For example, what I mean is; everyone knows what soy sauce is... but I just visited some people, and had for the first time fish sauce, and various other things which were relatively unheard of to me at the time. And it made me realize that the wildly differing cultures of foods you get at restaurants can probably indeed be made somewhat at home if you really tried, (though obviously not as good.).
If it helps though, I'm specifically thinking of middle eastern food. Types of things you could keep around and... well, why not. Go crazy, and mix into anything.