Every Mediterranean country has a tradition of small plate foods that are eaten either as appetizers or as a meal on their own. In America, we are most familiar with Tapas from Spain, but there are many other versions of Tapas from other countries. The Lebanese version is the “Meze”. These small plates of food usually are served in a particular order typically beginning with a number of lighter dishes such as fattoush, yogurt with mint and cucumbers, olives, and hummus and are usually eaten slowly over conversation and drinks. The next round of Meze at a meal includes more vegetables and eggs, then more filling fare such as grilled meats and fish stew. A traditional meal consisting solely of Meze can have 15-20 different plates of food!
Because these foods are eaten slowly, in a relaxed atmosphere and are loaded with vegetables, beans and other high nutrient foods this way of eating is beneficial for health and weight.
Below is a great video on Meze from the Syrian chef Saga. She introduces Lebanese Meze from the famous Marouch restaurant in Hollywood, California and then shows us how to make Fattoush.