12 Reasons To Love The Mediterranean Diet
When you have the perfect set of circumstances converge in one place, then you’ve got yourself one hell of a tourist destination – and that’s exactly what the Mediterranean is. Perfect climate, awesome food and the best wine makes this region in the world absolutely irresistible. Mediterranean countries include Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Israel, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, and Morocco, which simply means that there’s almost an unlimited number of food varieties available here. For most of us, the Mediterranean diet is all about wine and seafood; however, what exactly is the Mediterranean diet?
Feta is a brined curd white cheese made either from sheep’s milk or from a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk – it is developed by the ancient Greeks and is still being used today. It has a whitish color that sometimes has small holes and at other times has none whatsoever. Unlike Swiss cheese and other types of cheeses which are mostly circular in shape, the Greeks make their feta cheese into large blocks and is aged in brine. It has a tangy and salty flavor that range from mild to strong. It has a slightly grainy texture and it crumbles easily. The Greeks enjoy it with their salads, paired with zucchini, or even with just plain wheat bread.
This one is the more familiar food item among the lot. While most people think that the Italian cuisine is as a whole in and on itself, it is actually part of the Mediterranean diet. Trust me when I tell you that nothing else comes close to the Italian pizza! But any pizza recipe in the Mediterranean diet is just as good, because it is made with natural ingredients and is therefore loaded with nutrients.
Tomato, Avocado, Basil Salad
It may seem odd since we’ve already mentioned salad earlier, but believe me when I say that this one deserved a feature all to itself. You will find that this Tomato, Avocado & Basil Salad is the perfect side dish for any meal, as the gorgeous ripe tomatoes and creamy avocado will absolutely drive you nuts. Even though it’s already amazing on its own, I recommend that you pair it with chorizo sausage to augment the taste even further.
Gyros is a Greek dish made from cut chunks of meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie that’s similar to the kebab and shawarma from Turkey. The difference between the 2 dishes is that gyros usually come with the same combo of lettuce, tomatoes, and onions; whereas shawarma has a mixture of meat that’s exceptionally flavorful and juicy (the meat are marinated with spices like turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and garlic). Both dishes are actually part of the Mediterranean diet and are healthy to consume, but if you haven’t tried the Greek gyros yet, then now would be the best time to do it!
It may seem odd since we’ve already mentioned salad Tapas comes from the Spanish verb “tapar” which means “to cover,” a cognate of the English “top.” Tapas may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or hot (such as chopitos, which are battered, fried baby squid). The dish originated in Barcelona, Spain during the pre-19th century period – today tapas have evolved into a more sophisticated cuisine that they can even be made into an entire full meal!
Tuscany is a region in central Italy where cities like Florence, San Marino and Bologna are located. The people here are thriving in their food game and one cuisine that stands out from the rest is the creamy Tuscan chicken. Packed with flavour, the creamy sun-dried tomato sauce mixed in the Tuscan chicken is the ultimate chicken dinner. It is best eaten with pasta, potatoes or just plain wheat bread and peel off chunks to dip into that creamy sauce. It’s also very easy to make.
The Mediterranean diet wouldn’t be complete without fish and seafood dishes to showcase and, as a matter of fact, there are a lot of seafood recipes in Mediterranean dishes. Seafood recipes such as roasted salmon with smoky chickpeas and greens, shrimp scampi, salmon with roasted red pepper quinoa salad, and many more will absolutely delight your palate.
Hummus is another appetizer famous in the Middle East and the Mediterranean and is considered a dip, spread, or savory dish made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with sesame seeds, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. What makes this food particularly interesting is the fact that it is very delicious and its flavor is enhanced even further when paired with fresh bread, fruits, and veggies. How about that? All the best flavors and healthy goodness in one dish!