Food Facts: The Basics of the Mediterranean Cuisine

Ingredients for Mediterranean foods

If there’s one cuisine that can bring you around Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East all at once, it’s Mediterranean food. This culinary offering is largely based on the traditional food of Greece and Italy but includes influences from Spain, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, and Turkey, among other countries.

Because of its authentic flavors, restaurants specializing in this cuisine have won the hearts of many foodies, specifically in the busy city of New York, according to Taboonette Franchise.

Aside from its distinct, delicious flavors, Mediterranean cooking is loaded with benefits. Among these, it may help prevent heart attacks, strokes, and type 2 diabetes. This is because of the healthy ingredients, herbs, and spices that go into the dishes.

Key Ingredients of Mediterranean Food

The first thing that comes to mind when talking about Mediterranean food is olive oil. This cuisine includes a generous amount of olive oil in many of their dishes, like Greek Salad.

People who cook this type of cuisine use a lot of fresh vegetables like tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, and protein-rich legumes – this is how a Mediterranean diet helps with weight loss. The food from the region doesn’t use a lot of beef or pork, either. Instead, it mostly uses lamb, chicken, and fish.

Popular Mediterranean Dishes

The Mediterranean region has largely contributed to global cuisine with its popular dishes like falafel, kebab, mujadara, and phyllo meat pies, among others.

– Falafel is deep-fried ball made from ground chickpeas. It’s usually served wrapped in a taboon or served inside a pita. The dish originated in Egypt.

– Kebab is a variety of meat dishes usually grilled on a skewer. Traditionally, the meat used for the dish is mutton. Over time, the recipe started to include chicken, fish, and red meat if the religion allows.

– Mujadara is very popular in Arab countries. This is a combination of green lentils and rice. Cumin or mint can be used as seasoning. The dish is garnished with fried onions and served with side dishes and yogurt.

– Phyllo meat pies are both sweet and savory. This dish, made by nestling in the meat between layers of flaky phyllo sheets, is baked for 45 minutes. A phyllo sheet is basically thin, unleavened dough.

Many Mediterranean foods are simple to prepare – Greek salad and Italian oven-roasted vegetables, for example. And, although this cuisine is known for its traditional take on food, it is actually a combination of numerous traditional and modern culinary practices.

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