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Portrait: Arab Children.

Cuisines of the Arab World

The different cuisines of the Arab World have some similarities to one another, and can be grouped into three main areas of influence.

The Arab world cuisine use many of the same ingredients as their neighbors on the other side of the sea, e.g. Greece and Italy, however their preparations vary from country to country and even kitchen to kitchen. Chick peas, fava beans, onions, garlic, parsley, tomatoes, olive oil, various nuts and seeds, cinnamon, allspice, lemon, fish, and lamb, are just a few of the staples of Levantine cooking.

The emphasis of the meal is often placed on fresh produce and numerous Mezzah, the Middle Eastern version of appetizers. Wine, Arak, (anise liquor) and dark Arabic Coffee tend to be the beverages of choice.

Other Arab cuisines have developed from neighboring Mediterranean and Persian influences, including the nomadic lifestyles of many Bedouin tribes in the region, which include dates, almonds, yogurt, rice, lamb and goat important ingredients to these cuisines.

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