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A Mezze (Arabic: مزة; Greek: Μεζές Mezes, pl. Mezedes), in eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, is a selection of appetisers or small dishes taken with alcohol. In Levantine cuisine, these dishes form part of any large-scale meal, but are known as muqabbilat (starters) when not accompanied with alcohol.

In Iran, they are used while serving alcoholic drinks in houses or parties. In Greece, mezedes are little dishes designed to complement a beverage, tease the tastebuds and encourage diners to linger around a table for good conversation. They are served in a tsipouradiko or ouzeri, (café-like establishments that serve tsipouro or ouzo respectively). Likewise in Turkey meze are served in similar establishments called meyhane along with raki. The word meze is of Persian origin. The Persian word مزه mazze meaning flavour is a noun from the verb مزیدن mazzidan i.e. to taste.

In Serbia meze is made with cheese, ham, kulen and similar things.

Popular mezze dishes in Syria and Lebanon, also often found elsewhere under different names, include:

  • Mutabbal
  • Babaghanoush
  • Hummus
  • Hummus with meat (hummus bi'l-lahm)
  • Moussaka
  • Kibbe
  • Kibbe Nayye
  • Sausages (naqaniq)
  • Spicy sausages (sujuq)
  • Whole roasted young birds
  • Yoghurt
  • Labneh
  • Shanklish
  • Kishkeh
  • Muhammara
  • Tabouli
  • Fattoush
  • Rocket salad (salatat jarjir)
  • Artichoke salad

Popular mezes in Bulgaria:

  • lukanka
  • Soujouk
  • Sirene prepared in various ways.
  • and many others

Vefa Alexiadou , Greek Cuisine , ISBN 9608501865
Vefa Alexiadou , Festive Cuisine: 200 Recipes, to Prepare 19 Festive Menus , ISBN 9609013708
Vefa Alexiadou , Greek Pastries and Desserts , ISBN 9608501873

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