Iraqi cuisine has a long history due to countless ancient civilizations such as the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians and Assyrians. In ancient ruins in Iraq, the oldest cookbooks in the world have been found.
Today, the cuisine of Iraq has influences from the culinary traditions of neighbouring Turkey, Iran and Syria.
Some characteristic ingredients of Iraqi cuisine include vegetables such as aubergine, tomato and garlic and cereals such as rice and bulghur wheat. Other Iraqi culinary essentials include butter, olive oil and olives and cheeses such as feta and halloumi. Similarly with other countries of Western Asia, chicken and lamb are the favourite meats. Most dishes are served with rice and Bulghur wheat.
Meals begin with Mezze which is an appetizer. Some popular dishes include Kebab, Shawarma, Bamia (lamb, okra and tomato stew), Quzi (lamb with rice, almonds, raisins and spices), Falafel (fried
chickpea patties served with amba and salad in pita), Kibbeh (minced meat ground with bulghur or rice and spices) and Maqluba (a rice, lamb, tomato and aubergine dish).