Michael Cavazos food project wiki

kafta, gyros, grape leaves, spinach pies, falafel, pastries is some of the foods that are eaten at middle eastern festivals

Middle Eastern meal might exclude meat, it would never exclude bread. From leavened breads to flat breads, there is always some form of this staple at table.
aba ghanouj, an eggplant dip; hummos, a garlicky chickpea spread; borek, feta-stuffed phyllo pastries; and dolmas, stuffed grape leaves.

For dessert, expect a small cup of sweet, thick coffee (do not drink the sludge-like grounds in the bottom of the cup)—unless you are in Iran, where tea is preferred. Nut-filled desserts ranging from baklava, the honey sweet phyllo pastries, to almond crusted cookies, are favored. But don't expect dessert everyday, as it is usually only served when entertaining, much as it is in the US, although bakeries commonly sell sweet such pastries for morning snacks.

Unlike the US, where licking one's fingers is frowned upon, the proper sign that a guest has enjoyed the meal is the licking of one's fingers. This makes sense, though, since Arab meals are served communally, from the same dish and eaten with the thumb and first two fingers. A jug of water for cleansing the hands before eating and after eating, a hot steaming cloth, are provided.

A typical meal will start with the appetizer, known as mezze. Order a mezzes course in Lebanon and other countries and you will soon learn why the tables are so big. Dozens of tiny dishes with exotic tidbits are placed on the table all at once. A strategy even exists among restaurants in a neighborhood, each one promoting that they serve fifty mezzes, or sixty mezzes, or seventy mezzes, all in competition to attract the customer.