Mediterranean cuisine

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Lobster in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Mediterranean cuisine is the food from the cultures adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea. Although this region spans a wide variety of cultures, the historical connections of the region, as well as the impact of the Mediterranean Sea on the region's climate and economy, have led to there being many common elements in the foods.


Whether "Mediterranean cuisine" is a useful category is disputed. For example:



The varied cuisines of the Mediterranean have developed over the millennia, with notable regional changes happening with the introduction of New World foods starting in the 16th century. However, the concept of a Mediterranean cuisine is very recent, probably dating from the publication of Elizabeth David's 1950 book Book of Mediterranean Food,[3] though David herself spoke of Mediterranean "food", "cookery", or "cooking".[4]

The Mediterranean diet, popularized in the 1970s, is sometimes conflated with Mediterranean cuisine:

List of Mediterranean cuisines


  1. Sami Zubaida, "National, Communal and Global Dimensions in Middle Eastern Food Cultures" p. 43 in Sami Zubaida and Richard Tapper, A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East, London and New York, 1994 and 2000, ISBN 1-86064-603-4.
  2. Clifford A. Wright, A Mediterranean Feast: The Story of the Birth of the Celebrated Cuisines of the Mediterranean from the Merchants of Venice to the Barbary Corsairs, with More than 500 Recipes, 1999, ISBN 0688153054, p. 1
  3. Wright, p. xv
  4. Elizabeth David, A Book of Mediterranean Food, 1950
  5. Massimo Alberini, Giorgio Mistretta, Guida all'Italia gastronomica, Touring Club Italiano, 1984, p. 37

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