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Delicious Dishes from Around the Med

By HarryWednesday 08th July 2015

Paella is a traditional rice dish that can be enjoyed all over Spain – Image by Flickr user Hungry Dudes Paella is a traditional rice dish that can be enjoyed all over Spain – Image by Flickr user Hungry Dudes

The Mediterranean region is made up of countries from Europe, Africa and Asia, all of which surround the Mediterranean Sea. They share a common climate – mild winters and hot summers – and are popular destinations for tourists from all over the world. These countries offer some very varied and very delicious cuisine, using native ingredients and unique flavours. This summer, when you cruise with Royal Caribbean, you can choose from a range of Mediterranean cruise itineraries, giving you the chance to explore the many culinary delights on offer. In the meantime, we’ve picked out a few of our favourite dishes from around the Med to whet your appetite.


A visit to Spain just wouldn’t be complete without a giant bowl of fragrant paella, a rice dish which originated in Valencia, but has since become popular throughout the country. There are three main types of paella, and although recipes may differ depending on the region you visit, the core ingredients are the same. Valencian paella (arguably the most authentic of all the recipes) is made using white rice, tomatoes, green and white beans, chicken or rabbit, snails and broth seasoned with paprika, saffron and rosemary. Add cuttlefish, mussels, shrimp, lobster and chorizo for a mixed paella, or swap the meat for a purely seafood paella. Whatever type of paella you choose, you’re in for a wonderful combination of flavours that makes for an absolutely delicious dish. While onboard, tuck into a hearty bowl of pasta at Portofino While onboard, tuck into a hearty bowl of pasta at Portofino

Bucatini all'Amatriciana

When thinking of Italian cuisine, it’s more than likely that pasta is the first thing that comes to mind. This pasta dish comes from Amatrice, a town that’s located an hour east of Rome, and is made with sugo all'amatriciana, a sauce for which the town is famous. The traditional recipe includes guanciale (cured pork cheek), pecorino cheese and tomato, with other recipes calling for the addition of onion, garlic and chilli. The sauce is added in generous quantities to bucatini pasta – a hollow, spaghetti-like pasta – and can be served with pecorino shavings for extra bite. Hop to shore while docked in Rome and enjoy this moreish classic at almost any restaurant in the City, or dine onboard and sample the many Italian delights available at Giovanni's Table and Portofino.


Moussaka is served all over the Mediterranean, with each country putting its own unique spin on this mouth-watering dish. Although moussaka originates in Turkey, where the first record of the dish dates back to the early part of the Ottoman Empire, it has since become recognised as a symbol of Greek cooking. Moussaka is comprised of three distinct layers that are cooked individually and then layered in a dish to be baked until wonderfully golden. Sautéed aubergine is topped with lamb mince, which has been cooked in tomatoes, cinnamon, onion, garlic and black pepper, before adding the final layer of creamy, béchamel sauce. When baked, the result is a hearty dish that is bursting with flavour and deliciousness. One of the best places to get stuck in to a slice of Moussaka is Athens, but the dish can be eaten all over Greece and the Greek Islands. Sample baklava and other Turkish treats at a pazar (market) in Istanbul – Image by Flickr user Catherine Sharman Sample baklava and other Turkish treats at a pazar (market) in Istanbul – Image by Flickr user Catherine Sharman


If your Mediterranean cruise includes a visit to Turkey then you have to sample one of the most popular Turkish desserts there is: baklava. This tasty treat is made from filo pastry, melted butter and crushed nuts (pistachio or walnut), which are layered in a large tray and baked. Once baked, the pastry is soaked in a syrup that often includes a combination of honey, orange flower water and rosewater. The pastry is cut into small diamond shapes and is topped with more crushed nuts, creating a real symphony of textures and flavours. Enjoy a bite-sized baklava while on the go in Istanbul, or indulge in a more substantial serving after a dinner. Yum!  

Feeling inspired to cruise the Mediterranean? Take a look at our Mediterranean cruise itineraries and start planning your holiday today.

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