With a mild climate and lots of sun, the Mediterranean region produces a lot of healthy ingredients, including artichokes, cucumbers, eggplant, legumes, and a host of other vegetables. Figuring prominently in the cuisine, many of these vegetables are served fresh, baked, grilled, roasted, or sauteed. Similarly, many dishes feature fresh olives, as olive trees are plentiful in the region and account for one of its major exports—namely, olive oil.
Mediterranean cuisine relies less heavily on meat than cuisines from many other parts of the world. Smaller domesticated animals like goats, sheep, and chicken are utilized from time to time, while seafood, for obvious reasons, is a more widely used source of protein.
Herbs used to season dishes are very prominent, since the region is naturally herbaceous. Plants like marjoram, parsley, basil, thyme, and tarragon, as well as numerous others, are common to the region’s culinary fare.