Caitlin Walsh's food on the Middle East Project 2009-10

For my project i choose to research food in the Middle East. Two kinds of more common modern takes on important food of this old culture are pita and feta cheese.

Pita Chips

Ingredients

  • 1 package pita pockets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Brush one side of each piece pita pocket with olive oil. Sprinkle the garlic powder, salt, and garlic salt over the pita pockets. Slice each pocket into 4 even triangles.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until the triangles turn a light brown color, 15 to 20 minutes.

Feta cheese dip

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Preparation:

Crumble and mash feta cheese with a fork with oils and lemon juice until smooth and creamy.

Serve with toasted pita wedges or crackers.

Variations

Many herbs and spices can be added to this recipe for a "kick". Try adding a teaspoon of dill, oregano, garlic powder, or another herb or spice. For spicier spices like cumin or caraway, start off with 1/8 teaspoon and increase according to taste.

Background on the Pita and Feta cheese


Many "Arab" food was made on the travel and used by the nomads who inhabited this dry area. Pita was important because it was easy to make and never really goes stale. Feta cheese was good because it could be made while the nomads moved camps because many nomads carried goats or camels and their milk is what feta cheese is made out of. Although many modern communities who eat feta cheese don't make it, but rather buy the feta cheese made from goat's instead of camel's milk. Feta and pita have just recently been put together when people had more time to experiment with pita making it in to chips, flat bread, and many other substances that can be paired with dips and smear which is where feta came in. Usually feta and pita where just eaten separately and in the last hundred years of boring pita that needed to be made before the nomads would travel usually by their wives or daughters. They can now pick it up in a store. Pita and Feta cheese are more commonly every day food. Although both can be spiced up or altered to be used for celebrations or festivals. Pita has been around for hundreds of years. It has always been used by the nomads who inhabited the Middle Eastern desert climate which was later caught on by different cultures including the United States Pita is Aramaic for bread. Many Arabic just call it khubz or just simply bread instead of it's other many names. Many people use pita for dipping now, but is also used for sandwiches, pizza, and kebabs. Feta cheese is mostly eaten in salads, sandwiches, or a dip. Many people don't generally eat it just raw because the taste is so strong. Feta cheese is also popular in the United States along with pita bread because it is used for sandwiches and has become so popular it has a restaurant devoted to just pita sandwiches appropriately named The Pita Pit. Pita is important to this region because it shows it's early history and how they adapted to new trends and the years, but still kept the original traditions and they're very attached to traditional ways of celebrating and preparing food. Pita can be served on any occasion in many different forms. Pita chips is just one way to serve pita. Feta is more a snack served on celebrations, but can be served anyway you choose.





external image moz-screenshot.jpgexternal image moz-screenshot-1.jpg
flat_bread_#2.jpg
Pita Bread
 Feta cheese
Feta cheese



Sources:
http://mideastfood.about.com/od/dipsandsauces/r/fetacheesedip.htm
http://www.answers.com/topic/pita-1
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Perfect-Pita-Chips/Detail.aspx