What Is Mediterranean Food?


When you think of Mediterranean food, you may picture pitas and hummus, and little else. The cuisine of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, however, is extremely diverse. So just what is Mediterranean food? It includes staple dishes from European countries such as Greece, Italy and Spain; North African countries, such as Algeria, Libya and Morocco; and Middle Eastern countries, such as Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. This region is rich in a wide variety of ingredients and spices that make ordinary food pop with flavor. What’s more, the food of the Mediterranean region is prepared with fresh, healthy ingredients that are actually good for you. In fact, it is this perfect marriage of taste and nutrition that has made Mediterranean food so popular throughout the world – and Pita Jungle so popular here in the Southwest.

For centuries, the residents of countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea have enjoyed a lower risk of certain cancers, reduced risk of developing heart disease and increased longevity overall. (Source: Webmd). One of the reasons for this is daily exercise. But another, equally important, reason is a healthy, balanced diet. What is Mediterranean food’s secret to better health? The Mediterranean diet is rich in lean proteins, like chicken, fish and legumes; fresh fruits and vegetables; whole, unprocessed grains; seeds and nuts; healthy fats like olive oil; and a limited intake of dairy and red meats. It all adds up to a nutritionally balanced diet that promotes improved overall health and well-being.