Maesil (green plum) syrup- Korean corn syrup- Kochujang (Korean chili paste)- Korean fermented shrimp paste (saeujeot)


Spices: – Lemongrass- Galangal- Kaffir lime leaves- Star anise- Cinnamon- Cardamom- Cloves – Turmeric- Ginger- Pandan leaves

Grains: – Jasmine rice- Coconut rice- Nasi lemak rice- Basmati rice- Rice noodles

Vegetables: – Kangkung (water spinach)- Kailan (Chinese broccoli)- Petai beans- Winged beans (kacang botol)- Bitter gourd (bitter melon)- Long beans- Okra (ladyfinger)- Brinjal (eggplant)

Fruits: – Durian- Rambutan- Mangosteen- Papaya- Pineapple- Guava- Dragon fruit- Star fruit- Banana

Fats/Oils :- Coconut oil- Palm oil- Peanut oil- Sesame oil

Flavourings: – Belacan (shrimp paste)- Soy sauce- Fish sauce – Oyster sauce- Sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)- Tamarind paste- Coconut milk- Gula Melaka (palm sugar)- Asam (tamarind)


Spices: – Garlic- Onion- Ginger- Chili peppers- Black peppercorns- Bay leaves- Lemon zest- Saffron- Annatto seeds- Turmeric

Grains: – Rice (jasmine rice, sticky rice)- Corn (used in various dishes like champorado and bibingka)- Cassava- Taro- Sweet potato

Vegetables: – Bok choy- Kangkong (water spinach)- Eggplant- Ampalaya (bitter melon)- Okra- Squash- Winged beans (sigarilyas)- Malunggay (moringa)

Fruits: – Mango – Banana- Pineapple- Papaya- Coconut- Calamansi- Guava- Jackfruit

Fats/Oils: – Coconut oil- Palm oil- Vegetable oil- Fish sauce- Shrimp paste

Flavourings: – Soy sauce – Vinegar- Coconut vinegar- Annatto oil- Lechon sauce- Banana ketchup- Atchara (pickled papaya)- Patis (fish sauce)- Knorr seasoning

Myanmar (Burma):

Spices: – Garlic- Ginger- Turmeric- Chili powder- Coriander powder- Cumin powder- Fennel seeds – Bay leaves- Lemongrass- Tamarind

Grains: – Rice (jasmine rice, glutinous rice)- Lentils- Chickpeas- Wheat- Millet

Vegetables: – Eggplant- Bitter gourd (bitter melon)- Mustard greens- Snake beans- Yardlong beans- Okra- Cabbage- Cauliflower

Fruits: – Mango- Banana- Papaya- Pineapple- Guava- Watermelon- Jackfruit- Rambutan

Fats/Oils: – Peanut oil- Sesame oil- Coconut oil- Mustard oil- Ghee (clarified butter)

Flavourings: – Fish sauce – Fermented shrimp paste (ngapi)- Tamarind paste- Coconut milk- Shan tofu- Burmese curry powder- Dried shrimp- Pidan (fermented egg)- Palm sugar


Spices: – Galangal- Lemongrass- Kaffir lime leaves- Star anise – Coriander seeds- Black peppercorns- Cinnamon- Cloves- Turmeric- Garlic

Grains: – Sticky rice- Jasmine rice- Rice noodles- Rice paper

Vegetables: – Lemongrass- Eggplant- Morning glory- Bamboo shoots- Water spinach- Lao basil- Banana flower- Pumpkin

Fruits:  Mango- Papaya- Banana- Pineapple- Dragon fruit- Longan- Rambutan- Jackfruit

Fats/Oils: – Coconut oil- Palm oil- Peanut oil- Sesame oil

Flavourings: – Fish sauce- Padek (fermented fish sauce)- Fermented shrimp paste- Tamarind paste- Oyster sauce- Coconut milk- Lao chili paste (jaew bong)- Lao soy sauce (kanha)- Galangal paste


Here is a non-exhaustive categorization of common ingredients used in food and drink preparation from around the world:

Grains – Rice (Asia) – Wheat (Europe, Americas)- Corn (Americas)- Oats (Europe) – Barley (Middle East, Europe)- Rye (Eastern Europe)- Millet (Africa)- Quinoa (South America)

Vegetables– Potatoes (Europe, Americas)- Tomatoes (Americas, Europe) – Onions, garlic (Worldwide) – Leafy greens – spinach, kale (Europe, Asia)- Cucumbers, eggplant (Asia, Middle East)- Chili peppers (Americas, Asia) – Okra (Africa, South Asia)

Fruits– Apples, berries (Temperate regions)- Citrus – oranges, lemons (Tropical regions)- Bananas (Tropics)- Mangos (Tropics)- Dates (Middle East, Africa)- Pineapple (Americas)

Dairy– Cow’s milk (Europe, India, Americas)- Goat’s milk (Mediterranean, Africa)- Cheese (Europe, Middle East)- Yogurt (Southern Asia, Middle East, Eastern Europe)

Meats- Beef (Americas, Europe, Africa) – Pork (China, Europe)- Lamb (Middle East, Australia, New Zealand)- Chicken (Worldwide)- Fish/Seafood (Coastal regions worldwide)

Fats/Oils – Olive oil (Mediterranean)- Coconut oil (Southeast Asia, Africa)- Ghee (India) – Lard/Tallow (Americas, Europe) 

Flavourings- Soy sauce, sesame oil (East Asia)- Curry powder (India) – Chili peppers (Americas, Asia)- Garlic, ginger (Asia)- Vanilla (Central America)- Cinnamon (Southeast Asia)

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