Middle Eastern cuisine has become increasingly popular in recent years for its unique flavors and potential health benefits. From savory hummus and baba ghanoush to fragrant shawarma and falafel, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this diverse and delicious cuisine. But why is Middle Eastern food popular?
Ahead, we’ll explore some reasons behind the rise of Middle Eastern cuisine and why it’s worth trying for yourself.
Use of Spices
Why is Middle Eastern food popular? The first reason is the Middle Eastern unique approach to using spices. With several ranges of options, such as cumin, cardamom, caraway, nutmeg, turmeric, and anise, Middle Eastern flavors are rich and tasty.
Bland food is unacceptable in Middle Eastern culture, and this is evident in the bold and vibrant flavors found in each region’s cuisine.
Therefore, Middle Eastern restaurants are a must-visit for those who love rich and unforgettable culinary experiences that leave a lasting impression.
Winning over Vegetarians and Vegans
Another reason why the cuisine of the Middle East has been gaining popularity is its impressive variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes.
The cuisine is well-known for its emphasis on fresh vegetables, legumes, grains, and spices, making it a great alternative to meat-based meals.
Traditional dishes like falafel, hummus, tabbouleh, and baba ghanoush are delicious and nutritious options that can be enjoyed as dips or side dishes.
Additionally, modern interpretations of Middle Eastern dishes offer vegan shawarma sandwiches and stuffed grape leaves that cater to people seeking to satisfy plant-based meals.
Healthy Food on Top
Besides being well-loved for its delicious taste, Middle Eastern food popularity is also due to the variety of healthy food options it offers.
Middle Eastern recipes are typically centered around fresh ingredients such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, and lean meats like chicken or lamb. Cooking methods like grilling, baking, and steaming are often used, which help retain the nutrients in the food.
For instance, hummus is a crowd-pleaser made from chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice, providing protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
Tabbouleh is another Middle Eastern favorite that consists of parsley, tomatoes, onions, and bulgur wheat; it’s a nice source of vitamin C and fiber.
Meanwhile, grilled kebabs made using lean meats like chicken or lamb pack a lot of protein without added unhealthy fats.
These examples show that Middle Easterners value health and apply it to their cuisine.
It’s Made to Share
Middle Eastern cuisine revolves around the idea of sharing, one of its fundamental principles. Bringing people together to enjoy meals with friends, family, and even strangers is an essential part of the culture.
Thus, people in Middle Eastern countries believe in communal dining because it’s an opportunity to connect with others over delicious dishes.
A perfect example of this culture is the mezze platter, a quintessential dish that epitomizes Middle Eastern sharing culture. It’s a plate meant for sharing, where everyone can come together and try some of everything, relishing different flavors and textures.
As you eat, you can engage in conversation, deepen relationships, and create memories.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Middle Eastern food considered Mediterranean?
Middle Eastern cuisine is often grouped under the broader Mediterranean cuisine, but it has distinct flavors and cooking techniques that set it apart.
What is Middle Eastern cuisine culture?
Middle Eastern cuisine culture is a diverse and hospitable culinary tradition known for its fresh, healthy ingredients, communal dining, and cultural exchange.
What is authentic Middle Eastern food?
Authentic Middle Eastern food is a variety of traditional dishes that emphasize fresh, flavorful ingredients and are often served family style. Examples include falafel, hummus, shawarma, and kebabs.
In conclusion, Middle Eastern foods are popular worldwide for their rich flavors, use of spices, vegan and vegetarian options, healthy food selections, and communal dining culture.
Whether you’re a vegan or a meat lover, your options are wide and limitless. So if you haven’t already, try popular Middle Eastern food and experience the unique and flavorful taste of this beloved culinary tradition!