Welcome to mezze & tapas
Updated: Apr 8, 2018
In Granada, Spain, you will find the Alhambra, a Moorish Palace of amazing beauty. Throughout the Alhambra, there are complex and stunning mosaics in most every room. Vibrant, active, and jaw-droppingly beautiful, they help to make the Alhambra one of the most alluring buildings you will ever see. While each room is a different pattern, there is a common color palette creating a harmony in the similarities between each of the mosaics. So it is with the food of the Mediterranean Region.
There is a culinary mosaic of flavors, aromas, colors, and textures that create a very sensual experience when taking in the riches the Mediterranean has to offer.
And yet there are common, underlying principles and ingredients found throughout the region which create a harmonious similarity and that make Mediterranean cuisines at once some of the most exotic and approachable food around.
Welcome to my new blog, mezze & tapas.
Taking its name from the small plates shared communally among friends, mezze & tapas is my communal platform to share and explore with you the Food and Cultures around the Mediterranean. It will explore the similarities and differences in the cuisines of this vibrant region. From time to time, I’ll also cover some of my other passions -- travel, art and music to name a few, and as much as possible with an eye towards their relationships to the Mediterranean.
Map courtesy of OnTheWorldMap.com
There are twenty one modern day countries that border the Mediterranean. But the history runs so deep -- Romans, Carthaginians, Berbers, Ottomans, Moors, Byzantines, Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Phoenicians have all ruled parts or all of the Mediterranean over the millennia. As a result, the food roots run deep, and are firmly latched onto the many blessings of the region. From seafoods brought from the sea, to citrus grown on the shores, around to herbs and spices cultivated locally, the Mediterranean offers a rich heritage. And collectively, these are the cultures that shape our modern world, and so there is a rich vein of material to mine for cultural influences and cues.
Not wanting to lose sight of the glorious culinary mosaic that is the Mediterranean, I will use as a reminder a photo I took of one of the many mosaics at the Alhambra. It will be a touchstone, highlighting the richness of the mosaic, and the harmony of the underlying commonalities.
The offerings here on mezze & tapas owe a debt of inspiration to all the wonderful foods of this region. However, I will not pretend that they would pass the “grandma test” -- that is as good as someone’s grandmother from “the old country” would make. The foods will be adapted to the modern kitchen, and use (mostly) what is commonly available at a modern grocery store or farmers market. The tour around the culture will never be disrespectful of the unique cultures they represent. It is my sincere hope that mezze and tapas will become your home on the internet for exploring the entirety of the Mediterranean food culture!
Thank you for checking out mezze & tapas, and I hope you come back often to check out the offerings at our communal table!