What is Mediterranean food?

The concept of Mediterranean food is unfairly limited in the minds of most people, especially in the United States. Mediterranean food is not just Greek food. It is not just Italian food.  It is food which comes from all nations surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, twenty-three in all, and it is steeped in history and tradition.

For simplification, Mediterranean food is generally divided into three geographic groupings: Eastern European, Southern Europe, and North African.  Each grouping has unique flavors, spices, and personalities.

Eastern European – The Balkans, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine

Southern Europe – Italy, Spain, Portugal, Southern France

North African – Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Lybia

Mediterranean foods are known for their use of fresh vegetables, very tender meats, and savory spices, but the core of these dishes are olives, wheat, and grapes, three staples found in abundance in this region, dating back centuries.  In a very real sense, when you dine on Mediterranean foods, you are dining on history.

The emphasis is on freshness. You will find very little, if any, processed foods in any Mediterranean dish.  It would almost be a sacrilege to include such things.  The emphasis is also on spices of a particular region. It is important to note that the history of the Mediterranean cuisine is deeply rooted on availability . . . the catch of the day sort of thinking . . . and with the available ingredients, local spices, in abundance, were added.  There is no confusion when tasting Mediterranean food; the explosion of taste will alert you that you are now dining on one of the world’s true culinary pleasures.

Favorite Mediterranean Meals

Some of our favorite Mediterranean foods include:

  • Pita
  • Greek Salad
  • Baklava
  • Domlas
  • Falafel
  • Tapas
  • Gyro

A little about each one:

Pita – a rounded flatbread, made from wheat, wrapped around delicacies from the region.

Greek Salad – the freshest of the fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, olives, this cold, refreshing salad has been a staple of Greek residents since the days of the ancient fishing fleets.

Baklava – a pastry dessert, from Turkey, it includes a bed of nuts between layers of filo pastry, and held together with sweet honey syrup. If it sounds divine, that’s because it is.

Domlas – delicacies, ranging from lamb to vegetables, stuffed in potatoes, vine leaves, eggplant, varying techniques depending upon the country of origin, guaranteed to induce drooling.

Falafel – bite-sized treats of mashed chickpeas, spices, and delicate treats, shaped into patties, deep fried, and served alone or as part of a larger meal, this North African taste sensation does not disappoint.

Tapas – various appetizers, from meats to cheeses to spreads, pick and choose as you like, this Spanish cuisine dates back to the Ancient Romans and is truly a meal for any occasion.

Gyro – Classic lamb and beef sliced off a spitfire with fresh Tzatziki

A Final Word About Hedary's Food Truck

The history of Hedary’s Food Truck dates back to the 1960’s in Lebanon, where a grandfather started the first Hedary’s Restaurant, to years later with a small child eating at his grandfather’s restaurant in the United States, and vowing one day to own a Hedary’s Restaurant. The dream continues today!