The Mediterranean diet is regularly mentioned in relation to health and reducing risk of heart disease. In essence, it is primarily plant-based and includes fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes and nuts. Butter and saturated fat is replaced with ‘healthier’ fats such as olive oil and rapeseed oil. Herbs and spices are used instead of salt to flavour food. People are generally familiar with Italian and Greek cuisine but, the Mediterranean coastlines include Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Spain, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey. Interestingly, the essence of the Mediterranean diet follows the coastline. So, in this class, we explore a variety of ingredients and flavours. Sample cuisines include, Provencal, North African, Spanish Tapas, Middle Eastern, Greek and Southern Italian. Shaleen will do a brief introduction to the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet and Charlotte who has travelled the world seeking inspiration from a range of food cultures will teach you how to prepare a variety of wonderful recipes. We will change the recipes each month for those of you who want to build a comprehensive repertoire.
The class will end with a meal of the food prepared and wine/alternative drink from the region. You may try Lebanese,
We also hope that by exploring the different food cultures we will raise awareness of the history and culture of the region which seems to be constantly hijacked by war. The image is of a lady in Beirut for example, who is part of a community called ‘Tawlet’ – an inspiring project that recruits female food producers from across Lebanon to do a kitchen takeover and cook up local and regional specialities. If participants are interested in taking part in a cultural discussion following the cooking and eating class, then drop us a line (firstname.lastname@example.org). We are working with the Brasshouse Language Centre to develop a programme of activity that raises awareness of culture through food.