At Anat we are proud of our Middle Eastern heritage and the way it has shaped our brand and the food we make today. What many people don’t know is how diverse Middle Eastern food actually is, and there are a number of misconceptions we hear all the time. We shed some light on the most common ones and aim to provide a better understanding of our food.
Middle Eastern food is the same as Mediterranean food.
While both types of food share some similarities, they are not the same. Mediterranean food is influenced by the Mediterranean Sea, so think Greece, Spain, France, Turkey and Morocco. On the flip side, Middle Eastern countries are not by the sea at all, and many of the people don’t actually even know how to swim.
Middle Eastern food is all the same.
When it comes to Middle Eastern cuisine, each country and each region within each country has its own variations on certain dishes. For example, Iraq makes a type of sweet kibbeh (a Levantine dish made of bulgur, minced onions, and finely ground lean beef, lamb, goat, or camel meat with Middle Eastern spices), while other countries will stick to the savoury kind only. However, there are some universal dishes, like baba ganoush and stuffed grape leaves.
We eat hummus with everything.
While most of us love hummus, it’s not a staple of our Middle Eastern diets. In fact, when it comes to family get togethers, hummus is more of a side dish that often gets forgotten because there is way too much other food to worry about it. Despite what many people think, hummus does not get added to every dish and adding it to a dish does not suddenly make that dish Middle-Eastern.
The only carbohydrates we eat are pita breads.
Grains such as bulgur, freekeh and barley play a major role in Middle Eastern cuisine. Pitas are popular too, but they are usually supplements to meals.
As experts in Middle Easter cuisine, we are always happy to share our flavours and knowledge with our customers. If you haven’t experienced our food yet, we invite you to enjoy your first Middle Eastern experience at one of our stores. Whether you are a meat-lover or vegetarian, we have a range of different options for you, each one as delicious as the next. To find out more about us and our branches, visit our website at www.anat.co.za today.