The Mediterranean diet is often thought to be among the healthiest forms of eating right now. Food lovers usually add olive oil, lamb, yogurt, and fishto their diets regularly. Chefs whose specialty is Middle Eastern cuisine will typically take pride in their meals and the health benefits they offer.

As the cuisine became more popular, with olive oil, lamb, chicken, and salads as the key ingredients, so does the use of the foods in the Western culture. Different dishes such as Tabbouleh and shish kebabs are becoming so deep-seated in the Western diets that their origin is often ignored or taken for granted. From salads to coffee, most of the foods eaten all over the world these days are the result of the Ottoman Turks and their influence on Middle Eastern cuisine.

Widespread Control of the Ottoman Turks

During the peak of the Ottoman Empire, from around 1453 to 1650, the control of the Ottomans was not only felt in the Middle East because their rule also extendedall over Inner Asia, Egypt, and Eastern Europe. The Ottoman rule’s entirety lasted from 1453 to 1909 with constricted control of places such as Greece and Lebanon.

Middle Eastern Cuisine and Its Stark Similarities

The Ottoman influence and its spread all over their ruled countries explainthe stark similarities in Middle Eastern Cuisine. Various regions of different countries will always flaunt their own ways of cooking and recipes, but the similarities of techniques, foods, and spices between cultures still remain.

One area where this is seen so blatantly is in the variations in the spelling of similar dishes like the desert filo pronounced Baklava by most cultures, but the Lebanese pronounced it as Baklawa. Other ways include usingsome ingredients not found in cuisines of other parts of the world, such as rose water and grape leaves.

Spread of Ottoman Influence

When the influence of the Ottoman was in power, most countries blended in different ways. Although the Turks brought several ways of eating and unique dishes to various countries, such as the cooking of lamb and the use of olive oil, they also spread the influences they acquired from other nations.

Turkish coffee, for example, is rooted in Arabic coffee though the spread of the beverage is because of Ottoman influence in various cultures. Other foods that the Ottomans spread and influenced and spread include:

  • Deserts with honey
  • Eggplant dishes
  • Filo deserts like Baklava or Baklawa
  • Grape leaves
  • Lamb meatballs or Kafkas
  • Pilafs
  • Pistachios
  • Rakı
  • Use rose water
  • Wedding soup
  • Yogurt

By taking your time to discover the history of those foods you get to eat today, it is possible to learn the different ways of cooking and preparing them that might have otherwise slipped away because of translation.

You can use lamb in place of chicken as toppings for Greek Salads, eat yogurt with mint and fresh cucumbers instead of fruit and serve fresh veggies with olive oil as a starter. Tapping into the roots of these dishes will also help influence the seasons of the year when they are prepared, such as cookies duringthe spring months.

Shop from a Turkish store Los Angeles today and experience for yourself the wonderful Turkish cuisine and its long interesting history.