The Most Popular Ingredient in the World, Ranked

Choose the ingredient you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jun 15, 2024 06:59
Cooking a meal that resonates with diverse palates often hinges on choosing the right ingredients. It becomes intriguing to identify which items are favored across different kitchens worldwide. Having a resource where these preferences are collected and ranked could simplify meal planning and broaden culinary horizons. This dynamic list not only reflects current global tastes but also adjusts as new votes are cast, giving an up-to-the-minute view of culinary trends. By participating, users contribute to a broader understanding of flavor trends, enhancing the tool’s utility for everyone from home cooks to professional chefs.

What Is the Most Popular Ingredient in the World?

  1. 1


    A mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride, used universally in cooking.
    • Type: Seasoning
    • Origin: Global
  2. 2


    A sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrate used in food and beverages.
    • Type: Sweetener
    • Origin: Global
  3. 3


    A species in the onion genus, Allium, valued for its taste and aroma.
    • Type: Vegetable
    • Origin: Central Asia
  4. 6


    A staple food for a large part of the world's human population.
    • Type: Grain
    • Origin: Asia
  5. 7

    Olive Oil

    A liquid fat obtained from olives, a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin, used in cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soaps.
    • Type: Oil
    • Origin: Mediterranean
  6. 8


    A grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food.
    • Type: Grain
    • Origin: Near East
  7. 10

    Soy Sauce

    A liquid condiment of Chinese origin, made from a fermented paste of soybeans, roasted grain, brine, and Aspergillus oryzae or Aspergillus sojae molds.
    • Type: Condiment
    • Origin: China

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular ingredient in the world. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or ingredient is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 167 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each ingredient once every 24 hours. The rank of each ingredient is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


Additional Information

More about the Most Popular Ingredient in the World

Rank #1 for the most popular ingredient in the world: Salt (Source)
The most popular ingredient in the world has a rich history. It appears in kitchens across the globe. Its use dates back thousands of years. People from many cultures value it for its versatility and flavor. It enhances dishes and serves as a base for many recipes.

In ancient times, this ingredient was a luxury. It was traded along long routes. Merchants traveled great distances to obtain it. It was a symbol of wealth and power. Royalty and the elite often used it in their feasts.

Over time, it became more accessible. Farmers learned to cultivate it in various climates. This led to an increase in its availability. It moved from being a luxury to a staple in households. Today, it is found in almost every kitchen.

Its importance in cooking cannot be overstated. It adds depth and richness to dishes. It can be used in savory and sweet recipes. Chefs and home cooks alike rely on it. It can be prepared in many ways. It can be roasted, boiled, fried, or eaten raw.

This ingredient also has nutritional benefits. It provides essential nutrients. It is a source of vitamins and minerals. It supports overall health and well-being. Many diets around the world include it.

Its influence extends beyond the kitchen. It plays a role in many cultural traditions. Festivals and celebrations often feature dishes made with it. It brings people together. Sharing meals that include this ingredient is a common practice.

In modern times, it is produced on a large scale. Advances in agriculture have increased its yield. It is now available year-round. This has made it even more popular. People can enjoy it regardless of the season.

Despite its widespread use, it remains special. Each culture has unique ways of preparing it. Recipes are passed down through generations. It holds a place of honor in many cuisines.

Its versatility is unmatched. It can be the star of a dish or a supporting player. It complements other ingredients well. It can be simple or complex. It adapts to different cooking styles and techniques.

In conclusion, the most popular ingredient in the world has a long and storied history. It is cherished for its flavor and versatility. It is a staple in kitchens everywhere. Its presence in cultural traditions and its nutritional benefits add to its value. It continues to be a beloved part of many diets.

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