Mediterranean Food

Mediterranean Food

Olympia Mays and Ava Williams

    Lebanese and Greek food both overlapped almost 700 years ago, spiraling into many, many delicious delicacies that will make your mouth water.


    For most of the countries’ past, Lebanon has been governed by other countries that have influenced Lebanese cuisine. In the 16th Century, the Ottoman Empire controlled Lebanon and introduced a variety of foods that have become staples in the Lebanese cooking style. Lebanese food varies and the countries around it are so close-knit that they influence food cultures all around the continent. Isn’t that kind of neat? But there are also some original Lebanese recipes.

    There are salads like tabbouleh (an herb salad including bulgur, tomato, cilantro, lemon, lime, and olive oil), and fattoush (another salad with ripped pita (a kind of flatbread) and other vegetables). And foods like Cooked Kebbe (Cooked lamb with a breadish crust, but it can also be served raw as a dip), and Falafel (deep-fried ground chickpeas and/or broad beans). Some favorites include Sfeeha (Lebanese lamb meat pies that can be crusted with bread dough or phyllo dough), Grape Leaves (Grape leaves stuffed with lamb meat and rice, or if you are vegetarian, just rice), Hummus (Chickpea paste), and Baba ghanouj (baked eggplant dip with olive oil and lemon). You can’t forget about Shawarma (Chicken, Beef, or Lamb flatbread (also known as pita) sandwich that is commonly served with tomato, lettuce, onion, and tzatziki), or kafta (grilled skewered, marinated, and ground lamb). A famous dessert from Lebanon is called Mafroukeh (baked semolina dough with cream on top that is often flavored with orange blossom and/or rose water).


    In addition to the Lebanese haven, Greek food also happens to line up with it. Spanakopita, Tiropita, Greek Salad, Baklava, and Feta are just to name a few of the delicious Greek delicacies. Ever heard of the Gyro? It’s a wrap with beef (or if you are vegetarian, get the vegetarian option), tzatziki, and sometimes even potatoes. Most of the Greek food somewhat originated from the Ottoman Empire in the 1300s. Foods like Tzatziki, Moussaka, and other traditional foods have all originated from the Ottoman Empire. There will be tzatziki and bread at most Greek restaurants on the appetizer menu or some kind of fish. You will also find Grape Leaves on some Greek Menus. Grape leaves are not just Greek or Lebanese, but both, as they originated from the Ottoman Empire. There will be various lemon and rice meals for some main Greek meals, with other traditional greek foods.

    Many Greek restaurants will have some lamb on the menu, but in addition, things like spanakopita, (spinach pie) or tiropita (cheese pie). Some Greek desserts include baklava and galaktoboureko (custard-style dessert with sweet phyllo on top.) You will also find many taverns, serving many kinds of fish. Salmon, swordfish, barbounia, almost any kind! But if you are a vegetarian, Greece also houses some very good vegetarian dishes too. For one, take the Greek Salad! It’s simple but so delicious, made of tomatoes, cucumbers, vinegar and oil, salt, and pepper. Both Greek and Lebanese foods and blissful, and totally delicious.