Culturally rich Arabia has a wide range of food items as part of its traditional cuisines. With a heavy Mediterranean influence, you can notice the influence of various cultures and religions in Arabian Food. European cultures such as the Spanish, Italian, French and Greek also have an impact on the Arab cooking.
Traditionally, olives, dry fruits (like cashews, pistachios, pine nuts, and dates), cheese and other milk products are used to prepare most of the Arabic dishes. Cereals such as rice and broken and milled wheat form the staple diet of this region. Lamb is the main source of meat for Arabians and poultry birds are often consumed as a part of snacks and starters. Pork is completely prohibited for Arabic under Islamic law. Tea and coffee flavored with cardamom, clove, or mint are the most loved beverages of Arabian and are often consumed after almost every meal throughout the day. Citrus fruits, pomegranates, lemons, dates, apples, figs, oranges, apricots, mango, almonds and pistachios are favored fruits in Arabia.
Some Traditional Arabic Food:
Hummus is a famous Arabian dip made with chickpeas and sesame seed paste. It is usually served with snacks, appetizers or scooped with flatbread, such as pita. This mouth-watering dish is easy to prepare and is being loved by young and old alike. Baba Ghanush or Mutabbal is the same as hummus but with an added flavor of smoked eggplant.
Falafels are deep fried dumplings made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Felafel balls taste great when served with Hummus and pita bread
Shawarma is an all-time favorite snack amongst the Arabs. It is a kind of sandwich filled with roasted pieces of meat and dressed with toppings like Hummus and tahini. Pita bread is used for wrapping the filling of the sandwich.
It is believed that Kebabs were first originated in the Middle East. The word ‘Kebab’ is derived from an Arabic word ‘Cabob’ which means to burn or char. Usually served with rice, tomato puree and different dips, Kebabs are made with minced meat and mild spices.
Bread is highly regarded in the Arabic food culture. It is a part of almost every Arabic cuisine. Pita, Lavash, and Sangak are some famous varieties of bread used in the preparation of Arabian meals.
No cuisine is complete without sweets. Although most sweets are made all year round such as knafeh, baklava, and basbousa, some are prepared only during the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan such as Qatayef.