Starting from left: Bay Leaves, Cinnamon Ground, Dry Mint, Basil and Cinnamon Bark

The Middle East and Mediterranean brings you some unusual and delicious cuisine to tantalise your palate. In order to cook any of this cuisine at home, you not only need the basic recipes, but you also need a wide assortment of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean spices and herbs to come up with the right flavours. We further explore these cuisines, and some of the spices and herbs that provide their unique flavours in the following details. 

What Is Middle Eastern Cuisine?

The origins of this cuisine come from the Middle East, which includes the following countries:

• Cyprus
• Bahrain
• Egypt
• Israel
• Iraq
• Iran
• Jordan
• Lebanon
• Kuwait
• Qatar
• Oman
• Saudi Arabia
• Turkey
• Syria
• Yemen
• United Arab Emirates

Since so many countries contribute to this style of cuisine, the flavours change a bit from country to country. Along with such ingredients as beef, lamb, chicken, chickpeas, hummus, cheeses and legumes, there are specific spices and herbs that are necessary to provide the signature Middle Eastern flavour combinations. 

Some of the Spices and Herbs Used in Middle Eastern Cuisine

Regardless of your basic middle eastern recipe, you will need some type of spice or herb to flavour in the right ethnic manner to fit the country from which it originates. Some of the common spices and herbs for this regional cooking are:

Cardamon is one of the oldest spices in the world since it dates back to ancient times. It is used in meat, rice and stew dishes as well as certain drinks, such as Turkish coffee. 

Cumin provides a hearty, earthy flavour to certain Middle Eastern dishes. The seeds in whole form also make a tasty garnish. 

What Is Mediterranean Cuisine?

The following countries around the Mediterranean Sea provide their interesting recipes to make up this cuisine:

• Spain
• Italy
• France
• Greece
• Turkey
• Syria
• Israel
• Egypt
• Algeria
• Libya
• Tunisia
• Morocco

This cuisine today is gaining popularity for its healthy entrees, but it has long been famous for its delectable variety of dishes. Mediterranean dishes include foods such as olives, lemon, grape leaves, bulgar, rice, yoghurt, fava beans, lamb and goat along with signature flavourings, such as the ones we mention in the next section. 

Examples of the Spices and Herbs That Provide the Mediterranean Cuisine With Its Unique Flavours

Bring out the Mediterranean influence in your recipes with the spices and herbs such as:

Basil provides sweet, peppery taste experience. 

Bay leaves add a potent flavour to sauces, marinades, soups and other dishes.

Cinnamon offers not only warm spiciness to dishes, but it also adds a sweet flavour. 

Mint is a prominent in Mediterranean sauces, jellies, teas and desserts. 

To purchase your supply of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean spices and herbs, turn to Medfoods. We offer a wide selection of them for your consideration.