Bangladesh is a land of thousands of rivers, ponds and it is notable for the largest bay in the world which is the Bay of Bengal. Fishing and harvesting is the main occupation of the majority of the people in Bangladesh. From there, plain rice and fish is the staple food for Bangladeshi people. Fish and fishing have cleared the way of life of the general population of these areas. Fish is the main source of protein and chicken, duck, beef, mutton is the common choices of meat.
Ilish (Hilsha) is the national fish of the country. Other favored fishes are Rohi or Roh (Rohu), Catla (Indian Carp), Mrigel/ Mrigal (Mrigal carp),Bhetki (barramundi), Chingri (Prawn),Kalibaus (Orange-fin Labeo, Karnataka labeo), Mohashoul (Golden mahseer), Baghair (Dwarf goonch), Ayr/ Aor (Giant river-catfish), Boal (Wallago Attu), Chital (Clown Knife fish) etc. Dried fish which is called ‘Shutki’ is also popular in this country. (Fishes of Bangladesh, 2011)
Apart from rice, fish, and meat, this country grows plenty of vegetables.
Bandhakopi (Cabbage), Phulkopi (Cauliflower), Olkopi (Kohlrabi), Sarisa shak (Mustard green), Shalgom (Turnip), Mula ( Radish), Motor (Pea), Sheem (Hyacinth bean), Barbati (String bean), Shakalu (Yam bean), Mishti Kumra (Sweet gourd), Lau (Bottle gourd), Chal kumda (Wax gourd), Shasha (Cucumber), Dhundhul (Sponge gourd), Korolla (Bitter gourd), Kakrol (Teasle gourd), Patal (Palwal), Chichinga (Snake gourd), Begun (Brinjal), Tomato, Alu (Potato), Dedhosh (Okra), Lalshakh (Red amaranth), Puishakh (Indian spinach ), Palonggshak (Spinach), Kolmishakh (Water spinach), Gajor (Carrot), Mishti alu (Sweet potato), Thankuni (Indian pennywort), Matey alu (White yam), Shajina (Drumstick), Moulavikachu (Tannia), Mankachu (Giant taro), Olkachu (Elephant foot aroid), Patpata (Jute leaf), Shapla (Water lily) are most demanding summer and winter vegetables in Bangladesh.
(vegetables of Bangladesh, 2016)
Daal (dried, split pulses) is another important diet in our food. Mostly South Asian region is fond of a variety of daal. There is a demand for Mung daal (Split Mung Beans), Masoor daal (split brown lentils), Bootdaal (Split and dehusked gram lentils), Chola daal (Brown chickpeas), and Maskolai daal (Black gream) as our one of the substitute almost every day.
The flavors or spices in Bangladesh are often similar with Indian spices. Bangladeshi cuisine includes Ada (Ginger), Roshun (Garlic), Piyaj (Onion), Morich (chili), Elaaach (Cardamom), Daarchini (Cinnamon), Dhoniya (Coriander), Holud (Turmeric), Jira (Cumin), Lobongo (Cloves), Lebu (Citron), Palm sugar (taaler gur), Molasses (khejurer gur)Sorshe (Mustard seed), Sorshe tel (Mustard oil), Soyabin tel (Soybean oil), Teaj pata (Indian bay leaf), Teel (Sesame seed), Jaifol (Nutmeg), Joyetri (Mace), Gol morich (Black paper), Kalo jira (Nigella seed), Methi(Fenugreek), Posto dana (Poppyseed), Vadian (Star Anise), Yashtimadhu ( Liquorice) to enhance its fragrance, flavor and taste. (Hasan, 2015)
Pitha (Rice cake or bread) is one of the common and traditional foods made from rice powder, palm sugar, molasses, date juice, and milk. In the winter season, almost every house makes their traditional pitha which is different in the state to state and culture to culture across Bangladesh. Vapa pitha (Steamed rice cake), Patisapta (Stuffed with kheer), Puli pitha (Dumpling cake), Tele pitha (Oil poured cake), Pakan pitha (fried cake), Beni pitha (Braid cake), Dudher pitha (Milk-soaked cake), Nokshi pitha (Designed crunchy cake) are most common pithas in Bangladesh.
Bengali sweet deserts are popular not only among Bengali but also the non-Bengali region. Mishti Doi (sweet yogurt), Caramel Custard (egg pudding), Shandesh (Fresh Cheese Dessert), Falooda (Fruit and pudding), Halwa, Shemai (Sweet Vermicelli), Payesh (Rice pudding), Shahi tukra (Bread soaked in sweet milk) are Bangladeshi popular dessert item. And popular sweets are Roshogolla, Roshmali, Kalojam, Cham Cham, Kacha Golla, Narkel Naru, Jilapi, laddu etc. (Bangladeshi dessert, 2017)
Food items are categorized by different parts of the country. Each part has distinctive standards, culture, and a method for living. The change in culture and lifestyle brings a different variety of food items in Bangladesh. Each region has its special items and trademark cooking style. But if we consider our recent food habit we can broadly differentiate our food habit into two types. One is traditional food another is nontraditional food in Bangladesh. And day by day nontraditional food is getting popularity. People are finding this food more convenient, different in taste and fulfilling. The whole nation is moving from traditional food into nontraditional food. Now I will give some idea about this food category.