Mediterranean cuisine refers to food that comes from countries that border the Mediterranean Sea a region known as the Mediterranean Basin. It covers countries on three continents Africa, Asia and Europe. The Mediterranean diet has been hailed by many medical professionals and journals as a heart-healthy diet. In short, it’s good for you.
The typical Mediterranean diet is full of fresh food. The meals are always full of raw leafy vegetables in some form or other. Vegetables provide so many benefits nutrition wise to your body and it’s no wonder the diet is considered healthy and one of the more beneficial ones. Another big part of the diet is the liberal use of seed, nuts and legumes that are also really good for your body. You probably get it by now, many things about the Mediterranean diet are good for your body.
Beyond its nutritional contributions, there are certain things that Mediterranean cuisine has contribution to the culinary industry worldwide that have helped create variety and diversity in the culinary industry in terms of ingredients as well as give people options on what to eat.
Some of the most noteworthy contributions are:
Where would the world be without hummus? It’s a hard circumstance to imagine. Hummus is originally a dip made from cooked chickpeas or other beans, blended with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, garlic and a lot of times tahini. This basic recipe has formed the basis for new and innovative takes on what hummus can and should be. This has led to the creation of things like beet hummus and red pepper hummus among others. There are some who would assert that hummus goes with anything and a lot of people would agree with them.
Halloumi is a Cypriot cheese that is made from a mixture of goat and sheep’s mil and in some cases cow’s milk. This cheese has a very high melting point, which makes it ideal for frying and baking. It can be subjected to high temperatures and still hold its form. Halloumi is a favourite among vegetarians as it is a tasty meat substitute and works really well in wraps and burritos.
Tahini is a paste that is made from roasted and hulled sesame seeds. It os more or less a nut butter and it smells amazing. You can add it when making your homemade hummus. It can be used just like peanut butter as a spread. Tahini can also be used as a salad dressing or as a dip as well as an ingredient to add depth of flavour and richness to stews. It can also be inocroporated in or used as the base of a dessert.
• Pita Bread
This is a leavened flatbread popular in Mediterranean cuisine that is baked from wheat flour. As pita bread bakes, the heat creates steam within the dough which then creates an air pocket in the bread. When the bread is baked, it comes out hollow in the middle. This bread is perfect for fillings and is popularly used to make gyros. Gyros are beef or lamb sandwiches, which originated in Greece, that are typically served on pita bread and are served with a yogurt sauce.