Middle Eastern cuisine

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Middle Eastern cuisine or West Asian cuisine includes a number of cuisines from the Middle East. Common ingredients include olives and olive oil, pitas, honey, sesame seeds, dates, sumac, chickpeas, mint, rice and parsley, and popular dishes include kebabs, dolmas, falafel, baklava, yogurt, doner kebab, shawarma and mulukhiyah.


  • Mahomet, chiefly prohibiteth in his Alcoran, the eating of Swines flesh, and drinking of Wine, which indeed the best sort do, but the baser kind are dayly drunkards: Their common drinke is Sherpet, composed of Water, Honey, and Sugar, which is exceeding delectable in the taste: And the usuall courtesie, they bestow on their friends, who visite them, is a Cup of Coffa, made of a kind of seed called Coava, and of a blackish colour; which they drinke so hote as possible they can, and is good to expell the crudity of raw meates, and hearbes, so much by them frequented. And those that cannot attaine to this liquor, must be contented with the cooling streames of water.
  • The board was spread with fruits and wine,
    With grapes of gold, like those that shine
    On CASBIN hills;—pomegranates full
      Of melting sweetness, and the pears,
    And sunniest apples that CAUBUL
      In all its thousand gardens bears;—
    Plantains, the golden and the green,
    MALAYA’s nectared mangusteen;
    Prunes of BOCKHARA, and sweet nuts
      From the far groves of SAMARCAND,
    And BASRA dates, and apricots,
      Seed of the Sun, from IRAN’s land;—
    With rich conserve of Visna cherries,
    Of orange flowers, and of those berries
    That, wild and fresh, the young gazelles
    Feed on in ERAC’s rocky dells.
    All these in richest vases smile,
      In baskets of pure santal-wood,
    And urns of porcelain from that isle
      Sunk underneath the Indian flood,
    Whence oft the lucky diver brings
    Vases to grace the halls of kings.
    Wines too of every clime and hue
    Around their liquid lustre threw;
    Amber Rosolli,—the bright dew
    From vineyards of the Green-Sea gushing;
    And SHIRAZ wine that richly ran
      As if that jewel large and rare,
    The ruby for which KUBLAI-KHAN
      Melted within the goblets there!
  •   And still she slept an azure-lidded sleep,
      In blanchèd linen, smooth, and lavender’d,
      While he from forth the closet brought a heap
      Of candied apple, quince, and plum, and gourd:
      With jellies soother than the creamy curd,
      And lucent syrops, tinct with cinnamon;
      Manna and dates, in argosy transferr’d
      From Fez; and spicèd dainties, every one,
    From silken Samarcand to cedar’d Lebanon.
  • The slave pour’d sherbet to the brink,
      Stirr’d in wild honey and pomegranate,
    With snow and rose-leaves cool’d the drink,
      And bore it where the Caliph sate.
  • There were times we regretted
    The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces
    And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
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