Mezze, or meze, is a course consisting of assorted hors d'oeuvres served in Greece and the Near East. Typical components include hummus, tarama, tzatziki, small spicy sausages, stuffed vine leaves, grilled cheese, and kebabs. As this suggests, mezze can easily grow into a meal in its own right, and that is what it has almost become in the Cypriot tradition imported into the Greek restaurants of Britain. It started off, however, as little more than an appetizer, a few snacks, such as a bowl of olives and some cubes of cheese, served with a drink of ouzo or raki in a bar (much the same as the Spanish tapas). And that is what it remains in the Near East and in mainland Greece (where it is called mezedes). The word mezze comes from Turkish meze ‘snack, appetizer’.
Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink.