World Food Map
In this project, BarabásiLab looked at the foods of regional cuisines, and developed a network-based approach to determining which combinations of ingredients taste good together. Is there a general logic behind traditions and individual tastes? Cultures have invented profusions of recipes, liked by some and rejected by others. But what determines our preference for certain flavor constituents, our liking of particular ingredient combinations?
Each node in the network denotes an ingredient. The node color refers to the type of food it belongs to, and its size shows the number of recipes it is used in. Two ingredients are connected when they share flavor compounds. The thicker the link, the more compounds they share. The research revealed that while Europeans prefer dishes that share flavor compounds, Asian cuisine relies on ingredients that carry complementary compounds.