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Mediterranean Food Trivia Quiz Questions With Answers

Trivia quiz questions with answers about Mediterranean food.

 

Mediterranean Food Trivia Quiz Questions With Answers

What is Mediterranean food?
A: Mediterranean cuisine, or food, is the food and methods of preparation by people of the Mediterranean Basin region.

The idea of a Mediterranean cuisine originates with what book?
A: The cookery writer Elizabeth David's book, A Book of Mediterranean Food (1950), though she wrote mainly about French cuisine.

She and other writers including the Tunisian historian Mohamed Yassine Essid define the three core elements of the cuisine as what?
A: The olive, wheat, and the grape, yielding olive oil, bread and pasta, and wine.

The cooking of the area is not to be confused with what?
A: The Mediterranean diet, made popular because of the apparent health benefits of a diet rich in olive oil, wheat and other grains, fruits, vegetables, and a certain amount of seafood, but low in meat and dairy products.

The cookery writer Elizabeth David's introduction to A Book of Mediterranean Food (1950) defines her scope as what?
A: "The cooking of the Mediterranean shores".

The olive's natural distribution is limited by what?
A: Frost and by availability of water.

It is therefore constrained to a more or less narrow zone around what?
A: The Mediterranean Sea, except in the Maghreb and in Spain, where it is distributed more widely.

 
The olive appears to come from what region?
A: Persia and Mesopotamia, at least 6,000 years ago.

It spread from there to nearby areas, and has been cultivated since when?
A: The early Bronze Age (up to 3,150 BC) in southern Turkey, the Levant, and Crete.

The olive yields bitter fruits, made edible by what?
A: By curing and fermentation, and olive oil.

Some 90% of the fruit production (1996) goes into what?
A: Olive oil.

 
Wheat was domesticated in the Fertile Crescent, in and near the Levant how long ago?
A: Some 10,000 years ago.

Its ancestors include wild emmer wheat; this was hybridized, harvested and sown to create what?
A: Domestic strains with larger grains, in ears that shatter less readily than wild forms.

It had been spread across the Mediterranean region as far as Spain by when?
A: 5,000 BC.

 
Wheat bread was already critically important in the empire of what?
A: Ancient Rome, which included the entire region.

At that time, around 2,000 years ago, North Africa was the “what” of the empire?
A: The breadbasket.

Other staple wheat-based Mediterranean foods include what?
A: Pasta and semolina.

A widespread wheat dish from Turkey and the Levant to Iran and India is halva, a dessert of what?
A: Sweetened semolina with butter, milk, and pine kernels.

 
When was the grape domesticated?
A: Between 7,000 and 4,000 BC between the Black Sea and Persia.

Archaeological evidence shows that wine was being made there by when?
A: 6,000 BC, reaching Greece and Crete in the fifth millennium BC and Spain by the last millennium BC.

When did winemaking start in Italy?
A: In the ninth century BC, and in France around 600 BC.

Grapes are mostly grown for making wine and vinegar as basic components of what?
A: The Mediterranean diet, as well for drying as raisins or for eating as table grapes.

Raisins and table grape varieties are chosen for their what?
A: Flavor.

Grape production remains important in the Mediterranean area, with Southern Europe accounting for what percentage of the world's harvest?
A: 21%.

Wine production for Southern Europe was what percentage of the world total in 2014?
A: 37%.

 
Maghrebi cuisine includes the cuisines of where?
A: Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia.

One of the most characteristic dishes of the region is couscous, a what?
A: A steamed small-grained wheat semolina, served with a stew.

One stew that may be served with couscous is the Moroccan tagine, a what?
A: A hearty, somewhat dry dish of meat and vegetables, cooked slowly in a pot (called a tagine) with a tall conical lid.

Other characteristic flavorings of the region are what?
A: Preserved lemons and dried apricots and raisins.

Egyptian cuisine has ancient roots, with evidence that, for example, cheese has been made in Egypt since at least when?
A: 3,000 BC.

 
What are Falafel?
A: Falafel are small fried croquettes of bean or chickpea flour, eaten across the Levant and the West, but originating in Egypt.

Ful medames, a stew of fava beans with oil and cumin, is popular where?
A: In Egypt and has become widespread across the Arab world.

 
Duqqa is a dip made of what?
A: Pounded herbs, hazelnuts and spices, eaten with bread.

Kushari is a foreign-derived 19th century dish of what?
A: Rice, lentils and pasta, variously garnished; it began as food for the poor, but has become a national dish.

What is Levantine cuisine?
A: It’s the cooking of the Levant (including the Middle Eastern Mediterranean coast, east of Egypt).

Among the most distinctive foods of this cuisine are traditional small meze dishes such as what?
A: Tabbouleh, hummus, and baba ghanoush.

What is Tabbouleh?
A: It’s a dish of bulgur cracked wheat with tomatoes, parsley, mint and onion, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.

Baba ghanoush, sometimes called "poor man's caviar", is what?
A: A puree of aubergine with olive oil, often mixed with chopped onion, tomato, cumin, garlic, lemon juice, and parsley.

The dish is popular where?
A: Across the whole of the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa.

 
Ful medames, originally from Egypt and still a national dish there, consists of what?
A: Fava beans with oil and cumin; it is popular throughout the Levant.

The dish may be ancient: dried beans of Neolithic age have been found where?
A: Near Nazareth.

Ottoman cuisine has given rise to the cuisines of modern what?
A: Turkey, parts of the Balkans, Cyprus, and Greece.

A distinctive element is the family of small flaky pastries called what?
A: Börek.

Börek are made of what?
A: Thin sheets of filo pastry, filled with mixtures such as meat, caramelized onion and sweet peppers.

Another widespread and popular dish is moussaka, a baked dish of what?
A: Aubergine or potato with various other ingredients: often minced meat and tomatoes, sometimes a layer of egg custard or béchamel sauce on top.

In its Greek variant, well known outside the region, it includes what?
A: Layers of aubergine and minced meat with custard or béchamel sauce on top, but that version is a relatively recent innovation, introduced by the chef Nikolaos Tselementes in the 1920s.

 
Much of Greek cuisine is part of the larger tradition of what?
A: Ottoman cuisine, the names of the dishes revealing Arabic, Persian or Turkish roots: moussaka, tzatziki, yuvarlakia, keftes and so on.

Many dishes' names probably entered the Greek vocabulary during Ottoman times, or earlier in contact with whom?
A: The Persians and the Arabs.

Historians of food John Ash and Andrew Dalby speculate that grape-leaf dolmadhes were made by when?
A: The early Byzantine period, while Alan Davidson traces trahana to the ancient Greek tragos and skordalia to the ancient Athenian skorothalmi.

Greek cookery makes wide use of what?
A: Olives, cheese, aubergine, courgette, lemon juice, vegetables, herbs, bread and yoghurt.

Spaghetti alle vongole is a typical Italian dish of pasta with what?
A: Clams.

It is a diverse cuisine, but among its best-known and most characteristic foods are what?
A: Risotto, pizza in Neapolitan and Sicilian styles, and pasta dishes such as spaghetti.

Risotto is a dish made using what?
A: Italian short-grain rice.

 
Anna Gosetti della Salda's book of Italian regional cookery lists how many risotto recipes?
A: 37, 18 of them from the Veneto.

Pizza is what?
A: A piece of bread dough rolled out thin, with a topping which varies from place to place, but is generally much simpler than those in the English-speaking world.

In Naples this is what?
A: Tomato, anchovies and buffalo mozzarella.

In San Remo what is it?
A: Onions cooked in olive oil, with salted sardines.

The Provençal variety uses what?
A: Onions, black olives, and anchovies.

Spaghetti may be eaten how?
A: Simply with olive oil and garlic", without cheese, or with a sauce of very red and ripe peeled tomatoes, cooked briefly and flavored with garlic and either basil or parsley.

One Sicilian variant includes pieces of bacon, onions fried in fat, garlic, stoned olives, and anchovies, served with what?
A: Olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese.

 
Mediterranean French cuisine includes the cooking styles of where?
A: Provence, Occitania, and the island of Corsica.

Distinctive dishes that make use of local ingredients include what?
A: Bouillabaisse and salade niçoise.

Bouillabaisse is a substantial dish from where?
A: The French port of Marseille, capital of Provence.

It is a stew for at least how many people?
A: Eight, because it should contain many kinds of fish such as crayfish, gurnard, weever, John Dory, monkfish, conger eel, whiting, sea bass, and crab.

These are cooked with Mediterranean vegetables and herbs, namely what?
A: Onions, garlic, tomatoes, thyme, fennel, parsley, bay, and orange peel.

Salade niçoise is a colorful salad of what?
 
A: Tomatoes, tuna, hard-boiled eggs, Niçoise olives, and anchovies, dressed with vinaigrette.

Paella is a characteristic Spanish dish, originally from where?
A: Valencia, radiating early on to Catalonia and Murcia along Spain's Mediterranean coast.

It comes in many versions, and may contain a mixture of what?
A: Chicken, pork, rabbit, or shellfish, sautéed in olive oil in a large shallow pan, with vegetables, and typically round-grain rice (often of the local albufera, arròs bomba, sénia varieties or similar) cooked to absorb the water and colored with saffron.

The dish may be varied with what?
A: Artichoke hearts, peas, sweet peppers, lima beans, string beans, or sausages.

Anise is used around the Mediterranean to flavor what?
A: Spirits.