Is Persian food the same as Mediterranean food? MealsCook

Persian food is not Mediterranean food. At the same time, they are very similar in terms of cooking methods and raw materials used.

In this article, we will examine the question Is Persian food the same as Mediterranean food? Mediterranean food is not the same as Iranian food, but they have common points.

Both use fresh vegetables, fruits, and grains in their food, but in Iranian food, more lamb and beef are used, and much less in Mediterranean food.

I can say that in terms of culture, Iranian and Mediterranean cuisines are very different, but in terms of basic ingredients and cooking methods, they have many similarities.

In the rest of this article, we will discuss the differences between Persian and Mediterranean food.

Aspect Persian Food Mediterranean Food
Geographical Origin Iran (Middle East) Mediterranean region (Spain, Morocco, Italy, Greece)
Main Ingredients More lamb, beef, rice, and spices like saffron, turmeric More vegetables, fruits, seafood, nuts, and olive oil
Cooking Techniques Slow cooking, stews, frying, and grilling Grilling, eating raw or half-cooked vegetables
Cultural Influence Rich, ancient Persian culture Combination of cultures from Rome, Morocco, Arabs
Diet Characteristics Diverse with significant meat and rice consumption Emphasizes whole foods, healthy fats, and less meat
Calorie Content Generally higher due to meat and frying Lower due to healthy fats and fresh produce

differences between Persian and Mediterranean food


Geographical difference

Mediterranean Cuisine:

As the name suggests, Mediterranean foods are related to the people who live along the Mediterranean Sea, from Spain to Morocco through Italy, Greece, Tunisia, and other countries.

The use of fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as olive oil and less red meat in the Mediterranean diet, have made these foods famous. Due to the healthy eating style of these foods and the Mediterranean diet, it is well known worldwide. 

Persian Cuisine:

Persian food originates from the country of Iran in the Middle East and originates from a rich and very old history and culture of the Persian people.

In Iranian cuisine, various legumes and fresh vegetables are used, and the diet of Iranians mostly includes mutton or meat. It is chicken and all kinds of bread and cereals.

Mediterranean food

Cooking difference between Persian cuisine vs Mediterranean cuisine

Persian Cuisine:

Cooking techniques in Iranian cooking and cuisine are based on cooking frying and sometimes grilling.For example, types of stew such as khoresh ghormeh sabzi are cooked in between 4 and 6 hours and it is known as a slow cooking technique.

In general, the cooking methods of Iranian food are based on slow cooking, steaming and boiling the ingredients.

Mediterranean Cuisine:

However, Mediterranean cuisine is more famous for grilling and eating raw and half-cooked vegetables. Grilling food and sometimes roasting food with olive oil is one of the most common ways of cooking Mediterranean food.

In this video, a blogger is testing Iranian and Greek food, which can be interesting for you and help you understand the difference between Persian cuisine vs Mediterranean cuisine.

Ingredients difference

Mediterranean Cuisine:

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes more vegetables, fruits, seafood, legumes, and nuts and does not allow sugary foods, dairy (except for limited amounts of yogurt and cheese), and red meat.

Persian pizza is a similar dish to Mediterranean fast food. In terms of raw materials used in this product, it is very similar to Mediterranean food.

Persian Cuisine:
Iranian cuisine is more diverse and in addition to vegetables and legumes, they use rice, red meat, chicken, and various spices such as saffron, turmeric, cinnamon, and cardamom(hel spice).

Ingredients difference

The Mediterranean diet is number one yet again on the ‘U.S. News & World Report’s’ annual list. The US News & World Report released its best diets for 2024, and once again, the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes whole foods, healthy fats, beans, and greens, with very few animal products, was crowned number one


Differences in cultural

Persian Cuisine:

Iranian cuisine originates from the rich culture of Iran, which goes back thousands of years and has been passed down to the next generations with little changes over the years.

After more than 2,500 years of their culture, Iranians have still kept the authenticity of their native foods.

Mediterranean Cuisine:
Mediterranean cuisine combines the different cultures of Rome, Morocco, and Arabs.

Calorie difference

kale pacheh high Calorie Persian food

Persian Cuisine:

Iranian and meat foods such as kale pache and fried foods that use frying oil and fat have more calories. But some foods, such as stews, have fresh vegetables, walnuts, and pomegranate paste, and have natural fat and fresh vegetables and have fewer calories.

Mediterranean Cuisine:

Mediterranean foods are relatively low in calories due to the use of less saturated fat and meat and the use of healthy fats and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Health and Nutrition:

Horiátiki Salata

Persian Cuisine:

Iranian cuisine uses more nutritious ingredients such as fresh vegetables, red and white meat, spices, and dairy products. This variety of food has a lot of protein, calories, and useful substances in this type of food.

Mediterranean Cuisine:

The Mediterranean diet is based on seafood, fruits, vegetables, and olive oil. It has fewer calories and more protein and vitamins than the Iranian diet. One of the most famous and healthiest Mediterranean dishes is the Horiátiki Salata.


Persian cuisine vs Mediterranean cuisine have similarities. In terms of diet, Mediterranean foods are more suitable for vegetarianism and weight loss. Regarding tradition and culture, Iranian foods are much older and more authentic.

In the same direction that Iranian food is very healthy, I have written an article about the health benefits of Persian food ingredients that you can read to better understand the relationship between Iranian food and a healthy body.

Also, Iranian cuisine is much more diverse, and its use of different spices and tastes is unrivalled worldwide.

If you have a special experience with Iranian or Mediterranean food, tell me in the comments section so we can talk more and even face new challenges.

The foods of the courts of ancient Persia (as Iran was called until the 1930s) included perfumed stews flavored with cinnamon, mint, and pomegranates; elaborate stuffed fruits and vegetables; and tender roasted meats — dishes that have influenced the cooking of countries as far-flung as India and Morocco.



1. Is Iran considered the Mediterranean?

No, Iran is located in the Asian continent and the Middle East, next to the Persian Gulf.

2. What is the main difference between Iranian and Mediterranean food?

The main difference between Iranian and Mediterranean cuisine is that Iranian cuisine consumes more meat and rice, while Mediterranean cuisine has more vegetables and fewer spices.

3. What is the point of commonality in Iranian cuisine and Mediterranean cuisine?

The common point between these two is the use of vegetables, fresh fruits, and grains in cooking and the use of grilling food.

4. Are there any foods with the same name or similar among Iranian and Mediterranean foods?

There are no foods with the same name, but there are foods with the same type of meat and raw materials, such as kebabs.

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Chef Haghighi

I am Chef Haghighi with ten years of cooking experience and setting up many restaurants and fast food in Iran and Turkey. I am interested in writing recipes on my website. I have the TCA international culinary qualification.I have the experience of successfully launching more than 20 restaurants and fast food in USA and Turkey. I have opened all kinds of traditional restaurants and fast food in Iranian and Turkish style. You can contact me for advice on equipping restaurants and fast food In the shortest possible time and for free, I will provide you with advice on buying fast food equipment and setting up a fast food restaurant.

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