The characteristic of Mediterranean cuisine makes it a kitchen in which a great variety and quantity of ingredients are involved with which spectacular dishes are obtained.
The Mediterranean diet is linked to countries whose inhabitants live by the Mediterranean Sea, including Spain, Morocco, France, Italy, Greece, Malta, and Turkey. It has been considered and recognized as a very healthy diet for thousands of years worldwide.
Mediterranean diet: the intangible cultural heritage of humanity
The characteristics of the Mediterranean cuisine have ensured that UNESCO proclaimed intangible cultural Heritage of humanity in 2013. As is to be expected, Mediterranean cuisine is conditioned by its crops and Climatology and olive cultivation is known worldwide with its renowned liquid gold. No doubt olive oil is one of its most fabulous riches.
In addition to this, it is characterized by an abundant consumption of vegetables and fruit from the season. We must not forget its marine richness with which it can supply its inhabitants with fish and seafood and enjoy it all year round. There is a clear preference for lean meat over red meat.
Some of them have an excellent reputation worldwide given their quality and excellent health benefit. The unique and different characteristics of Mediterranean cuisine are provided to you by its ingredients; these are some of the most common:
- Fruit and vegetables: not in vain are some of their countries like Spain and Italy mainly considered the vegetable garden of Europe and even part of the world. Thanks to its annual climatology we have fruit and vegetables all year round, however, varied according to season.
- Fish and seafood: in the Mediterranean basin, it is possible to eat fish all year round. Among his fish, we find the horse mackerel, the Lisa, the Dove, the sea bass, the golden sea bass, the sargo, the panel, the sole, the Ray, the rape, the sardine, and the anchovy.
- Legumes: traditionally consumed and grown vegetables in the Mediterranean basin. There are various colors and shapes: bean, white, red, black, lentil pardina and Castellana, giant beans white is among others some of its ingredients with which to prepare a comforting stew at home.
- Meat: there is a wide variety of pork, game, poultry, and cow meat. The Iberian ham of Spain and the prosciutto of Italy, which are recognized and widely valued worldwide, deserve significant mention. In the Moroccan area, meat consumption is not permitted by religion, which considers pork to be a disease-bearing animal for Man.
- Fats: The Mediterranean gastronomy enjoys the consumption of healthy fats from olive oil, olive oil seasoned in different ways, nuts like hazelnuts, almonds, and pistachios, among others. The use of dairy products from cows, sheep, and goats is widespread in the Mediterranean Sea, with special mention being made of the cheese consumed in France, Spain, Italy, and Greece.
- Spices: The Mediterranean forest provides us with great healing and seasoning spices. Thyme, rosemary, the mixture of Provencal herbs, oregano dress dishes with great delicacy.
Let’s get to know some traditional dishes from different Mediterranean countries:
- Spain: if we had to choose just one meal we would undoubtedly select the meat paella or mixed paella as recognized worldwide. But potato omelet and tomato and ham bread are also characteristic.
- Morocco: dishes such as tabulé and couscous take on great prominence, always accompanied by vegetables from the season.
- France: the ratatouille of vegetables, mussels with white wine, lamb with wine, and as dessert the calissons.
- Italy: Italy’s world-renowned dishes are pasta and pizza as well as empanada meat and tomato salads, mozzarella, and black olives.
- Greece: eggplant mousaka is a delicious and very healthy dish. Tzaziki sauce made with Greek yogurt, cucumber and garlic are often consumed in Greece. Dolmadakias are rolls of vine leaves filled with rice and meat.
- Malta: gbejniet is a very typical cupcake with goat and sheep cheese. Similar to the traditional tomato bread in Malta they have hobza, something ubiquitous to be taken out in restaurants.
- Turkey: worldwide the doner kebab is known, although it initially consists of charcoal-roasted meat spikes. Bulgur with salad is also very characteristic of Turkey. Lahmacun is a kind of very light pizza with meat and tomato.