Great Tools for Mediterranean Cooking
Whether you’re making Turkish shish kebabs, Spanish paella,
Lebanese shawarma, Greek salad or couscous, there are kitchen
staples that you want to be sure your customers are well-versed
on. You can build a beautiful display with this equipment cross-merchandised with specialty food products and cookbooks.
Add some fun signage explaining how to incorporate a healthy
diet, lifestyle and celebrate Mediterranean cuisine.
Mortar and Pestle – Our editor Michelle Moran is addicted to
these handy and beautiful items. They’re not only useful, but
decorative as well. They don’t need to be hidden behind a cabinet
door. Used to crush, grind, and mix solid substances, the pestle is a
heavy bat-shaped object, the end of which is used for crushing and
grinding. The mortar is a bowl, typically made of hard wood, ceramic
or stone. The substance to be ground is placed in the mortar and
ground, crushed or mixed with the pestle.
Tagine – Cooking vessels commonly used in North African countries
like Morocco and Algeria, the tagine consists of two pieces – a plate
like bottom and a conical shaped lid which helps produce food rich in
flavor. The bottom doubles as a serving dish.
Couscoussière – Properly cooked couscous is light and fluffy, not
gummy or gritty. Traditionally, North Africans use a food steamer
with a tall metal pot shaped base rather like an oil jar in which the
meat and vegetables are cooked as a stew. On top of the base, a
steamer sits where the couscous is cooked, absorbing the flavors
from the stew. The lid to the steamer has holes around its edge so
steam can escape.
Paella Pan – Authentic paella pans have low sides and a broad
dimpled surface created to distribute the heat evenly, encouraging a
crunchy soccorat crust. They are made in a variety of materials, so
be sure to stock a range to help customers make the right selection
from stainless to carbon steel to the traditional pata negra.
Pizza Stone – For flatbreads and homemade pizzas, a stone made
from a terra cotta tile is perfect providing that it is unglazed. The
theory is that because the pizza stone is made from natural clay, it
is porous, and therefore capable of extracting moisture from the pizza to ensure a crisp base. An important thing to note to customers
is proper care and use. Holding a pizza or flatbread class is a great
way to help them better understand the benefits of the product.
Spice Grater – Grating spices is a sure way to get the best aroma
and flavor. Most spices used in Mediterranean foods are available in
“whole” form, like garlic, cinnamon, allspice, and others. There are a
wide range of graters out there and setting up a “hands-on” display
will help guide your customers to what feels great in their hands.
Cheese Grater – A good cheese grater should be able to handle
both hard and not-so-hard cheeses without mushing the latter.
There are dozens of new graters out there that have improved on
the old rotary tableside grater. Let your customers see the range of
new items on the market!
Pepper Grinder – Just like other herbs and spices, fresh ground
pepper is always the best. Showcase items that have an adjustable
grind, ranging from fine to coarse.