From the French mountains to the Spanish shores, the Italian lemon groves to the olive trees of Turkey and Morocco, some of the finest food in the world can be found in the beautiful Mediterranean.
And it's no surprise with all the stunning landscapes and perfecting growing conditions on their doorstep. With plenty of sunshine, everything from aubergines to olives are in their prime here, as well as the stunning native seafood and meat on offer.
And that's not even touching on the various cuisines and fermentation and preservation methods that these countries have finessed. Who do we have to thank for chorizo and prosciutto? Cheeses and olive oil? Wine and prosecco? That's right, you've got it…
Scroll on to discover some of our favourite recipes and foods that we've got the fabulous Mediterranean to thank for.
Seafood and cured meats
From mountains to vineyards and the sea, the Mediterranean has many different terrains and territories - and many of them are prime locations for the best meat and fish.
Make the most of both Italian cured meats and fresh prawns (often caught off just off the Med’s coastlines) with these delicious Italian-inspired garlic prawn and pancetta skewers. Serve with aioli (or garlic mayo) to complete the Mediterranean vibe.
Fruit and veg like aubergines, peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes all flourish in the Greek sunshine. That's why you'll find all of these tasty nightshades most often served fresh and crisp when eating Greek food - just look at the classic Greek salad of tomatoes, cucumber, onions and olives dressed in olive oil and lemon with plenty of fresh oregano.
A crisp Greek salad is the perfect accompaniment to these hot and fresh Greek-inspired gyros. Pronounced 'gee-ros', these flatbreads are usually stuffed with marinated then chargrilled meat, but we've used jackfruit here for a delicious vegetarian alternative that doesn't sacrifice on flavour.
If you cant get enough of juicy, salty Mediterranean-style olives, why not try marinating your own batch at home?
Simply drain jars of plain olives, then pop into sterilised jars with your choice of coriander seeds, garlic, chilli, lemon zest and fresh herbs, cover with olive oil and seal. These tasty appetisers make fantastic presents.
You could serve your home-marinated olives as part of a delicious Mediterranean-themed mezze. Mezze is a popular way of dining across many Mediterranean countries including Turkey, Lebanon, Greece, Cyprus, the Balkans and Israel, and often includes lots of little sharing plates of pickled veg, cured meats and other tasty bites.
These ricotta and vegetable-stuffed aubergine rolls are perfect for mezze-style dinners, too. Thinly-sliced aubergines are filled with fresh ricotta and roasted Mediterranean vegetables for a flavour-packed, juicy bite.
What would a mezze spread be without a delicious bowl of creamy houmous? Perfect for light snacking or as part of a full dinner spread, this tasty dip made with chickpeas, tahini, garlic and lemon is eaten all over the Middle East and Mediterranean. This cheat’s version may not be traditional, but the butternut squash adds sweetness and a light, mousse-like texture.
Couscous and halloumi
As well as spanning southern Europe and the Middle East, Mediterranean food also dips into the north-west African coastline - also known as Maghreb. Maghrebi influences on Mediterranean cuisine include fluffy couscous, sweet dates, spicy harissa and halloumi.
We love this colourful recipe for couscous and halloumi-stuffed pointed peppers that shows off Maghrebi influences on Mediterranean food at their finest and make a brilliant vegetarian starter or brunch dish.
Fancy something sweet? This orange and almond cake is a real sunshine recipe, featuring the best of the area’s oranges and almonds. Whole oranges are boiled until tender then blitzed down to a paste which is folded into the cake for ultimate citrus flavour. It also happens to be totally gluten-free!