Kitchen Humanities: Middle Eastern Meze Platter

The four climactic regions of the Arabian Peninsula.
The Arabian PeninsulaThe four climactic regions of the Arabian Peninsula.


In this 7th grade humanities lesson, students prepare a Middle Eastern meze platter using ingredients that represent the four climatic regions of the Arabian Peninsula.


After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Identify the four climatic regions of the Arabian Peninsula crops native to each region
  • Understand how the four climatic regions of the Arabian Peninsula affected food and farming in each region
  • Refine knife skills and practice different cuts and sizes as needed


During this lesson, students will:

  • Answer questions about the climatic regions and foods of the Arabian Peninsula
  • Describe the four climatic regions of the Arabian Peninsula and discuss their effects on food and farming
  • Cut vegetables into sizes appropriate for dipping


For the Chef Meeting

  • Tabbouleh recipe
  • Hummus recipe
  • Yogurt Sauce recipe
  • Recipe ingredients and tools for demonstration
  • Meze platter visual aid
  • Meze platter notes


  • Seasonal vegetables for crudités
  • Dates
  • Almonds
  • Pomegranate

For the Tabbouleh

  • Bulgur
  • Flat leaf parsley
  • Mint
  • Lemons
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the Hummus

  • Garbanzo beans
  • Garlic
  • Tahini
  • Lemons
  • Flat leaf parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the Yogurt Sauce

  • Yogurt
  • Radish, carrot, or cucumber
  • Garlic
  • Mint
  • Salt


  • Mixing bowls
  • Reamer or juicer
  • Grater
  • Garlic peeler
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Wooden spoons
  • Chef knives
  • Paring knives
  • Cutting boards
  • Measuring beaker
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons


  • Blender or food processor
  • Stove

Before You Begin

  • Collect all the tools and ingredients, then distribute them to the tables
  • Gather supplies for the Chef Meeting
  • Create the visual aid
  • Copy the Tabbouleh recipe to hand out
  • Copy the Hummus recipe to hand out
  • Copy the Yogurt Sauce recipe to hand out
  • Soak the bulgur (one part bulgur to one part water)
  • Cook the garbanzo beans


At the Chef Meeting

  1. Welcome students and ask if they have heard of a meze platter. Explain that a meze platter is an assortment of appetizers and introduce the Tabbouleh, Hummus and Yogurt Sauce recipes.
  2. Locate the Arabian Peninsula on the visual aid and discuss its significance as a crossroads for trade between civilizations.
  3. Ask students to identify the four climatic regions of the Arabian Peninsula: desert, oases, coastal plains, and mountains. Review the connection between climate, geography and diet.
  4. Identify ingredients representative of each region of the Arabian Peninsula. Incorporate information from the notes (see resources).
  5. Explain that foods native to the Arabian Peninsula traveled via trade routes to become staple foods in other cultures.
  6. Introduce all the recipes and components of the meze platter.
  7. Ask students to wash their hands and join their table group.

At the Table

  1. Meet with the table groups and review the recipes.
  2. Demonstrate how to cut vegetables into a crudité.
  3. Assign cooking jobs.
  4. Prepare the recipes and set the table.
  5. Eat.
  6. Clean up.

At the Closing Circle

Ask each student to name one ingredient and its climatic region of origin.



Arabian Peninsula



Coastal plains


Download: Meze Platter VIsual Aid

Download: Tabbouleh Recipe

Download: Hummus Recipe

Download: Yogurt Sauce Recipe

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