Meze / Starters
Contributor:Kadir Aktay / Alamy Stock Photo
File size:23.4 MB (774 KB Compressed download)
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Dimensions:3504 x 2336 px | 29.7 x 19.8 cm | 11.7 x 7.8 inches | 300dpi
Date taken:6 May 2009
Meze or mezze a selection of small dishes served to accompany alcoholic drinks in the Near East, the Balkans, and parts of Central Asia. In Levantine, Caucasian, and Balkan cuisines, meze is often served at the beginning of multi-course meals. Turkish 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 (cold eggplant salad), beyin salatası (brain salad), kalamar tava (fried calamari or squid), midye dolma and midye tava (stuffed or fried mussels), enginar (artichokes), cacık (yogurt with cucumber and garlic), pilaki (foods cooked in a special sauce), dolma or sarma (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). In Greece, Cyprus and the Balkans, mezé, mezés, 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, fava beans, fried vegetables, melitzanosalata (eggplant salad), taramosalata, fried or grilled cheeses called saganaki, and sheep, goat, or cow cheeses.