In our previous article Middle Eastern Moments: The People, we showcased the friendly faces we came across while travelling through the Middle East.  In this post, we’ll share some of our favourite meals from this fascinating land!  Because eating pork is against the Muslim faith, lamb, chicken, mutton and beef are the meats of choice in this area…which is absolutely fine with us. Meat is grilled and served on skewers, ground into balls and deep-fried, slow roasted on a spit or shaved off into slices and wrapped as a sandwich.

Most meals are served with an accompaniment of delectable mezzes (appetizers or tapas).  Sometimes these can be the actual meal, other times they are just a starter. Mezze typically consists of hummus, raw or pickled vegetables, a mix of salads, breads with tahina dip (made from sesame seeds), baba ghanoush (eggplant), falafel (deep-fried ball made from chickpeas), soups and pieces of grilled meat. Each dish is perfectly seasoned with lemon, onion, garlic, parsley, mint and drizzled with fresh olive oil. Falafel and tahina definitely rank at the top of my favourites!

As an added bonus, there are bread making factories all over there place serving up fresh, soft breads.  Also, there are many markets selling local vegetables, fruits, olives, cheeses, nuts, pastries and freshly pressed olive oils. Dates, figs and olives, oh my!

With Mediterranean, Arabic and Western Asian influences, the food in this area is very diverse.  Of course, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey each have their own national and regional dishes, but there are too many delectable morsels to list here. This is just a teaser to get your mouth watering! Enjoy.

food in jordan
Enjoying a breakfast of falafel, tahina and hummus. Aqaba, Jordan
food in egypt
A table full of food: roast chicken, rice, tahina spread, green salad and breads. Egypt
shawarma egypt
A massive shawarma! Meat being shaved off into a sandwich. Cairo, Egypt
egypt breakfast
A typical breakfast in Egypt: yogurt, falafel, olives, cheese, hard-boiled egg, bread and fava beans.
food in jordan
Dariece thoroughly enjoying a falafal wrap! Amman, Jordan
bread making lebanon
Making fresh bread in Tripoli, Lebanon.
local vegetables jordan
Fresh vegetables perfect for a salad. Jerash, Jordan.
grilled meal turkey
A very typical (and very delicious) meal in Eastern Turkey: Grilled meats seasoned to perfection, peppers, tomatoes, rice, onions, bread and salad.
kofte in turkey
A friendly Turkish man grilling our kofte (minced meats on a skewer) for dinner. Diyarbakir, Turkey.
roast chicken egypt
Full, moist, delicious chickens roasting on a spit. The perfect dinner! Luxor, Egypt.
food in jordan
A full Bedouin spread of food: salads, breads, meat dishes, cheese, sauces and more. Wadi Musa, Jordan.
breakfast in turkey
A Turkish breakfast consisting of bread, coffee, hard-boiled egg, cheese, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes and jam.
kebabs in turkey
mmm, grilled chicken kebabs with grilled peppers, tomatoes, rice, salad and lemon. Cappadocia, Turkey.
chicken stew turkey
Piping hot chicken stew. Turkey.
mezze turkey
A table of mezzes. Diyarbakir, Turkey.

Hungry yet?!  The food in this region is so flavourful, diverse, fresh and delicious. The colours of the food are bright and the smells coming from any restaurant, bread shop or market are enough to make anyone stop in their tracks and grab a bite to eat. Even if you can’t make it to the Middle East, try using some of the flavours and spices when cooking at home. We promise, you won’t be disappointed!








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Middle Eastern Moments: The Food

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Nick Wharton & Dariece Swift

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Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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2 thoughts on “Middle Eastern Moments: The Food

  1. Asian food is every bit as diverse as it is delicious. I used to think that I knew Asian foods growing up. You see, we used to go out to Chinese and practically every weekend. They were a couple Chinese restaurants in the neighborhood, and they were perfect for us kids. They were greasy, flavorful, and we got a cookie at the end of every meal. What more could a child ask for?..

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