"Mezze" redirects here. For the suburb of Damascus, see Mezzeh
This article is about the selection of dishes. For the canton in France, see Canton of Mèze
. For the commune within the aforementioned canton, see Mèze
) is a selection of small dishes served as appetizers in parts of the Western Asia
, (including Turkey
), the Balkans
and North Africa
. In some Western Asian and African regions where it is present, especially predominantly Muslim regions where alcohol is less common, meze is often served as a part of multi-course meals, while in Greece, Turkey, and the Balkans, they function more as snacks while drinking or talking.
In Turkey, meze often consist of beyaz peynir
(literally "white cheese"), kavun
(sliced ripe melon
), acılı ezme
(hot pepper paste often with walnuts), haydari
(thick strained yogurt with herbs), patlıcan salatası
salad), beyin salatası
salad), kalamar tava
), midye dolma
and midye tava
(stuffed or fried mussels), enginar
(yogurt with cucumber and garlic), pilaki
(foods cooked in a special sauce), dolma
(rice-stuffed vine leaves or other stuffed vegetables, such as bell peppers
), Arnavut ciğeri
(a liver dish, served cold), octopus salad, and çiğ köfte
(raw meatballs with bulgur
and the rest of the Balkans, mezé
, or mezédhes
(plural) are small dishes, hot or cold, spicy or savory. Seafood
dishes such as grilled octopus
may be included, along with salads, sliced hard-boiled eggs, garlic bread, kalamata olives
beans, fried vegetables, melitzanosalata
(eggplant salad), taramosalata
, fried or grilled cheeses called saganaki
, and sheep, goat, or cow cheeses.
Meze plate in Albania
Popular meze dishes include the following.
, meze is often a meal in its own right. There are vegetarian, meat or fish mezes. Groups of dishes arrive at the table about 4 or 5 at a time (usually between five and ten groups). There is a set pattern to the dishes: typically olives, tahini, salad and yogurt will be followed by dishes with vegetables and eggs, then small meat or fish dishes alongside special accompaniments, and finally more substantial dishes such as whole fish or meat stews and grills. Establishments will offer their own specialties, but the pattern remains the same. Naturally the dishes served will reflect the seasons. For example, in late autumn, snails
will be prominent. As so much food is offered, it is not expected that every dish be finished, but rather shared at will and served at ease. Eating a Cypriot meze is a social event.
In the Balkans
, meze is very similar to Mediterranean antipasti
in the sense that cured cold-cuts, cheese and salads are dominant ingredients and that it typically doesn't include cooked meals. In Serbia
it includes hard or creamy cheeses, kajmak
(clotted cream) or smetana
and other forms of "suho/suvo meso" (cured pork or beef), kulen
flavoured, cured sausage), cured bacon, ajvar
, and various pastry. In Bosnia and Herzegovina
, depending on religious food restrictions one obeys, meze excludes pork products and replaces them with sudžuk
(dry, spicy sausage) and pastirma
-like cured beef Suho meso
. In southern Croatia, Herzegovina
and Montenegro more Mediterranean forms of cured meat such as pršut
and regional products like olives
are common. Albanian-style
meze platters typically include prosciutto
ham, salami and brined cheese, accompanied with roasted bell peppers (capsicum
) or green olives marinated in olive oil with garlic. In Bulgaria
, popular mezes are lukanka
(a spicy sausage), soujouk
(a dry and spicy sausage) and sirene
(a white brine cheese). The Bulgarian-made Shopska salad
is also a very popular meze. It is made with tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, peppers and feta cheese. Also ajvar
are the most popular mezes made in North Macedonia for over 100 years. In Romania
, mezelic means a quick appetizer and includes Zacuscă
, cheeses and salamis, often accompanied by Țuică
is generally accompanied by the distilled drinks rakı
, Aragh Sagi
, or tsipouro
. It may also be consumed with beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks. Cyprus Brandy (served neat
) is a favourite drink to accompany meze
in Cyprus, although lager or wine are popular with some.
The same dishes, served without alcoholic drinks, are termed "muqabbilat" (starters) in Arabic.
, meze is served primarily at the consumption of wine, rakia
, but also accompanying other alcoholic drinks that are not local to the region. In addition to traditional local foods, meze can include nuts, sweets or pre-packaged snacks. The term meze is generally applied to any foods and snacks consumed alongside an alcoholic beverage. In Greece, meze is served in restaurants called mezedopoleíon
, a type of café
that serves ouzo
. A tavérna
(tavern) or estiatório
(restaurant) offer a mezé as an orektikó
(appetiser). Many restaurants offer their house poikilía
("variety")—a platter with a smorgasbord of mezédhes that can be served immediately to customers looking for a quick or light meal. Hosts commonly serve mezédhes to their guests at informal or impromptu get-togethers, as they are easy to prepare on short notice. Krasomezédhes
(literally "wine-meze") is a meze that goes well with wine; ouzomezédhes
are meze that goes with ouzo.
- ^ Davidson, Alan (21 August 2014). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press. pp. 517–518. ISBN 9780191040726 – via Google Books.
- ^ a b Arditi, Talya (29 December 2015). "How to drink raki: A crash course in Turkey's signature drink". CNN Travel. CNN. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
- ^ Speake, Jennifer; LaFlaur, Mark. "The Oxford Essential Dictionary of Foreign Terms in English". Oxford Reference. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
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Last edited on 4 May 2021, at 17:16
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