Middle Eastern cuisine or West Asian cuisine is the cuisine of the various countries and peoples of the Middle East and Western Asia. The cuisine of the region is diverse while having a degree of homogeneity. Some commonly used ingredients include olives and olive oil, pitas, honey, sesame seeds, dates, sumac, chickpeas, mint and parsley. Some popular dishes include kibbeh and shawarma. Cereals constitute the bases of the Middle Eastern diet, historically and today. Wheat and rice are the major and preferred sources of staple foods. Barley is common in the region and maize became common in some areas as well. Bread is a universal staple in the region, eaten, in one form or another, by all classes and groups, practically at every meal. Aside from bread, wheat is also used in the forms of burghul and couscous. Burghul is cracked wheat, made by partially cooking the wheat grains in water, drying it in an oven or in the sun, then breaking it into pieces, in different grades of size.
Contributions by Darbyji, Izzedine, and Northamerica1000.