<p>Hospitality is central to Middle Eastern culture and many home cooks spend hours, sometimes days, preparing an impressive spread of dishes for family feasts. Grains play an essential and versatile role in the diet, with dishes varying from <a href="http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/burghul-pilaf-chickpeas" target="_blank">burghul pilaf with chickpeas</a>, to <a href="http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/antipasti-couscous-salad" target="_blank">antipasti cous cous salad</a> and <a href="http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/smoked-freekeh-risotto" target="_blank">smoked freekeh risotto</a>. Dairy staples include <a href="http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/labna" target="_blank">labna</a> and <a href="http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/grilled-haloumi-salad" target="_blank">haloumi</a>, while lentils, vegetables and meats are also commonly eaten. When it comes to dessert, it's a case of the sweeter the better. Nuts, fruit and fragrant floral notes are also enjoyed, as can be seen in the French-Middle Eastern fusion dessert <a href="http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/rhubarb-pistachio-and-orange-blossom-... target="_blank">rhubarb, pistachio and orange blossom</a> <a href="http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/rhubarb-pistachio-and-orange-blossom-... target="_blank">frangipane tart with rhubarb syrup</a>.</p>