Oriental cuisine

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The scope of the oriental cuisine can be roughly divided into the following regions according to geographical and cultural aspects: North Africa ( Maghreb ), Levant , Arabian Peninsula , Turkey ( Anatolia ), Caucasus , parts of Central Asia , the area of ​​today's Iran and Iraq (in ancient times Persia ) and parts of the Indian subcontinent ( Pakistan , Afghanistan ).

Historically, the oriental cuisine is based on the areas of the so-called fertile crescent and thus on influences of the old cooking traditions of Mesopotamia , such as those of the ancient Mediterranean region up to the Byzantine period, on Armenia , the Indian subcontinent and parts of Central Asia ( Silk Road ). The oriental cuisine had u. a. Influence on the Balkan kitchens or those of Sicily . Some dishes of the Islamized Turkic peoples have also been adopted into Chinese cuisine .

Sugar cane , rice and chicken were imported from India as early as pre-Islamic times . The food is based on wheat (as bread grain and, above all, in the form of wheat semolina, couscous or bulgur ), millet , dates (the bread of the desert ), various types of vegetables (often filled, as a stew or pickled) and legumes . Goats , sheep , chickens , and less often cattle and camels meet the demand for animal food.

The dairy industry in particular makes a significant difference to Asian cuisine - with one regional exception, namely horses and yak husbandry in Central Asia, which are also used for milk production ( kumys , fermented mare's milk). In addition, the spice trade and the Islamic dietary regulations (see Halāl ) had a particularly formative effect , even if the latter are not binding for the religious minorities ( e.g. the Copts and Armenians ).

In cities like Baghdad or Damascus , specialized areas of food production emerged early on, which were therefore outsourced from households , for example for bread and baked goods . Whereby bread (in many forms) is an integral part of every meal in the Orient and thus fulfills the role that rice plays in Asian kitchens. The bread is almost always broken into pieces instead of cut. It is also used to hold food or as a basis for desserts, such as Om Ali .

Among many other things, pomegranate , rhubarb , spinach , shallot , citrus fruits , candied fruits , coffee (originally from Ethiopia ) and sherbet have enriched European cuisine over time.

The oriental cuisine alternates between rural dishes such as grilled sheep's head, refined dishes consisting of small plates (the so-called mezze ) and exotic spicy sweets . In addition to the use of numerous spices and spice mixtures (e.g. Ras el-Hanout ), the combination of meat and sweet in a dish ( e.g. meatballs in sugar syrup or chicken in vanilla sauce : Tavuk Gogsü Kazandibi , a dish from Turkey) is typical . . Not surprisingly, there are also many types of preparation under different names and only slightly modified in all regional kitchens of the Orient, such as various vegetable yogurt dishes or yogurt drinks .

Modern oriental cuisine developed in its “final” form through agricultural imports from the New World , especially paprika (chilli), tomatoes , corn , potatoes , sunflower , to name just the most important, without which many dishes would be inconceivable.

Country / regional cuisine

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