Mediterranean Food Festival will be held in Shahdag Mountain Resort on February 9-19, 2018.
Different types of food, entertainment and thematic music are waiting for you.
Maghrebi cuisine includes the cuisines of Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia. One of the most characteristic dishes of the region is couscous, a steamed, small-grained wheat semolina, served with a stew.
One stew that may be served with couscous is the Moroccan tagine, a hearty, somewhat dry dish of meat and vegetables, cooked slowly in a pot (called a tagine) with a tall conical lid. Dishes from the Maghreb region of North Africa are often coloured and flavoured with the hot spice mixtures harissa and ras el hanout (containing such spices as cumin, coriander, saffron, cinnamon, cloves, chillies, and paprika). Other characteristic flavourings of the region are preserved lemons and dried apricots and raisins.
Egyptian cuisine has ancient roots, with evidence that, for example, cheese has been made in Egypt since at least 3,000 BC. Falafel are small fried croquettes of bean or chickpea flour, eaten across the Levant and the West, but originating in Egypt; they are claimed as theirs by Coptic Christians. Ful medames, a stew of fava beans with oil and cumin, is popular in Egypt and has become widespread across the Arab world. Duqqa is a dip made of pounded herbs, hazelnuts and spices, eaten with bread. Kushari is a foreign-derived 19th century dish of rice, lentils and pasta, variously garnished; it began as food for the poor, but has become a national dish.
Levantine cuisine is the cooking of the Levant (including the Middle Eastern Mediterranean coast, east of Egypt). Among the most distinctive foods of this cuisine are traditional small meze dishes such as tabbouleh, hummus, and baba ghanoush.Tabbouleh is a dish of bulgur cracked wheat with tomatoes, parsley, mint and onion, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. Baba ghanoush, sometimes called “poor man’s caviar”, is a puree of aubergine with olive oil, often mixed with chopped onion, tomato, cumin, garlic, lemon juice, and parsley. The dish is popular across the whole of the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa.
Ottoman cuisine has given rise to the cuisines of modern Turkey, parts of the Balkans, Cyprus, and Greece. A distinctive element is the family of small flaky pastries called börek. These are popular and widespread across the Eastern Mediterranean region, and date as far back as ancient Roman times. Börek are made of thin sheets of filo pastry, filled with mixtures such as meat, caramelised onion and sweet peppers.
Another widespread and popular dish is moussaka, a baked dish of aubergine or potato with various other ingredients: often minced meat and tomatoes, sometimes a layer of egg custard or béchamel sauce on top. In its Greek variant, well-known outside the region, it includes layers of aubergine and minced meat with custard or béchamel sauce on top, but that version is a relatively recent innovation, introduced by the chef Nikolaos Tselementes in the 1920s.
Much of Greek cuisine is part of the larger tradition of Ottoman cuisine, the names of the dishes revealing Arabic, Persian or Turkish roots: moussaka, tzatziki, yuvarlakia, keftes and so on. Many dishes’ names probably entered the Greek vocabulary during Ottoman times, or earlier in contact with the Persians and the Arabs. However, some dishes may be pre-Ottoman, only taking Turkish names later; the historians of food John Ash and Andrew Dalby, for example, speculate that grape-leaf dolmadhes were made by the early Byzantine period, while Alan Davidson traces trahana to the ancient Greek tragos and skordalia to the ancient Athenian skorothalmi. Greek cookery makes wide use of vegetables, olive oil, grains, fish, wine and meat (white and red, including lamb, poultry, rabbit and pork). Other important ingredients include olives, cheese, aubergine, courgette, lemon juice, vegetables, herbs, bread and yoghurt. Some dishes can be traced back to ancient Greece: lentil soup, fasolada, retsina (white or rosé wine flavoured with pine resin) and pasteli (sesame seeds baked with honey); some to the Hellenistic and Roman periods: loukaniko (dried pork sausage); and Byzantium: feta cheese, avgotaraho (bottarga) and paximadhia (rusk). Lakerda, mizithra cheese and desserts like diples, koulourakia, moustokouloura and melomakarono also date back to the Byzantine period, while the variety of different pitas probably dates back to the ancient times.