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7 OUTstanding Mediterranean Dishes

Welcome to the OUTstanding Mediterranean region of the world, in the center of the  Mediterranean Sea, which connects Sothern Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East with not only its beauty and history but also with the most connecting and may I say an important part of every vacation, food! This diverse part of the world connected by a body of water has many splendors when it comes to food. The seafood, fish, cheeses, the plants and vegetation, the wildlife, animals, agriculture and the culture around it, created a diverse and very delicious food culture and cuisine in all parts of the Mediterranea, and that's why we decided to give you a brief list of the most popular and must-try dishes of the Mediterranean, both vegetarian/vegan and not!

Greek Souvlaki
When we think of the Mediterranean region, Greece is one of the top countries that would pop into mind, and one of the most simple yet most popular and delicious dishes in Greece and Cyprus is the Souvlaki. It is considered to be a fast food dish, usually made with chicken, it is meat on a skewer and served with pita bread, lemon, sauces, and some vegetables. The skewer can also be other meats such as lamb, beef, pork and sometimes even fish. It might sound simple, however, this dish is not only a must-have, but it also represents a long history of the Greeks and goes back to over 3,000 years back. Since the Mediterranean region is very rich with farmland and agriculture, the meats are fresh and all the products are always local and delicious!
Tarama
The ​tarama or taramasalate is a very traditional Greek dish, or more a Greek dip, but you definitely won't find it anywhere else and definitely will have this as a part of a very traditional Mediterranean Greek meal. The tarama is a meze made from salted and cured fish roe, usually cod, carp or grey mullet, and is mixed with lemon juice, olive oil, some starchy base such as potatoes or bread and many times with almonds. Many variations of this dip or meze also come with garlic, spring onions and sometimes lemon juice substituted with vinegar. It's a great way to start your meal, or just snack with some delicious fresh bread, and truly is a staple in the Greek Mediterranean cuisine.
Greek Salad
We have to put something a bit lighter and vegetarian/vegan-friendly for you guys, that's why we can't miss out on the Greek salad…but the actual one! The Greek salad or ​horiatiki salad is quite simple but when done right with the fresh and local ingredients, it's a salad you can't forget. The salad includes cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions, sometimes also green bell pepper or caper berries, all roughly chopped and usually in big pieces, olives, and large pieces of fresh feta cheese, all seasoned with Greek mountain oregano and salt and dressed simply with virgin olive oil. Sounds simple? Yes, but when the products are local and fresh, the flavors are simply unforgettable and before you notice you will be wanting another bowl of salad!
Paella
This Spanish dish is very well known and popular in Spain, originated in Valencia, its actually a very ancient dish with deep roots however the modern version which is the one that is commonly found in Spain and the Mediterranean region was originated in the mid-19th century in the Albufera, the east coast of Spain. Now, the dish itself! The main ingredient is white rice which must be round grain, green beans, some sort of meat (could be chicken, rabbit and sometimes duck), lima beans, sometimes even snails and is seasoned with saffron and rosemary, all in one pot and cooked together to perfection. There is also a seafood paella that contains shrimps, octopus, calamari and other seafood. The paella can also come in a vegetarian/vegan version and all meats or seas food are replaced with hearty vegetables such as beans. This traditional rice dish is not only delicious but also very beautiful, having the yellowish color from the saffron and the aromas of all the fresh and local ingredients cooked together to perfection.
Gazpacho
The Gazpacho or Andalusian gazpacho is the perfect dish for the hot Mediterranean climate, and is a classic Spanish dish but also found in Portugal. It is a cold cream/soup that is made of raw vegetables, blended all together. The gazpacho mainly consists of tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, and onion. Seasoned with olive oil and vinegar as well. There are of course many variations to this dish, some are topped with toasted garlic bread (​YUMM!), some with garnished with diced cucumbers and bell peppers, watermelon, strawberries, parsley, and other fresh ingredients. Not only this dish is super refreshing, its nutritious, full of history and friendly to all eaters!
Hummus
Agh our beloved hummus! A classic Mediterranean dish, mainly middle eastern, that went through many changes and upgrades and considered to be the new healthy spread or dip all around the world. The humble hummus is actually originated in the Middle East and goes back many many years, is a true staple and a must on every middle eastern table. The hummus is quite simple, it is made of mashed cooked chickpeas, mixed with tahini (made of sesame), and blended with salt, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic. It is considered to be a meze or a dip but to many it can be a whole meal, topped with ful medames (fava beans), hard-boiled egg, more chickpeas, and some olive oil, all with a nice warm pita bread on the side and you got yourself a great hearty and full of protein meal!
Knafeh
For dessert, we got you one of the most delicious Middle Eastern desserts out there and it the knafeh. The knafeh is made with noodle-like pastry or semolina dough, a layer of cheese (different cheeses for different regions, most common is white-brine cheese called nabulsi), and all this is soaked in sugar-based syrup or honey and of course, some topping of nuts such as pistachios or almonds are commonly added. This dessert is a true Levant delicacy and a great way to try a different kind of cheesecake!  
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