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14 Mediterranean Foods Everyone Needs to Try

By: Victoria Piranian

Imagine yourself biting into a gyro. First, your teeth touch that soft pita bread followed by some crispy lettuce and juicy tomatoes. You strike gold as you bite into the meat and all of the spices and flavors make your taste buds jump. I don’t know about you, but this is the feeling I get every time I eat Mediterranean food.

Mediterranean food is undoubtedly irresistible, but with such a wide array of dishes and ingredients, it's hard to differentiate between all the different items. This Mediterranean food guide lead you through the different flavors and foods — along this journey you will find lots of butter, many veggies and meats, and of course, some great carbs.

1. Gyro

The famous gyro (pronounced YEE-roh) is the ultimate trifecta of salty, greasy, and delicious. The meat used in a gyro is cooked on a special rotisserie that is constantly turning and roasting chicken, lamb, or beef. To serve, you use a special shaver to shave the meat, going from top to bottom.

Sure, some choose to eat the meat on its own, but those who know what's up eat the sandwich in its entirety — the meat is topped with tomatoes, onions, tzatziki (and at times, French fries) and is placed inside a warm, toasted pita.

2. Hummus/Baba Ganoush

Hummus actually means “chickpea” in Arabic. This dip came to life because of the mass cultivation of chickpeas in the Mediterranean, and it has since become a worldwide phenomenon. This dip’s main ingredient is, you guessed it, a chickpea. A basic hummus consists of mashed chickpeas, tahini (a ground paste made from sesame seeds), olive oil, and spices, but you can alter it by adding other ingredients or spices. You can learn how to make it with five ingredients here. Baba ganoush is similar, but it uses eggplants as the base instead of chickpeas.

3. Kebab/Kabob

Yes, a kabob and kebab are the same thing — kabob is just the North American way of spelling kebab. A kebab is skewered pieces of well-seasoned meat and veggies that are grilled to perfection. While the most traditional meat of choice is lamb, it is common to use others including chicken, beef, ground beef, and even fish. As always, it's often served in a warm pita with grilled veggies.

4. Dolma

The word dolma comes from a Turkish word meaning "to be stuffed." A dolma is a stuffed vegetable — the most common kind of dolma are stuffed grape leaves, but eggplants, bell peppers, and tomatoes are popular as well. The fillings are normally rice or meat-based, seasoned with potent spices and onions, and a lot of olive oil.

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