Middle Eastern Cuisine and Traditions


Many of the dishes we enjoy around the world today have Middle Eastern roots. From falafel and hummus, tabbouleh, and pita bread; all these staples have been tailored specifically to suit consumers and help them feel at home in different cultures.

Food has long been an essential element of Middle Eastern diets. Grains have long been consumed as staples throughout the region and bread is enjoyed at every meal.


Falafel is an iconic Middle Eastern dish, popularly enjoyed in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Israel. These small deep-fried patties can be served in pita sandwiches with pickles, hot sauce and tahini as well as salad, Mezze Plate or added into hummus dishes.

Falafel stands apart from similar dishes by being prepared from ground chickpeas or fava beans, sometimes both, mixed with fresh herbs and spices before being formed into balls or patties for frying or baking. Seasoning options can vary according to personal taste; popular choices are cilantro, parsley and dill.

One theory puts its origin in Alexandria, Egypt; however, it remains unknown how or why the dish first spread to other parts of the globe.


Hummus, an iconic Middle Eastern dish made from chickpeas and tahini, has been around since ancient times. Popular among Western consumers as an accompaniment for pita bread sandwiches or shared plates such as falafel.

Main ingredients of chickpea salad: chickpeas, tahini (a paste made from ground sesame seeds), olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Additional flavors and spices such as hot peppers or harissa chili paste may be added for variation.

This versatile, delicious and healthy dish is also vegan-friendly and an excellent source of plant-based proteins.


Tabouleh (or tabouli) is an irresistibly refreshing Middle Eastern salad made with refreshing fresh herbs like parsley, mint, tomato and green onion combined with soaked bulgur wheat, lemon juice and olive oil dressing and an herb base from Lebanon or Syria mountains. A staple dish throughout its region!

Mezze (a collection of small dishes), such as hummus, baba ghanoush, dolma and falafel is an irresistibly flavorful way to start any meal. Additionally, this delectable appetizer pairs nicely with grilled meats and rice dishes for the perfect pairing experience.

Pita Bread

Pita bread is an integral part of Middle Eastern cuisine and traditions, serving as the vehicle for falafel, hummus or baba ganoush spread. Plus it offers an easy and healthy way to add whole grains into your daily diet – thanks to its high fiber and protein content!

Traditional pita bread dough consists of flour, water, yeast and salt mixed together and kneaded into a shaggy mass for making traditional pitas.

Proper yeast management is vital in order to successfully rise dough. Mix and kneading should take place using slightly warm water (120degF to 130degF) so as to activate the yeast.

Once the dough has risen, divide into equal portions and form them into balls. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes or so before rolling out.

Baba Ghanoush

Baba Ghanoush is a beloved dish in Middle Eastern cuisine and tradition, frequently featured as part of a mezze platter alongside other items such as hummus, tabbouleh and grilled pita bread.

This delicious and simple eggplant-based appetizer requires only roasted eggplant, tahini, garlic cloves, lemon juice and salt for its preparation.

Cheese can be enjoyed as an appetizer or spread for sandwiches. Furthermore, you can pair it with carrots, peppers and cucumbers for an unforgettable bite-sized experience!

This flavorful and lemony appetizer dip is an indispensable part of any mezze platter! Perfect with pita bread or pita chips as an indulgent yet healthy snack option!