Mediterranean cuisine is known for the wide range of ingredients used and their different ways of preparation, but some people have a problem with it being too “open” or “free.” Mediterranean cuisine is, in a way, a paradox. It is highly individual, yet has the elements that are common to much of the food culture throughout the Mediterranean area.
For instance, one of the most prominent features of Mediterranean cuisine is that it uses a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits, almost always using olive oil as a main ingredient. Olive oil is something that is very hard to grow in many parts of the Mediterranean, so fresh produce is a major part of the diet. Another important feature of Mediterranean foods is the high use of a wide variety of herbs, spices, and other ingredients. These tend to be high in monounsaturated fats, which are thought to help prevent heart disease. Some would say that this aspect of Mediterranean cuisine adds a lot of weight to the” Mediterranean diet,” but when you consider the wide variety of ingredients and the careful cooking methods used, it’s hard to see how that could be a bad thing.
One of the favorite cuisines of Mediterranean cuisine is the paella. A typical paella is a dish made with rice, fish, and/or meat. Other Mediterranean staples like pasta and beans also are sometimes included, but for the most part, the paella is primarily an Italian creation. This may come as a surprise to some (since the word is often used to refer to any Italian dish) but it’s true that many variations of the original Italian paella are now available throughout the Mediterranean.
As you might guess, another favorite Mediterranean food is moussaka. Moussaka is an Italian bread dish that is typically accompanied by an espresso or a cup of hot coffee. The name comes from a mixture of two words: moussaka and sachets. When it comes to making moussaka, the dough is first rolled out and cut into smaller pieces. Then the dough is placed into a sieve-like machine, Mediterranean food which adds the air bubbles that make it rise, then is baked at a low temperature.
One of the most famous of all healthy Mediterranean foods is the pita. Although the translation “pita” means “dough sandwich,” it is also eaten as a whole meal with the filling served underneath the bread. The filling can include everything from eggplant to tomatoes, nuts, olives, cucumbers, mushrooms, spinach, and more. Pita sandwiches are extremely popular in the Middle East, and you can find versions that include everything from feta cheese to broccoli. The best way to enjoy a pita is with fresh local olive oil and homemade tomato sauce. Although there are no real rules about which toppings go on which sandwich, there are some easy ways to up the flavor factor: use fresh herbs, put a slice of avocado on top, add your favorite nuts or olives, and use a bit of Cayenne pepper.
One of the most traditional foods dishes from the Mediterranean is a Paella. A Paella is a Spanish word that means “on the table.” It is simply paella, which means “on the run” or “packed.” In other words, when making paella, you always have the ingredients close by so that they do not have to cook separately. Typical paella recipes include rice, beans, chicken, seafood, vegetable, onion, red or green peppers, and of course, pasta. Mediterranean cuisine is so full of great tasting and healthy options that it’s hard to imagine eating anything else.