Difference Between "Italian" and "Mediterranean" flavor

At the supermarket, I see two varieties of the same brand of snack chips. One is “Mediterranean” and the other is “Italian” flavored.

What is the difference between these flavors, as seen by the snack industry?

I don’t know about snack chips, but in my town’s restaurants, “Mediterranean” is usually code for “Arab” or “Turkish”.

I would think the “Italian” snack would also have some tomato and/or oregano flavorings.

That would probably mean “cumin.”

Funny, I see Mediterranean flavors and I think Greek.

Well, a “Greek” restaurant doesn’t lose business when Iran or Hamas does something antisocial.

There’s a lot of commonality between the two cuisines. When I hear “Mediterranean” I tend to think Greek/Turkish.

Oregano is my first thought for “Italian.” And I also think “Greek” for Mediterranean. But I do wonder what the folks at Keebler think. And I see that it’s “Italian Herb” technically.

Oregano is used in both Italian and Greek cooking. There has to be a bigger difference than that.

Yeah, this waspy wasp has no clue about either cuisine.

Is one the pita chips product and the other the crackers? Maybe the fact that it’s on a pita caused marketing to call it “Mediterranean”?

I didn’t notice at the time I got them, but you are correct about the Mediterranean being on pitas and the Italian being on flatbread.

Isn’t pita flatbread?

I guess. But the brand distinguishes between the two with different shapes even though they’re probably the same in all other respects.

I can imagine Italian loaves/baguettes sliced and toasted. With flatbreads, you just take the flattened dough and toss it on the hot stone/bricks/pan to bake. That’s probably the difference.

I think Italian seasoning tends to be somewhat more specific and may include oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, garlic and whatever else the manufacturer figures seems Italian to American consumers. It’s not that all of these are necessarily common in Italy or that every region in Italy uses the same herbs and spices.

“Mediterranean” seems like a catch-all that allows manufacturers more leeway and might include any of those, plus possibly cinnamon, coriander, fennel, mint, marjoram, savory, dill, tarragon, turmeric, and probably others. It’s such a weird descriptor for food. The Mediterranean is bordered by three continents and over 20 countries, all with different crops and cuisine. It’s a little like calling a product “European flavor.”

Tomato seems to be more common in Italian food than in Greek. (Granted, my conclusion is likely superficial since it’s based upon my experiences at Italian and Greek restaurants.)

I would expect the following:

Italian: Mostly Oregano, basil and tomato

Mediterean: Mostly Tyme, olive, olive oil, garlic

I would expect a great overlap between then two.

In my experience as someone who lives in the area, “Mediterranean” cuisine actually means Eastern Mediterranean cuisine, or specifically, food from the arc of countries from Greece through Turkey, Syria and Lebanon to Israel.

That’s interesting and good to know. I was really referring to food marketed here in the US, but of course that may be true here as well. Still, it’s not a very accurate descriptor. An Iowan friend who’s from India complains about the “Asian” food sections in supermarkets there. He said they seldom include foods from his part of Asia. I suppose this is the same sort of thing.