FiveThirtyEight, headed by the famed statistician Nate Silver, has announced yet another side project, alongside their numerous analyses of politics and sports: world cuisine. Specifically, they want to find out who's got the best food.
The endeavor - known as the World Food Cup - seems to be largely for fun. Even so, Nate Silver's no slouch when it comes to side hobbies and the FiveThirtyEight team has pulled an impressive survey of 1,373 Americans to try and discover what country (out of those selected) has the best cuisine (at least according to Americans).
Modeled after the World Cup of soccer/football fame, the World Food Cup's first round pitted forty different countries against one another, composed of both those nations which made the World Cup as well as a few others who didn't but whose cuisine is generally considered popular (such as China). As polls are often weighted towards "likely" voters, the survey was weighted towards "likely eaters;" that is to say people who are most likely to actually consume the listed foods.
Some of the survivors were pretty obvious: Mexico, China, and Italy all qualified. A few were more surprising though; I wouldn't have expected Belgium or Argentina to make the list, having never seen or heard of any restaurants of that particular variety either in California or Oregon. I also wasn't expecting India (a favorite of mine) to go down so easily. As someone who loves both food and multiculturalism, I found the survey quite interesting and I'll be curious to see where it goes from here in the next few rounds.
So... any favorites you didn't see make the list? Any cuisine in particular you're rooting for? And who do you think will win the World Food Cup? All answers applicable :) .