When your friend says "Let's eat Mediterranean tonight?"
One of the first things that come to mind may be Shawarma or Falafels or Gyros or Hummus. But that's only the tip of the iceberg.
Simply put, Mediterranean cuisine is the food from the lands around the Mediterranean Sea. And the Greeks, Turks, Spaniard or any of the populus from one of the 21 countries who share coastline with the Mediterranean Sea eat more than just Shawarma, Falafels or Gyros and include
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
Even Palestine's Gaza Strip and the British Overseas Territories of Gibraltar and Akrotiri and Dhekelia can dip their toe in the Mediterranean Sea.
Broadly speaking, this geography features vast olive tree groves, which provides one of the most distinctive features of the region's cooking, olive oil.
Now, don’t confuse the recipes of this area and the Mediterranean diet. The latter, through articles, infomercials and celebrity endorsements has been made popular because this diet rich in olive oil, wheat and other grains, fruits, vegetables, with a certain amount of seafood, but low in meat and dairy products is apparently healthier than other diets.
Mediterranean cuisine does include these ingredients, and perhaps that explains the longevity of the Greeks, but it is more about the preparation than whether if its ‘healthgiving’.
There are many types of recipes which are identified as Mediterranean and utilize the foods, spices and, of course, olive oil from the region. Some come to mind quickly like those mentioned above and Spanakopita, Dolmas, and Baklava.
Other dishes may be familiar but not readily thought of as Mediterranean, such as
- Loup de Mer
- Roasted Medjool Dates
- Goat Cheese Ravioli
- Orzo, and even a
Given the right use of the spices (parsley, saffron, basil), meats and seafood (lamb, goat, calamari, sea bass), vegetables (tomato, capers, onion) and, yes of course, olive oil this fusion of flavors can be consider Mediterranean.
Mediterrano used the flavors of the countries and skills of the kitchen to create a unique blend, a fusion of food for the discerning palette. Don’t expect a paper wrapped Shawarma or Falafel but be prepared to experience a dining event.