Mediterranean food is simply the food and methods of cooking developed by people of the Middle Eastern Mediterranean basin. The term Mediterranean has different meanings to different people and even different cultures that have developed their own special cooking styles in the region. It’s been widely documented that the people living in the Middle East (particularly the Levant), have been preparing and eating Mediterranean food for thousands of years.
The concept of a Mediterranean style of cooking originates from the cookbook author Elizabeth David’s book called, A Book Of Mediterranean Cooking. The book is an easy-to-read and interesting journey through the history of European cuisine in the area. It also includes some great recipes from around the world to serve as inspiration.
The culinary world of the Middle East is filled with diverse flavors and ingredients. This mix is what has led to the development of many different cooking styles that include Greek, Turkish, Lebanese, and Moroccan cuisine. While many traditional recipes in the region are quite similar, there are differences as well. One example is that in Turkey, eggs are boiled whereas in Greece they are allowed to harden naturally. Also, spices from certain parts of the region are more commonly used than others in other parts of the world, such as the use of cumin in Lebanon versus Egypt.
However, one of the most common characteristics of food from the Middle East is that it is usually prepared using ingredients that are readily available. The ingredients for many traditional dishes do not necessarily come from the region itself but instead from countries nearby or from other parts of the world. This is a result of globalization and trade and the ease of shipping food from one region to another.
In addition to food preparation, cooking methods can be a big influence on the taste and flavor of foods from the region. Traditionally, the Middle East has been known for its use of different spices and oils to enhance the taste of the food, like ginger and garlic for example. These days however, these spices and oils have been replaced with things like white vinegar and salt. In general, people now prefer more of a tangy taste to balance out the sweetness.
Cuisines from the region range from fast and heavy dishes to slow and gentle ones. There is something for everyone from simple to elaborate. dishes featuring a variety of meats and seafood and vegetables to elaborate dishes with lots of fish.