Arab cuisine is an endlessly fascinating one and incorporates many different regional dishes. The history of their food is also an interesting one and can be seen to change over time but still retain some historic influence. Traditionally, the Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula would have a diet that consisted mostly of wheat, rice, barley and dates with an accompanying meat. They also consumed a lot of yoghurt products.
In the Arab diet today meat is still a huge contributing factor however now they tend to eat more lamb and chicken as opposed to beef and camel. Pork is, of course, heavily prohibited due to the prevalent Muslim influence. Yoghurt is still widely used alongside other dairy products such as cheese, butter and cream. Herbs and spices are used today in the Arab diet as much, or even more so, then they have been in the past. The favourites being sesame, turmeric, garlic, cumin, saffron, mint and thyme. Rice and wheat are still largely eaten however there are more fruits, vegetables and legumes included then there have been in previous ages. Olives, figs and pomegranates are also a lot more popular than they used to be and will normally be seen at meal times.
In some ways, especially when it comes to the spices used, Arabic food is comparable to Indian cuisine. This similarity is due to a large amount of trading that takes place between the two and also due to immigration and the expat community. As people travel and share recipes they also obviously spread other influences as well, such as languages and culture. The many Arabic dialects and Indian languages have been shared and studied by many in both regions and they still maintain a strong bond today. Although translation is needed for many people to communicate, those who speak the Arabic language and those who speak the various languages of India, will still appreciate, cook and provide meals from each other’s traditional cuisine in their everyday routine.