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Old 03-05-2007, 09:58 AM   #1
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Post ISO mediterranean foods list?

I would very much like to have a list of foods that are used in mediterranean cooking, I cannot find one anywhere on the web, I would like to have one so when I go shopping I can just buy foods on that list. Any help would be appreciated.


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Old 03-05-2007, 10:31 AM   #2
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Welcome!! While I don't want to scare you away from the wealth of knowledge this site has to offer, you're placing a pretty tall order with your request.

"Mediterranean cooking" covers a LOT of territory - not just between countries, but between the different regions within each country.
Except for olive oil, which is most definitely the fat of choice, there are literally no raw foodstuffs that aren't used in Mediterranean cooking - it's more the manner in which they are used.

Your best bet if you wish to stock your pantry accordingly would be to visit your local library or bookstore & read a few Mediterranean cookbooks to get you started. Once you do, I'm sure you'll see what I mean about the difficulty of just supplying you with a list.

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Old 03-05-2007, 10:51 AM   #3
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To echo what Breeezy just said - it's not so much a matter of a list of foods as it as lifestyle and total diet philosophy. There are about 16 mediterranean countries - they have common similarities as to a high consumption of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, more fish, shellfish and chicken than red meat, the predominent choice of fat is olive oil, red wine in moderation, etc. - but differences in predominent dishes from country to country and region to region.

Read about the Mediterranean Diet - this Google search offers several informative sites ... and then search on some of the sites at the bottom of the page under: Searches related to mediterranean diet for recipes and menu ideas.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 03-05-2007, 11:36 AM   #4
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One characteristic of the Mediterranean Diet, regardless of country, is totally seasonal eating. The climate in these countries is quite moderate, compared to most regions of US, so it will be necessary to adapt your choices to what's available where you are.
Wine is the food that completes the meal.
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Old 03-06-2007, 02:10 AM   #5
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I agree with what ChefJune has said although supermarkets, imports, and green houses have changed things somewhat.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating!
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Old 03-06-2007, 04:25 AM   #6
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If I was forced to write down a list of Mediterranean ingredients, I'd probably begin with something like:
Aubergines (Eggplant), courgettes (zucchini),tomatoes, red, green and yellow peppers, artichokes,olives, capers, pine nuts, oregano, basil, parsley, marjoram, peaches, watermelon, lemons,red snapper, octopus, calamari, shrimp, salami, Parma /serrano ham, .....

but the list would be hopelessly inadequate! There are so many different cuisines around the Med. I'd suggest you look at, for example, Provençale cooking, or Greek cooking to begin with. That would set you on the right track.
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Old 03-06-2007, 05:32 AM   #7
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I've spent a while pondering on this and deleted all my feeble attempts at a reply. Nowadays, I'm not so sure that the Mediterranean diet as practised here in Spain is as healthy as it used to be, largely because people are richer and have moved away from the land. Rather than fruit, we now eat lots of industrially-made milk based desserts and chocolate; pulses are eaten more regularly than in the UK, for example, but less so than before, with more meat and fish being consumed than once was the case. Olive oil is still important, but I've been amazed by the number of recipes I've come across in which lard - and large quantities of it - is an ingredient. More and more of the food we eat here is produced on a vast scale in greenhouses, so the tomatoes, for example, sold in supermarkets are exactly the same as the ones people are buying in supermarkets in the UK, Germany, etc. Young people in particular are turning away from wine and consuming more beer and spirits. Everyone here is totally obsessed with cholesterol and constipation. Just about everyone I know who has had their cholesterol tested is above 'normal' values. And the adverts for laxatives on television indicate that there must be a huge market for them.

The Mediterranean is very fortunate in its climate. This means that living off the land here once provided a very varied diet based on fruit and vegetables, pulses and a small amount of fish and meat, complemented by a lot of exercise working the land. If you can emulate this, then that I would imagine is enough. The precise ingredients are neither here nor there.
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Old 03-06-2007, 07:12 AM   #8
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well, thanks for your attempts to guide me !
I really did not give it much thought that 'Mediterranean' covered several countries!! no wonder I cant find a list!
I live in Pennsylvania, so seasonal eating is pretty much what we do.[usually because even though we have fruit and vegetables imported, they often are tasteless or never ripen correctly, I think its a waste of money so I buy canned If I feel the need.] No county should adopt the poorly chosen way the U.S. grows, ships and eats food.
I do use the olive oil, fish and beans, and any fresh fruits and vegetables I can get, so I guess I am on the right track.
Unfortunately my husband is a meat lover, I could live without meat, so he is hard to please sometimes, he dont like a lot of veggies, he wont eat any salads,squashes or leafy green veggies, he favors all the starchy ones.corn, beans, potatoes ,peas, thus, he has high BP and cholesterol, and is overweight.I am in a dilema for sure.
I am after healthy eating, not because I need to loose weight, but because I am tired of processed poison, chemicals and sugar, and my hubby needs to loose it.
I will try to surf the site to see how many easy recipees I can find that dont have too many ingredients that I cant find here in my area, we are pretty limited to what we can buy, we are in the country, I am two hours away from the nearest big market that has any such selection of spices or fresh foods.And with only three to cook for things go bad quickly.
thanks for setting me on the right road!
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Old 03-06-2007, 08:14 AM   #9
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I apologize for not reading in entirety the above posts, but will add (and hope haven't been mentioned before...) anchovies, coriander, garlic, ollive oil (of course), parsley, tomatoes.

I'll pass along the dish I make when I'm either too tired to cook, too rushed to cook or just craving these flavors -

I put a heat proof bowl over the pot that is heating the water for the pasta to cook in - start with tepid water, gives you more time - into the bowl, I just start adding:
olive oil - just a tad needed (Lemon-infused if I have it)
kalamatas, roughly cut up
little minced fresh garlic
lemon zest
a few anhovies
Heirloom tomatoes - in season (otherwise, I don't add tomatoes at all)
grated Parmesan and/or crumbled Feta

By the time the water is boiling and ready for the pasta, the bowl of 'goodies' is nicely warmed and I remove it, cook up some penne - died and gone to heaven!!!

Little crusty bread....little red wine....ambrosia!

an old cook, still learning new tricks!
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Old 03-06-2007, 10:27 AM   #10
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It appears that everyone (so far) has forgotten the OTHER side of the Mediterranean, where couscous, lamb, mouldy aged cheeses, and yogurt prevail. Northen African cuisine is as diverse as that along the northern shore of the Med, but completely different as well.

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