Common Foods of Middle East.

The most common components of Middle Eastern
food include fresh ingredients, astringent and piquant
spices, and olive oil. The common Middle Eastern diet

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somewhat vegetarian, which makes meat lesser common
than other foods. If meat is found in a middle eastern dish,
than there is only a little and lamb is used rather than beef.
Some other very common foods and components of Middle Eastern
dishes include pita bread, hummus, tahini, falafel, tabouleh,
baklawa, and baba ghannouj.

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Cultural Importance

People of the Middle Ea st prepare their foods the way their ancestors
did, in fact, many Middle Eastern ingredients and techniques are identical
to those used in ancient Egypt. Food plays an important role in Middle
Eastern culture. Each region or country has their own unique and different
ways of preparing food, which helps define that region or countries culture.
Food is also v ery important in family life. Large family dinners can consist of
over twenty dishes and can take days to prepare.

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Foods for Celebration

Appetizers are very common at Middle Eastern festivals and celebrations. Popular festival
appetizers include hummus, spinach fatayer, and stuffed grape leaves. Main course
dishes include roast leg of lamb, roast turkey, and baked ham. Vegetables are common
in festival dishes, some popular vegetables include couscous, green beans with pine nuts, and
steamed asparagus with lemon. Middle Eastern festival dishes include a 3rd portion, or desert.
Some deserts include baklawa, baked quince, and stuffed dates.