"a secret mixture Milo had stolen from a crooked trader in the Levant, served with Iranian rice and asparagus tips Parmesan"

The modern Levant
Public DomainThe modern Levant - Credit: The Arab League
The Levant is not a precise geographical term, but refers to a swathe of Middle Eastern nations at the east end of the Mediterranean, including Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Jordan, and sometimes Cyprus, the Sinai, and part of Iraq. The word comes from a Middle French word for “the Orient.” In the past it could have been used to refer to all the Mediterranean lands east of Italy and as far north as the Taurus Mountains, or simply “the land of the rising sun” (i.e., everything to the East).

Iranian of course refers more specifically to the people and culture in the land between the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea, to the east of Israel and Jordan and the west of Iraq and Afghanistan, previously known as Persia.

Parmesan is an adjective that can refer to anything from, or in the style of, the north central Italian province of Parma. The most famous example is Parmesan cheese, often used to garnish pizza.