Lebanese cooking represents the heights of Middle Eastern cuisine. This is the Mediterranean diet at its best, with a heady mix of olive oil, whole grains, vegetables, beans and lean meats and fish. Many of the iconic Middle Eastern dishes -- falafel, shawarma, hummus, tabouli -- are staples of the table in this small country. Many meals are served as a variety of mezze, or little dishes. Lebanese sweets and pastries are famous around the world, followed up with a strong cup of coffee or bracing, anise-flavored arak.