Mezze is the ultimate crowd pleaser - a hugely enjoyable way of combining two of life’s greatest joys: love of food and the concept of ‘togetherness’. A traditional Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dining style, Mezze involves filling the table with various small, savoury dishes to share among friends and family.
Mezze and pittas are the perfect combination for sharing
The beautiful thing about Mezze is the communal style of dining. This eating style is really important in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean culture and is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. Mezze is served in small portions with pitta bread piled up in the centre of the table, and the idea is to try a little bit of everything, sharing the dishes with everyone at the table. It’s a lively, sometimes messy, and enormously fun way of eating together.
What goes on the Mezze table?
Some popular Mezze dishes include hummus, baba ganoush, green tahini, tabbouleh, falafel, stuffed grape leaves, and grilled vegetables or meats. Mezze is typically served with pitta bread, ideal for scooping dips and perfect as a pocket to fill with a combination of foods on the table. A fun challenge during the meal is to design your ideal mouthful, adding your favourite bites and dips onto a corner of pitta and tucking-in!
Cultural fresh dishes
Many of the dishes served as Mezze are made with locally sourced produce, and the flavours often reflect the tastes and traditions of the region. For example, Mezze can include hard-boiled eggs and hummus with flavourful schoug on the side in Israel. In Lebanon, dishes like kibbeh (a mixture of ground meat, bulgur, and spices) or stuffed vine leaves (dolmades) are served, while in Turkey, Mezze may include dishes like dolma (stuffed vegetables) or borek (a cheese-filled pastry).
Mezze usually focuses on fresh, high-quality ingredients. Many dishes are made from vegetables, herbs, and spices that are common in the Middle East, such as chickpeas, aubergine, parsley, mint, and cumin. Traditional Mezze is also an excellent option for vegetarians and vegans, as many dishes are plant-based. But the beauty of Mezze is that you can invent plates as you go to please your friends and family. Add your signature twist by choosing anything from your favourite spiced meats to homemade wedges and small salads.
A versatile mealMezze is a super versatile style of eating together and can be enjoyed in a variety of settings:
- Pack a mezze-style picnic
- Serve as an informal birthday lunch
- Set out a mezze on a warm day and enjoy in the garden.
Mezze is also a lovely option for a more formal dinner served with your favourite beverages. Substitute more hot dishes for cold in the winter or at dinnertime.
More good newsMezze is a virtually waste-free meal. Because you only take what you want from small plates. Anything left over can be covered and popped into the fridge for the next day. The bonus is that you have the next day’s lunch sorted! So gently warm up a pitta and stuff with leftovers for a gorgeous pitta sandwich.
Mezze is genuinely about combining two pleasures: taste and good company. Whether enjoyed in a casual or formal setting, exploring flavours and having fun with food is the most important thing.