Period 3 World Cultures, Neiffer.
For my project I have chosen to research the food and cuisine that is prepared and eaten in the Middle East. Throughout this project I have come to the conclusion that in the Middle East there are many different types of foods that people in the Middle East eat, depending on the religion and the time of year that it is supposed to be eaten. Foods in the Middle East are very unique, but they also ahve recipes that are very similar to the food and cuisine that we eat here. Many of the ingredients they use in the Middle East are the very same or very close to the ones we use here.

Before I discuss the food, I am going to talk about some of the ingredients used in the cuisine of the Middle East. Although some of the ingredients are very close to the ingredients we use everyday some of the more unique ingredients commonly found in the Middle East include:
<<Olives and olive oils>>
<<Bulgur (Birghil)>>: is cracked wheat; which is used in recipes such as Tabuli and Kibba.
<<Cardamom (Hale)>>: a very common spice in many Middle Eastern households.
<<Rose Water (Myh Warid)>>: is an aromatic water containing the extract of roses, common in Middle Eastern Deserts.
<<Saffron (Zaafaran)>>: Saffron is the deep-orange, aromatic, dried stigmas of a purple-flower crocus. Used to colour and flavour foods such as rice.

I have also come to the conclusion that unlike most, if not all, of the people in the Middle East farm their own ingredients for the foods. Many of the ingredients co me from very different places. For example milk is a very common ingredient used by Middle Eastern's and it comes from many different animals. A few of those animals include:
as well as a few others. The Middle East is even trying new milks such as flavored milk!

Middle East Christian Christmas Time!
Like many of the different religions here, in the Middle East the religions there celebrate different holidays and celebrations. During those celebrations and holidays the religions eat many different types of foods. One religion celebrated in the Middle East is Christmas, which is celebrated the Christians that live there. The foods they eat during the holidays include:
*Baba Ghannouj (ba-ba gan-oosh): which is made mostly from eggplant and has tahini and a sesame paste which is also one of it's main ingredients.
*Couscous: which is a grain that goes with everything. It can be very unique when people add vegetables, spices, even fruits such as cranberries.*Spinach Fatayer: small, triangular spinach pies. They include fresh spinach, walnuts, adn extra ingredients added for unique flavors.
As well as many others.

A Time to Fast! (Which means giving up eating, incase you didn't know!)
In many religions, especially in the Middle East, there are times when it is considered rude to eat. Fasting is a time to show respect, and when you do not do it you are being disrespectful. One fasting time for Muslims in the Middle East is called Ramadan. During Ramadan they eat two meals, one before the fast, and one afterwards. Before they begin fasting they eat a meal called Suhur which is eaten in the morning, and afterwards they eat a meal called futuur at night when the fasting is done.

In most of the Middle East due to the religions itis considered a very bad and immoral thing to eat foods such as:
PIGS! (Due to the fact that are considered "filthy" animals.)

Since pork and pigs are not eaten in the Middle East the most common meat eaten there is lamb and chicken.

I've also came to the conclusion that in the Middle East they have foods that are very similar to the foods we eat here. For example they have foods that are similar to our fast foods. One example of their fast foods is from the McDonald's restaurant and it's the McDonald's version of the falafel sandwhich, of course, called the "McFalafel". It is very popular as a fast food. Vendors sell it on the street corners in Cairo. As a main dish it is served as a sandwhich stuffed in pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and tahini; a very close version of our own "Big Mac".

Sweet Couscous!!!
From //The Spice of Vegetarian Cooking// (Canada, UK), by Martha Rose Shulman.
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2 cups couscous
3 cups water
1-3/4 cups raisins
boiling water to cover
2 Tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
4 Tbsp slivered blanched almonds
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
sea salt to taste
3 Tbsp honey
2 oranges, peeled, white membranes removed, chopped
Place the couscous in a bowl and pour on the water. Let sit while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Place the raisins in a bowl and pour on boiling water to cover. Let sit 15 minutes, then drain and retain the soaking water. Add water to measure 2 cups.
Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed, lidded saucepan, in the bottom of a couscoussiére or a flame-proof tagineexternal image ir?t=ochefcom-20&l=ur2&o=1. Sauté the onion over medium-low heat until it begins to turn golden. Add the raisins, almonds, dried apricots, spices, honey, and soaking liquid from the raisins. Cover and simmer 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile rub the couscous between the palms of your hands, then place in the top part of the couscoussiére or in a steamer above the simmering sauce and steam 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a platter and toss with the sweet, spicy sauce and the oranges. Serve at once.
Yield: Serves 8 generously

History of COUSCOUS!
In the 11th century, the Arab
-Islamic conquest helped disseminate couscous to all around the North-African region.
conomic growth and the development of wheat farming both accelerated this expansion. Thus couscous was brought to Andalusia, and the Mediterranean perimeter. Even the 16th century French writer François Rabelais was able to appreciate the taste of "Coscoton à la Moresque" in Provence. South America became acquainted with couscous as well, through the Portuguese community who emigrated from Morocco.
The expansion of couscous continued during the 20th century, driven by large waves of migration from North Africa to various European countries and especially France, where this dish became very popular . In fact, many surveys reveal that couscous is second preferred dish among the French.
Now a dish of international renown, couscous is the ambassador of North African cuisine and the epitome of the delicacy of Moroccan culinary art. With its rich tradition, couscous remains one of the most attractive and mysterious dishes in the world.

Couscous is a very popular dish in the Middle East. It can be served with pretty much everything they eat there. They use it for many dinners and celebrations such as
Ramadan (Before of after, not during of course!) as well as many other times. It is very common in all the households there as well.