We love the ways kebabs are cooked on an open grill. How shawarmas are made and seasoned with amazing spices. How Arabic cuisine seems to be just as colorful in taste as it is in sight. As you rack up on spices, take a look at our spice rack picks. Plus, read on a little History about the delectable cuisine of the Middle East!
Spice Rack: What Is Middle Eastern Cuisine?
There are a plethora of ways to describe Arabic dishes. The culture itself is so diverse, even Mid-East food is as varied (much to the delight of our tastebuds). With the name itself, these are cuisines that have originated from the Middle Eastern countries.
What they are vaguely known for is “spice.” And perhaps that is the invisible ribbon that ties all Arabic food together. Not to say that all of those dishes are “spicy.” That’s a different word altogether, and it is defined differently as well. Not to confuse you with the two terms.
However, we’d like you to notice the distinction. Spicy food is when chili is applied to it. Hence, that burning-of-the-tongue-and-mouth-sensation when consumed. On the other hand, spices refer to the cluster of flavor-enhancing components that are added as seasonings in cooking.
While some of these meals are without meat, others are assorted in that aspect. They range from chicken, beef and lamb. Remember, no pork, as is part of their belief system. And we respect that.
Bread such as pita, bulgur (a kind of groat or cereal) and rice are typically paired as staples to the main courses. The first, the more popular among the three.
The Uniqueness Of Middle Eastern Food: Its History
When you say Middle Eastern food, it encompasses even beyond what is currently known as the “Middle East.” There are the known Arab countries in that part of the world, in terms of the Earth’s “middle east” in geography. Here’s our list: the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar, Iraq, and Iran.
You can just imagine all the creativity and color that has come from these countries, and into the food known as their very own. Historians have revealed that a few of the oldest recorded Arab recipes were found in some of the countries mentioned above. Written in cuneiform, they were proof as to how wheat is central in a meal. How local plants, a variety of them at that, were tried and tested to create sumptuous flavors.
When the Babylonic era came, these delicious dishes were enhanced even more so that distinct flavors were made for most Arab cuisines at the time. Much cooking experimentation was done. However, these were halted when the era itself fell and came to an end.
Fortunately, the 8th century and beyond made their triumphant entrance. Arabic cooking was once again rediscovered, and this time, given the main stage. So much so that they traveled beyond the Arabian boundaries, and into European countries. And today, the rest of the world.