Fruit Pairings

2014 Mediterranean Fruit Pairings

2014 Dole Mediterranean Fruit Pairings

For its 2014 DOLE Fruit Pairings, Dole sets its flavor sights on the Eastern Mediterranean, the cradle of western cultural, political, economic and culinary traditions. The civilizations whose territories touched the Mediterranean established active trade routes that spread the grains, fruits, nuts, seeds and spices of each region throughout the ancient world. Through its fruit-forward lens, Dole looks at the contemporary cuisines of Southern Italy, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon and Israel, combining popular fruits with each country’s indigenous foods to create dishes that fit today’s menus.

Southern Italy

Peaches
& Almonds

Southern Italian cuisine shows traces of all the cultures that inhabited the lower reaches of the peninsula over the past two millennia. Although the cuisine has a predominantly Italian base, the food also has Spanish, Greek and Arab influences. Dionysis is said to have introduced wine to the region—a trace of historical influence from Greece. The lush peaches and almonds came with the Ottoman traders.

Strawberries
& Olives

During Byzantine rule, sweet and savory flavor combinations were favored. In Calabria, a history of French rule under the House of Anjou and Napoleon, along with Spanish influence, affected the language and made French culinary skills and menu styles popular. These influences opened the door for daring and distinctive fruit pairings with sour, spicy and aromatic foods.

Greece

Mandarin Oranges
& Honey

Lauded as the nectar of the ancient gods, Greek honeys, with flavors reminiscent of fruit and citrus trees, thyme and pine, have been a prized ingredient in the country’s kitchens across the ages. It is a small wonder that when the Greeks introduced Mandarin oranges into their groves that a new fruit pairing was born.

Raspberries
& Yogurt

Greece’s climate and terrain has tended to favor the breeding of goats and sheep over cattle. As a result, the cuisine benefits from a variety of distinctive cheese and protein-rich yogurt. With Greek-style yogurt on the fast track to dominate segment sales in the U.S., customer-friendly fruit pairings are a natural progression. Bright, sweet raspberries come to mind as a likely best seller.

Turkey

Blackberries
& Feta Cheese

Modern Turkish cuisine is largely based on Ottoman traditions, a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cooking. The Ottomans fused various culinary practices of their realm along with native Turkic elements such as feta and yogurt to create a vast array of specialties. A rich agricultural tradition ensures blackberries and other fruits are in good supply.

Cherries
& Lamb

Since the advent of high volume protein production, meat has become part of the daily diet for most urban Turks. The main use of meat in cooking remains the combination of ground meat with a fruit or vegetable. Lamb is a traditional and popular source of meat, and the rich, diverse flora of Turkey means that complementary fruits like cherries are abundant for creating sweet and savory dishes.

Lebanon

Pineapples
& Pistachios

Lebanese cuisine includes an abundance of starches, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and seafood. Herbs and spices are an important element, as is seasonal freshness of ingredients. Fruit is often served at the end of a Lebanese meal, but there is also dessert including pastries and ice cream. The country’s varied sweets often showcase fruit and the region’s delectable pistachio nuts.

Apples
& Tea

In Lebanon, Turkish coffee and tea–the tea often flavored with rose water–are usually served formally and accompanied by food. Preparation of tea is as elaborate as the mezze placed before the guests and is brewed to harmonize with the colors, tastes, textures and aromas of the food; in particular, the flavorful apples from Lebanon’s mountain regions.

Israel

Bananas & Sesame

Having transformed unforgiving desert into a fertile wonderland, the Israelis have developed a Jewish fusion cuisine that encompasses both traditional dishes of the region and dishes brought by Jews from the Diaspora. New dishes are often based on agricultural products such as oranges, avocados and bananas, dairy products and fish. Others reflect world trends or the influence of internationally trained chefs.

Mangos
& Couscous

Israeli cuisine has adopted, and continues to adopt, elements of various Jewish culinary styles and regional Arab cooking. It incorporates many foods traditionally eaten in the Middle East and the Mediterranean, and foods such as falafel, hummus, couscous and za’atar are now widely popular. As a primary supplier of tropical fruits to the European market, Israeli cooks quickly incorporated mango and other lushly flavored fruits into their favorite dishes.

Explore Previous Innovative Fruit Pairings!

2010 Fruit Pairings 2011 Fruit Pairings 2012 Fruit Pairings 2013 Fruit Pairings 2014