Middle east countries include Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Greece, Crete, Turkey, UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Oman, Bahrain and more with many ethnic groups, including Arabs, Israeli's and Jews, Kurds, Druze, Beduin, Persian , Grecian, Turks etc.....
A few Middle Eastern countries belong to North Africa area, AKA the Maghreb . Those countries are Morocco, Tunis and Algeria. The minority ethnic group in this area is the Berbers.
Mauritania, Sudan and Egypt are frequently included in this area. Food of the desert was very simple. The Beduins are nomadic people of Arab descent that live in desert areas in the Middle East. They usually live in tents, traveling to new places looking for water sources around the year through the desert.
Grilling, frying and stewing are the most common ways of preparing meats in the Middle east. A leg of lamb is a special dish prepared for festive occasions. Spices and fresh herbs are essential . Common spices and herbs includes dill, garlic, mint, cinnamon, oregano, parsley, turmeric, cumin, sesame seeds, coriander, pepper etc.
Spice blends create a regional flavor for each of the Middle Eastern countries . Rus-el-Hanut ("head of the shop") is a Moroccan blend which consist up to 27 spices. Baharat , an Iraqi blend, consist 4 -7 spices.
Middle Eastern cooking, as much as any other aspect of life, is connected to the earth and to the sea, foods which belong to the desert while others belong to the mountains.
A combination of health and simplicity. Middle East has many faces. It might be slight different in every country, but general characteristics are shared .
The similarities between most Middle Eastern cuisines cannot be denied. With the language of the countries surrounding the eastern and southern Mediterranean being predominantly Arabic, many of the dishes carry the same names from region to region, though they may be prepared or seasoned somewhat differently.
Because of this, the cuisines of the Middle East are often sadly lumped into one homogenous category, when in truth they can vary greatly. To view the cuisines of the Middle East as one is like proclaiming that all cuisines of Western Europe are alike.
This site will take us on a wonderful journey through the exotic middle east countries. We will fly from Egypt to Syria and from Turkey to Morocco. From the Persian and Byzantine empires to Roman Empire through the spread of Islam and Arab conquests to the Otoman period up to now days.
In each country we will perfume ourselves in the unique scent that belongs only to the Middle east and to its wonderful dishes. The dishes of the middle east tell us about history, victories, love , defeats and exciting adventures.
There is a lot to read and to learn about Middle Eastern cuisine and it's staple food. You'll get recipes and facts about Middle East countries, tips and instructions that will allow any novice in Middle eastern cuisine to enjoy cooking the simplest or most sophisticated dish.
Let the party begin.
Maps courtesy of www.theodora.com/maps used with permission.