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Cultural Treats: Middle Eastern Food

Many people enjoy Middle Eastern cuisine, so I have supplied a list of dishes to give you a better idea of the food served there.

I am one of the many, many people who enjoy Middle Eastern food. There's everything from sweet baklava to Turkish coffee, all of which are tasty and likeable. That's why I decided to showcase this category of cuisine. There are so many different smells and tastes. What's there not to like?

Hummus is a spread made of mashed chickpeas. Believe it or not, people fight over hummus! Who made the best hummus? Who made the most hummus? Apparently these fights go on at a national level, too. Which country does hummus belong to? Israel or Lebanon? Truth is, hummus wasn't originally from any of those places. Legend has it, the first ever hummus dish was prepared for Saladin, the sultan of Egypt and Syria at the time. But seriously, who would fight over food?

A falafel is a deep fried ball made of either mashed chickpeas or fava beans. Falafel could've originated from many different places. Some say it came from Egypt, but others consider India as a possibility. Truth is, we don't know. There are also a lot of health benefits from eating falafel. Guess what? People fight about falafal too! Anyway, you should eat falafel. Especially on June 12th, National Falafel Day!

If you've never eaten baba ganoush before, you're probably wondering if it is the same exact thing as hummus. Baba ganoush (also called Baba Ghanouj) is a spread made of mashed, cooked eggplant and olive oil. Both hummus and baba ghanoush are healthy, and I would recommend them to anyone on a diet. But just because they're healthy doesn't mean they don't taste good.

Okay, baklava is very sweet, but it's so good! It's like this pastry with layers and lots of sugar and sweet stuff. Phyllo dough (the dough you use to make baklava) is named after the Greek word for "leaf", because it's as thin as a leaf. Oh, and by the way, National Baklava Day is November 17th, so be sure to buy some slices of this treat, and enjoy!

Let me just say right now that Turkish coffee is not for kids. It's literally coffee, only a very strong version. Surprise! Turkish coffee doesn't come from Turkey. In fact, it probably originated from Yemen, and then made its way over to Turkey. Also, Turkish coffee has a lot of foam, and Turkish coffee is served with water to cleanse your pallette both before and after the drink.

Well, I hope you liked my overview of Middle Eastern food. There are obviously more dishes, but I put ones that I thought you would like.

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