Turkish cuisine is the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, which can be described as a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern, Eastern European and Balkan cuisines. Turkish cuisine has in turn influenced those and other neighbouring cuisines, including those of Southeast Europe, Central Europe, Western Europe; the Ottomans fused various culinary traditions of their realm with influences from Levantine cuisines, along with traditional Turkic elements from Central Asia, creating a vast array of specialities—many with strong regional associations. Turkish cuisine varies across the country; the cooking of Istanbul, Bursa and rest of the Asia Minor region inherits many elements of Ottoman court cuisine, with a lighter use of spices, a preference for rice over bulgur, koftes and a wider availability of vegetable stews, stuffed dolmas and fish. The cuisine of the Black Sea Region uses fish extensively the Black Sea anchovy and includes maize dishes; the cuisine of the southeast is famous for its variety of kebabs and dough-based desserts such as baklava, şöbiyet, kadayıf, künefe.
In the western parts of Turkey, where olive trees grow abundantly, olive oil is the major type of oil used for cooking. The cuisines of the Aegean and Mediterranean regions are rich in vegetables and fish. Central Anatolia has many famous specialties, such as keşkek, gözleme. Food names directly cognate with mantı are found in Chinese and Korean cuisine. A specialty's name sometimes includes that of a city or region, either in or outside of Turkey, may refer to the specific technique or ingredients used in that area. For example, the difference between Urfa kebap and Adana kebap is the thickness of the skewer and the amount of hot pepper that the kebab contains. Urfa kebap is less thicker than Adana kebap. Although meat-based foods such as kebabs are the mainstay in Turkish cuisine as presented in foreign countries, native Turkish meals center around rice and bread. Turks prefer a rich breakfast. A typical Turkish breakfast consists of cheese, olives, tomatoes, jam and kaymak, pastırma, börek, simit, poğaça and soups are eaten as a morning meal in Turkey.
A specialty for breakfast is called menemen, prepared with tomatoes, green peppers, olive oil and eggs. Invariably, Turkish tea is served at breakfast; the Turkish word for breakfast, kahvaltı, means "before coffee". Homemade food is still preferred by Turkish people. Although the newly introduced way of life pushes the new generation to eat out. A typical meal starts with soup, followed by a dish made of vegetables or legumes boiled in a pot with or before rice or bulgur pilav accompanied by a salad or cacık. In summertime many people prefer to eat a cold dish of vegetables cooked with olive oil instead of the soup, either before or after the main course, which can be a chicken, meat or fish plate. Although fast food is gaining popularity and many major foreign fast food chains have opened all over Turkey, Turkish people still rely on the rich and extensive dishes of Turkish cuisine. In addition, some traditional Turkish foods köfte, döner, kokoreç, kumpir midye tava börek and gözleme, are served as fast food in Turkey.
Eating out has always been common in large commercial cities. Esnaf lokantası are widespread. In the hot Turkish summer, a meal consists of fried vegetables such as eggplant and peppers or potatoes served with yogurt or tomato sauce. Menemen and çılbır are typical summer dishes, based on eggs. Sheep cheese, tomatoes and melons make a light summer meal; those who like helva for dessert prefer summer helva, lighter and less sweet than the regular one. Used ingredients in Turkish specialties include: lamb, rice, eggplants, green peppers, garlic, beans and tomatoes. Nuts pistachios, almonds and walnuts, together with spices, have a special place in Turkish cuisine, are used extensively in desserts or eaten separately. Semolina flour is used to make a cake called irmik helvasi. Olives are common on various breakfasts and meze tables frequently. Beyaz peynir and yogurt are part of many dishes including börek, manti and cacik. Butter or margarine, olive oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, corn oil are used for cooking.
Sesame, hazelnut and walnut oils are used as well. Kuyruk yağı is sometimes used in kebabs and meat dishes; the rich and diverse flora of Turkey means that fruit is varied and cheap. In Ottoman cuisine, fruit accompanied meat as a side dish. Plums, pomegranates, apples and figs, along with many kinds of citrus are the most used fruit, either fresh or dried, in Turkish cuisine. For example, komposto or hoşaf are among the main side dishes to pilav. Dolma and pilaf contain currants or raisins. Etli yaprak sarma used to be cooked with sour plums in
Spanish cuisine is influenced by historical processes that shaped local culture and society in some of Europe's Iberian Peninsula territories. Geography and climate had great influence on available ingredients; these cooking methods and ingredients are still present in the gastronomy of the various regions that make up Spain. Spanish cuisine derives from a complex history where invasions and conquests of Spain have modified traditions which made new ingredients available. Thus, the current and old cuisine of Spain incorporates new traditions. Before the Roman Empire, Spain used to be divided in three territories; the three different territories: the Celts, the Iberians, the Tartessos were referred to as "clans". The Celts were a warrior based community, lived in small fortified round houses; the Celts were known for farming as a means for living. Today we can see their influence as the north of Spain is renowned for their "mariscos"; the Iberians were hunters and cattle keepers. The center of Spain is still considered to have great quality of meat.
E.g. Cochinillo in Segovia The Tartessos were goldsmiths, did a lot of trading with Africa and Greece, it should be noted that authors, such as Strabo wrote about aboriginal people of Spain using nuts and acorns as staple food. The Romans introduced the custom of collecting and eating mushrooms, still preserved in many parts of Spain in the north; the Romans, along with the Greeks, introduced viticulture. It appears that the extension of the vines along the Mediterranean seems to be due to the colonization of the Greeks. Together with the Greeks, the Phoenicians introduced the cultivation of olive oil. Spain is the largest producer of olive oil in the world; the Visigoths introduced brewing to the Spanish regions. The change came in 711 AD, when Muslim troops composed of Arabs and Berbers crossed the Strait of Gibraltar, invading the Iberian Peninsula; the Muslim conquest brought new ingredients to Spanish cuisine from different parts of the world, such as Persia and India. The cuisine of Al-Andalus included such ingredients as: rice, sugar cane, eggplant, lemon, peach and almonds.
However the Muslim religion does not allow alcoholic drinks such as wine, therefore many rulers of Al Ándalus used to uproot vineyards as a signal of piety. The arrival of Europeans in America, in 1492, initiated the advent of new culinary elements, such as tomatoes, corn, bell peppers, spicy peppers, paprika and cocoa or chocolate. Spain is. Other ingredients traveled to the Americas, such as rice, grapes and many types of cereals. Many traditional Spanish dishes such as tortilla de patata, would not be possible without the discovery of America. Gazpacho and pan tumaca are made with tomatoes, which traveled from America to Spain during the discovery of America. A continental-style breakfast may be taken before entering the workplace. Due to the large time span between breakfast and lunch, it is not uncommon to halt the working schedule to take a mid-morning snack. Lunch, the large midday meal in Spain, contains several courses. In some regions of Spain, the word almuerzo refers to the mid-morning snack, instead of lunch.
Lunch starts between 2:00 pm or 2:30 pm finishing around 3:00 pm to 3:30 pm, is followed by Sobremesa, which refers to the tabletalk that Spanish people undertake. Menus include five or six choices in each course. At home, Spanish meals wouldn't be too fancy, would contain soup or a pasta dish, salad, a meat or a fish dish and a dessert such as fruit or cheese. In the last years, the Spanish government is starting to take action to shorten the lunch break, in order to end the working day earlier. Most businesses shut down for two or three hours for lunch resume the working day until dinner time in the evening. La cena, meaning both supper, is taken between 8:30 pm and 10 pm, it is lighter than lunch, consisting of dessert. Due to the large time span between lunch and dinner, an afternoon snack, la merienda, equivalent to afternoon tea, may take place at about 6pm. Appetizers before lunch or dinner are common in the form of tapas; the following is a list of traditional Spanish meals: Andalusian cuisine is twofold: rural and coastal.
Of all the Spanish regions, this region uses the most olive oil in its cuisine. The Andalusian dish that has achieved the most international fame is Gazpacho, it is a cold soup made with five vegetables, water, olive oil, stale bread crumbs. Other cold soups include: Poleá, salmorejo, etc. Snacks made with olives are common. Meat dishes include: Menudo Gitano; the hot soups include dog stew and Migas Canas. Fish dishes include: fried fish, cod pavías, parpandúas. A culinary custom is the typical Andalusian breakfast, considered to be a traditional characteristic of laborers, extending throughout Spain. Cured meats include: Serrano Iberico Ham. Typical drinks in the area include: anise and sherry brandy; the Aragonese cuisine has a mountainous origin. The central part of Aragon, the flattest, is the richest in culinary specialties. Being in a land where lambs are raised on the slopes of the Pyrenees, one of its most famous dishes is roast lamb (asa
Despite being restricted to an Atlantic sustenance, Portuguese cuisine has many Mediterranean influences. Portuguese cuisine is famous for seafood; the influence of Portugal's former colonial possessions is notable in the wide variety of spices used. These spices include piri piri and black pepper, as well as cinnamon and saffron. Olive oil is one of the bases of Portuguese cuisine, used both for cooking and flavouring meals. Garlic is used, as are herbs, such as bay leaf and parsley. A Portuguese breakfast consists of fresh bread, with butter, cheese or jam, accompanied with coffee, tea or hot chocolate. A small espresso coffee is a popular beverage had during breakfast, enjoyed at home or at the many cafés that feature in towns and cities throughout Portugal. Sweet pastries are very popular, as well as breakfast cereal, mixed with milk or yogurt and fruit. Lunch lasting over an hour, is served between noon and 2 o'clock around 1 o'clock and dinner is served around 8 o'clock. There are three main courses, with lunch and dinner including a soup.
A common Portuguese soup is caldo verde, made with potato, shredded collard greens, chunks of chouriço. Among fish recipes, salted cod dishes are pervasive; the most typical desserts are arroz caramel custard. There is a wide variety of cheeses made from the milk of sheep, goats or cows; these cheeses can contain a mixture of different kinds of milk. The most famous are queijo da serra from the region of Serra da Estrela, Queijo São Jorge from the Portuguese island of São Jorge, Requeijão. A popular pastry is the pastel de nata, a small custard tart sprinkled with cinnamon. Portugal is a seafaring nation with a well-developed fishing industry and this is reflected in the amount of fish and seafood eaten; the country has Europe's highest fish consumption per capita and is among the top four in the world for this indicator. Fish is served grilled, fried or deep-fried, roasted, or steamed. Foremost amongst these is bacalhau, the type of fish most consumed in Portugal, it is said. Cod is always used dried and salted, because the Portuguese fishing tradition in the North Atlantic developed before the invention of refrigeration—therefore it needs to be soaked in water or sometimes milk before cooking.
The simpler fish dishes are flavoured with virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar. Portugal has been fishing and trading cod since the 15th century, this cod trade accounts for its ubiquity in the cuisine. Other popular seafood includes fresh sardines, squid, crabs and prawns, spiny lobster, many other crustaceans, such as barnacles and goose barnacles, horse mackerel, sea bass, a great variety of other fish and shellfish, as well as molluscs, such as clams, oysters and scallops. Caldeirada is a stew consisting of a variety of fish and shellfish with potatoes and onions. Sardines used to be preserved in brine for sale in rural areas. Sardine canneries developed all along the Portuguese coast. Ray fish is dried in the sun in Northern Portugal. Canned tuna is available in Continental Portugal. Tuna used to be plentiful in the waters of the Algarve, they were trapped in fixed nets when they passed the Portuguese southern coast to spawn in the Mediterranean, again when they returned to the Atlantic.
Portuguese writer Raul Brandão, in his book Os Pescadores, describes how the tuna was hooked from the raised net into the boats, how the fishermen would amuse themselves riding the larger fish around the net. Fresh tuna, however, is eaten in Madeira and the Algarve, where tuna steaks are an important item in local cuisine. Canned sardines or tuna, served with boiled potatoes, black-eyed peas, hard-boiled eggs, constitute a convenient meal when there is no time to prepare anything more elaborate. Eating meat and poultry on a daily basis was a privilege of the upper classes. Pork and beef are the most common meats in the country. Meat was a staple at the nobleman's table during the Middle Ages. A Portuguese Renaissance chronicler, Garcia de Resende, describes how an entrée at a royal banquet was composed of a whole roasted ox garnished with a circle of chickens. A common Portuguese dish eaten in winter, is cozido à portuguesa, which somewhat parallels the French pot au feu or the New England boiled dinner.
Its composition depends on the cook's budget. An extensive lavish cozido may include beef, salt pork, several types of enchidos, pig's feet, cured ham, carrots, chickpeas and rice; this would have been a favourite food of the affluent farmer, which reached the tables of the urban bourgeoisie and typical restaurants. Tripas à moda do Porto is said to have originated in the 14th century, when the Castilians laid siege to Lisbon and blockaded the Tagus entrance; the Portuguese chronicler Fernão Lopes recounts how starvation spread all over the city. Food prices rose astronomically, small boys would go to the former wheat market place in search of a few grains on the ground, which they would eagerly put in their mout
The onion known as the bulb onion or common onion, is a vegetable, the most cultivated species of the genus Allium. Its close relatives include the garlic, leek and Chinese onion; this genus contains several other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion, the tree onion, the Canada onion. The name "wild onion" is applied to a number of Allium species, but A. cepa is known from cultivation. Its ancestral wild original form is not known, although escapes from cultivation have become established in some regions; the onion is most a biennial or a perennial plant, but is treated as an annual and harvested in its first growing season. The onion plant has a fan of hollow, bluish-green leaves and its bulb at the base of the plant begins to swell when a certain day-length is reached; the bulbs are composed of shortened, underground stems surrounded by fleshy modified scale that envelop a central bud at the tip of the stem. In the autumn, the foliage dies down and the outer layers of the bulb become dry and brittle.
The crop is harvested and dried and the onions are ready for use or storage. The crop is prone to attack by a number of pests and diseases the onion fly, the onion eelworm, various fungi cause rotting; some varieties of A. cepa, such as shallots and potato onions, produce multiple bulbs. Onions are used around the world; as a food item, they are served cooked, as a vegetable or part of a prepared savoury dish, but can be eaten raw or used to make pickles or chutneys. They are pungent when contain certain chemical substances which irritate the eyes; the onion plant known as the bulb onion or common onion, is the most cultivated species of the genus Allium. It was first described by Carl Linnaeus in his 1753 work Species Plantarum. A number of synonyms have appeared in its taxonomic history: Allium cepa var. aggregatum – G. Don Allium cepa var. bulbiferum – Regel Allium cepa var. cepa – Linnaeus Allium cepa var. multiplicans – L. H. Bailey Allium cepa var. proliferum – Regel Allium cepa var. solaninum – Alef Allium cepa var. viviparum – Mansf.
A. Cepa is known from cultivation, but related wild species occur in Central Asia; the most related species include A. vavilovii and A. asarense from Iran. However and Hopf state that "there are doubts whether the A. vavilovii collections tested represent genuine wild material or only feral derivatives of the crop."The vast majority of cultivars of A. cepa belong to the "common onion group" and are referred to as "onions". The Aggregatum group of cultivars includes both shallots and potato onions; the genus Allium contains a number of other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion, Egyptian onion, Canada onion. Cepa is accepted as Latin for "onion" and has an affinity with Ancient Greek: κάπια and Albanian: qepë and is ancestral to Aromanian: tseapã, Catalan: ceba, Occitan: ceba, Spanish: cebolla, Romanian: ceapă; the English word chive is derived from the Old French cive, which derived from cepa. The onion plant has been selectively bred in cultivation for at least 7,000 years.
It is a biennial plant, but is grown as an annual. Modern varieties grow to a height of 15 to 45 cm; the leaves are yellowish - to bluish green and grow alternately in a fan-shaped swathe. They are fleshy and cylindrical, with one flattened side, they are at their broadest about a quarter of the way up, beyond which they taper towards a blunt tip. The base of each leaf is a flattened white sheath that grows out of a basal disc. From the underside of the disc, a bundle of fibrous roots extends for a short way into the soil; as the onion matures, food reserves begin to accumulate in the leaf bases and the bulb of the onion swells. In the autumn, the leaves die back and the outer scales of the bulb become dry and brittle, so the crop is normally harvested. If left in the soil over winter, the growing point in the middle of the bulb begins to develop in the spring. New leaves appear and a long, hollow stem expands, topped by a bract protecting a developing inflorescence; the inflorescence takes the form of a globular umbel of white flowers with parts in sixes.
The seeds are glossy triangular in cross section. The average pH of an onion is around 5.5 Because the wild onion is extinct and ancient records of using onions span western and eastern Asia, the geographic origin of the onion is uncertain, with domestication worldwide. Food uses of onions date back thousands of years in China and Persia. Traces of onions recovered from Bronze Age settlements in China suggest that onions were used as far back as 5000 BCE, not only for their flavour, but the bulb's durability in storage and transport. Ancient Egyptians revered the onion bulb, viewing its spherical shape and concentric rings as symbols of eternal life. Onions were used in Egyptian burials, as evidenced by onion traces found in the eye sockets of Ramesses IV. Pliny the Elder of the first century CE wrote about the use of onions and cabbage in Pompeii, he documented Roman beliefs about the onion's ability to improve ocular ailments, aid in sleep, heal everything from oral sores and toothaches to dog bites and dysentery.
Palestine is a geographic region in Western Asia considered to include Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, in some definitions, some parts of western Jordan. The name was used by ancient Greek writers, it was used for the Roman province Syria Palaestina, the Byzantine Palaestina Prima, the Islamic provincial district of Jund Filastin; the region comprises most of the territory claimed for the biblical regions known as the Land of Israel, the Holy Land or Promised Land. It has been known as the southern portion of wider regional designations such as Canaan, ash-Sham, the Levant. Situated at a strategic location between Egypt and Arabia, the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture and politics; the region has been controlled by numerous peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Canaanites and Judeans, Babylonians, ancient Greeks, the Jewish Hasmonean Kingdom, Parthians, Byzantines, the Arab Rashidun, Umayyad and Fatimid caliphates, Ayyubids, Mongols, the British, modern Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians.
The boundaries of the region have changed throughout history. Today, the region comprises the State of Israel and the Palestinian territories in which the State of Palestine was declared. Modern archaeology has identified 12 ancient inscriptions from Egyptian and Assyrian records recording cognates of Hebrew Pelesheth; the term "Peleset" is found in five inscriptions referring to a neighboring people or land starting from c. 1150 BCE during the Twentieth dynasty of Egypt. The first known mention is at the temple at Medinet Habu which refers to the Peleset among those who fought with Egypt in Ramesses III's reign, the last known is 300 years on Padiiset's Statue. Seven known Assyrian inscriptions refer to the region of "Palashtu" or "Pilistu", beginning with Adad-nirari III in the Nimrud Slab in c. 800 BCE through to a treaty made by Esarhaddon more than a century later. Neither the Egyptian nor the Assyrian sources provided clear regional boundaries for the term; the first clear use of the term Palestine to refer to the entire area between Phoenicia and Egypt was in 5th century BCE Ancient Greece, when Herodotus wrote of a "district of Syria, called Palaistinê" in The Histories, which included the Judean mountains and the Jordan Rift Valley.
A century Aristotle used a similar definition for the region in Meteorology, in which he included the Dead Sea. Greek writers such as Polemon and Pausanias used the term to refer to the same region, followed by Roman writers such as Ovid, Pomponius Mela, Pliny the Elder, Dio Chrysostom, Plutarch as well as Roman Judean writers Philo of Alexandria and Josephus; the term was first used to denote an official province in c. 135 CE, when the Roman authorities, following the suppression of the Bar Kokhba Revolt, combined Iudaea Province with Galilee and the Paralia to form "Syria Palaestina". There is circumstantial evidence linking Hadrian with the name change, but the precise date is not certain and the assertion of some scholars that the name change was intended "to complete the dissociation with Judaea" is disputed; the term is accepted to be a translation of the Biblical name Peleshet. The term and its derivates are used more than 250 times in Masoretic-derived versions of the Hebrew Bible, of which 10 uses are in the Torah, with undefined boundaries, 200 of the remaining references are in the Book of Judges and the Books of Samuel.
The term is used in the Septuagint, which used a transliteration Land of Phylistieim different from the contemporary Greek place name Palaistínē. The Septuagint instead used the term "allophuloi" throughout the Books of Judges and Samuel, such that the term "Philistines" has been interpreted to mean "non-Israelites of the Promised Land" when used in the context of Samson and David, Rabbinic sources explain that these peoples were different from the Philistines of the Book of Genesis. During the Byzantine period, the region of Palestine within Syria Palaestina was subdivided into Palaestina Prima and Secunda, an area of land including the Negev and Sinai became Palaestina Salutaris. Following the Muslim conquest, place names that were in use by the Byzantine administration continued to be used in Arabic; the use of the name "Palestine" became common in Early Modern English, was used in English and Arabic during the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem and was revived as an official place name with the British Mandate for Palestine.
Some other terms that have been used to refer to all or part of this land include Canaan, Land of Israel, the Promised Land, Greater Syria, the Holy Land, Iudaea Province, Coele-Syria, "Israel HaShlema", Kingdom of Israel, Kingdom of Jerusalem, Retenu, Southern Syria, Southern Levant and Syria Palaestina. Situated at a strategic location between Egypt and Arabia, the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture and politics; the region has been controlled by numerous peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Israelites, Babylonians, Ancient Greeks, Parthians, Sasa
Romanian cuisine is a diverse blend of different dishes from several traditions with which it has come into contact, but it maintains its own character. It has been influenced by a series of European cuisines such as the Austrian cuisine, German cuisine, Greek cuisine, or Hungarian cuisine, yet it includes culinary elements stemming from the cuisines of the Slavic-speaking countries of Eastern and Central Europe, most notably Serbian and Bulgarian as well as Polish and Russian. There are quite a few different types of dishes; these may be meat and vegetable soups and calf foot soups, or fish soups, all of which are soured by lemon juice, sauerkraut juice, vinegar, or borș. The category țuică is a name for a strong alcoholic spirit in Romania. In the history of Romanian culinary literature, Costache Negruzzi and Mihail Kogălniceanu were the compilers of a cookbook "200 rețete Încărcate de bucate, prăjituri și alte treburi gospodăreşti" printed in 1841. Negruzzi writes in "Alexandru Lăpușneanu": "In Moldavia, at this time, fine food wasn't fashioned.
The greatest feast only offered a few types of dishes. After the Polish borş, Greek dishes would follow, boiled with herbs floating in butter, after that, Turkish pilaf, cosmopolitan steaks". Cheese was known since ancient history. Brânză is the generic word for cheese in Romanian; this word is from Dacian. In addition to cheese, Dacians eat fruits with high nutritional value; the Dacians produced wine in massive quantities. Once, Burebista, a Dacian king, angered by the wine abuse of his warriors, cut down the vines. Legend says. With the Romans, there was a certain taste, rooted in the centuries, for the perfect pastry made from cheese, including alivenci, pască, or brânzoaice; the Romans introduced porridge. Maize and potatoes became staples of Romanian cuisine after their introduction to Europe. Maize, in particular, contributed to an increase in health and nutrition level of the Romanian population in the 16th and 17th centuries, resulting in a population boom. More than four centuries and Moldavia, the two medieval Romanian principalities, were influenced by their oriental neighbor, the Ottoman Empire.
Ottoman cuisine changed the Romanian table with appetizers made from various vegetables, such as eggplant and bell peppers, as well as various meat preparations, such as chiftele and mici. The various kinds of ciorbă/borș and meat-and-vegetable stews, such as iahnie de fasole, ardei umpluți, sarmale are influenced by Turkish cuisine; the Romanian tomato salad is a variation of the Turkish çoban salata. There is a unique procession of sweets and pastries combining honey and nuts, such as baclava, sarailie and rahat. Romanian recipes bear the same influences as the rest of Romanian culture; the Turks brought meatballs, from the Greeks there is musaca, from the Austrians there is the șnițel, the list could continue. The Romanians share many foods with the Balkan area, Eastern Europe; some others can be traced to the Romans, as well as other ancient civilizations. The lack of written sources in Eastern Europe makes it impossible to determine today the exact origin for most of them. One of the most common meals is the mămăligă, the precursor of polenta, served on its own or as an accompaniment.
Pork is the main meat used in Romanian cuisine, but beef is consumed and a good lamb or fish dish is never to be refused. Before Christmas, on December 20, a pig is traditionally sacrificed by every rural family. A variety of foods for Christmas are prepared from the slaughtered pig, such as: Cârnați – garlicky pork sausages, which may be smoked or dry-cured. There are many variations of this stew throughout Romania, with some versions combining different meats, including chicken, beef and sometimes offal. At Easter, lamb is served: the main dishes are borș de miel, roast lamb, drob de miel – a Romanian-style lamb haggis made from minced offal, lamb meat and spr
Iraq the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Assyrians, Shabakis, Armenians, Mandeans and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan and Mandeanism present; the official languages of Iraq are Kurdish. Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf; these rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers known as Mesopotamia, is referred to as the cradle of civilisation.
It was here that mankind first began to read, create laws and live in cities under an organised government—notably Uruk, from which "Iraq" is derived. The area has been home to successive civilisations since the 6th millennium BC. Iraq was the centre of the Akkadian, Sumerian and Babylonian empires, it was part of the Median, Hellenistic, Sassanid, Rashidun, Abbasid, Mongol, Safavid and Ottoman empires. The country today known as Iraq was a region of the Ottoman Empire until the partition of the Ottoman Empire in the 20th century, it was made up of three provinces, called vilayets in the Ottoman language: Mosul Vilayet, Baghdad Vilayet, Basra Vilayet. In April 1920 the British Mandate of Mesopotamia was created under the authority of the League of Nations. A British-backed monarchy joining these vilayets into one Kingdom was established in 1921 under Faisal I of Iraq; the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from the UK in 1932. In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Iraqi Republic created.
Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party from 1968 until 2003. After an invasion by the United States and its allies in 2003, Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party was removed from power, multi-party parliamentary elections were held in 2005; the US presence in Iraq ended in 2011, but the Iraqi insurgency continued and intensified as fighters from the Syrian Civil War spilled into the country. Out of the insurgency came a destructive group calling itself ISIL, which took large parts of the north and west, it has since been defeated. Disputes over the sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan continue. A referendum about the full sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan was held on 25 September 2017. On 9 December 2017, then-Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over ISIL after the group lost its territory in Iraq. Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of one autonomous region; the country's official religion is Islam. Culturally, Iraq has a rich heritage and celebrates the achievements of its past in both pre-Islamic as well as post-Islamic times and is known for its poets.
Its painters and sculptors are among the best in the Arab world, some of them being world-class as well as producing fine handicrafts, including rugs and carpets. Iraq is a founding member of the UN as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF; the Arabic name العراق al-ʿIrāq has been in use since before the 6th century. There are several suggested origins for the name. One dates to the Sumerian city of Uruk and is thus of Sumerian origin, as Uruk was the Akkadian name for the Sumerian city of Urug, containing the Sumerian word for "city", UR. An Arabic folk etymology for the name is "well-watered. During the medieval period, there was a region called ʿIrāq ʿArabī for Lower Mesopotamia and ʿIrāq ʿAjamī, for the region now situated in Central and Western Iran; the term included the plain south of the Hamrin Mountains and did not include the northernmost and westernmost parts of the modern territory of Iraq. Prior to the middle of the 19th century, the term Eyraca Arabic was used to describe Iraq.
The term Sawad was used in early Islamic times for the region of the alluvial plain of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, contrasting it with the arid Arabian desert. As an Arabic word, عراق means "hem", "shore", "bank", or "edge", so that the name by folk etymology came to be interpreted as "the escarpment", viz. at the south and east of the Jazira Plateau, which forms the northern and western edge of the "al-Iraq arabi" area. The Arabic pronunciation is. In English, it is either or, the American Heritage Dictionary, the Random House Dictionary; the pronunciation is heard in US media. In accordance with the 2005 Constitution, the official name of the state is the "Republic of Iraq". Between 65,000 BC and 35,000 BC northern Iraq was home to a Neanderthal culture, archaeological remains of which have been discovered at Shanidar Cave This same region is the location of a number of pre-Neolithic cemeteries, dating from 11,000 BC. Since 10,000 BC, Iraq was one of centres of a Caucasoid Neolithic culture (k