Mediterranean food is regarded as food from one of the most diverse and versatile cuisines that borrow a little from the all the countries bordering the Mediterranean shores. Europe, Asia and Africa have countries situated along the 28,000 mile border of the Mediterranean Sea and therefore the culinary amalgamation of these countries has resulted in a common type of cuisine called the Mediterranean. Each of the country retains their distinctive culinary identities; however, certain aspects bring them together to form a rich Mediterranean platter. The Mediterranean cuisine draws its influence from 20 countries including the likes of Italy, Greece, Spain, Morocco, Egypt, France, Turkey and Istanbul to name a few.
There is an abundance of seafood available and therefore much of the Mediterranean recipes are fish and shellfish based. Some of the most popular and common types of fish found are sea bass, tuna, mackarel, monkfish, snapper and grouper. In shellfish, clams, mussels, lobster, crab, shrimp and prawns are particularly famous.
Popular Mediterranean Foods
The choice of Mediterranean foods that are popular worldwide are many, however, some of the most famous Mediterranean recipes and dishes include:
• Homemade pizza – this pizza is made by including egg in the pizza dough and like the Italian dish, cheese and tomato toppings are present
• Pita bread – this is a flatbread characterized by a pocket in the middle which is filled with various meat, vegetable, bean or cheese fillings.
• Kibbeh – this is a croquette, patty or ball made of rice or bulgar wheat and meat.
• Labneh – Also known as laban this a type of Middle Eastern cheese made with yogurt
• Moroccan Couscous – This is an accompaniment dish prepared with dates, raisins and almonds and couscous
Traditional Mediterranean Food
Some of the most traditional Mediterranean foods include the following specialties:
• Kufta kebab – this is a grilled lamb /beef dish made of pounded and skewered meat
• Chermoula pork – this is a dish made with pork marinated in chermoula, a mixture of herbs and spices
• Traditional Greek salad- this is an accompaniment dish made with tomatoes, cucumbers, capers, olives, and feta cheese as some of the main ingredients.
• Traditional Greek Eggplant – this dish is called Moussaka and is prepared with a sautéed eggplant base.
Special/Festival Mediterranean Food
During festivals, hearty Mediterranean food dishes are made to celebrate any special occasion or festival gathering. The choice is limitless considering that cuisines from about 20 countries constitute Mediterranean food specialties.
• The Moroccan Tagine – this is a middle eastern casserole dish made of meat and vegetables and cooked in a special utensil called the tagine
• Spaghetti alla carbonara – this is a pasta dish made by cooking spaghetti with raw eggs which are cooked along with the spaghetti and then adding pork to the dish.