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Ancient Mideast tastes mingle in stuffed holiday dishes

In the Middle East, just as in the Western world, the end of the year is a time for stuffed dishes — and for debating who started each long and rich tradition.

In the West, the end of the year is the season of stuffing. Cooking websites and TV shows come up with endless stuffing recipes — BBC Good Food alone offers 26 of them, ranging from the traditional sausage, sage and onion to vegetarian alternatives.

Kitchens in the Middle East are no different. Stuffed vegetables, ground meat and spices in thin dough, and stuffed dates all claim a place of honor at Middle Eastern tables.

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