Cypriots trace their gastronomic heritage to their long, turbulent history and to the unique geographic position of the island. Cyprus, the eastern island in the Mediterranean sea, acts as a hub between three continents, Europe, Asia and Africa and benefits from their culture
The local gastronomy has been influenced over the years by factors such as:
the deep rooted Greek civilization and culture with the dominance of the Greek diet and the concept of taverna and meze
the many foreign rulers (Lusignians, Arabs, Ottomans) who brought along their own food habits which were gradually adopted as local
the favorable climate allowing the production of natural food ingredients
the long history of the island in grape and wine production.
Today, it is universally accepted that products from Mediterranean countries and the Mediterranean diet, represent an excellent choice in gourmet cuisine. The products of Cyprus represent exactly this diet, bridging together a high quality produce, an excellent taste and offering a much healthier alternative. Nothing is better!
Cyprus - Mediterranean diet is the same as Greek food which includes basic foods such as Greek olive oil , olives, an abundance of fresh fruits, Greek salads, vegetables and the freshest fish, which comes straight from the sea.
JUST A TASTE…..!
Halloumi is the unripe, semi hard white cheese with a texture between cottage cheese and mozzarella. Halloumi may well be eaten raw but it tastes best when cooked, fried or barbequed on charcoal. It is this distinctive characteristic that makes halloumi a unique cheese.
Hallumi may also be consumed fresh in a salad or a sandwich, grated over pasta, as a stuffing in ravioli and pastries or in a more Cypriot style, as a side to chilled wedges of ripe watermelon, making it an excellent appetizer especially during summertime.
Cypriots also use halloumi as a stuffing in making pies, the traditionally known pourekia.
Lountza: made from fresh pork fillet, matured in a mixture of village wine and coriander seeds. The maturity period takes about 15 days and is followed by a smoking process. Traditional smoked Lountza is usually served uncooked, sliced or cubed along with a selection of other meat and cheese delicacies
Another tasty dish from the charcoal grill are the small sausages of minced meat, called "Shieftalies".
A traditional soup made of natural ingredients
Trachanas is a porridge made from cracked wheat and soured goat’s milk
Wheat mixed with milk has been used by the Mediterranean people since the Neolithic times.
It is probable, that sun-dried porridges made from milk and grain, is an ancient concept that has taken place in areas other than Cyprus, including Greece, Asia Minor and Egypt.
This is a strange but delicious vegetable. It looks like a sweet potato type root vegetable. It has a magnificent texture and a fascinating taste. You cannot cut it with a knife, as it becomes slimy, but you have to break it into pieces before cooking. It is often served in a tomato sauce and is well worth trying to find.
The fishing boats bring the freshest of fish and seafood straight to the restaurants of the island.
Koupes have a crispy layer of crushed bulgur wheat and they contain meat and onions. In the fasting periods, you may find Koupes with mushroom filling instead of with meat.
Historically meat eating in Cypriot and Greek cuisine was always a luxury
” YUMMY!!! “ GEMISTA
“ Cyprus mezes” is a great introduction to the cuisine of Cyprus
Literally it means "small dishes." A style of eating that has many different courses, but each course contains just a little of each item, enough for everyone to have a taste.
It’s time to order dessert….!
We have a lot of sweet pastry products, some saturated with honey or sugar syrup, mixed with nuts and fruit.
There are rose flavoured milk junket type desserts known as mehalebi and cheese filled bourekia made with a very mild soft local cheese and many more local goodies!
You may find a good selection in any of the bakeries in the towns or villages!
This is the most well known of all grape juice products.
The product contains almonds or walnuts.
“ Soujoukos” is the favorite sweet at Cyprus festivals and fairs!
It’s a popular sweet dessert wine, which enjoys the distinction of being the oldest wine in continuous production. Hesiod, who lived around 735 B.C. described how this wine was made from sun exposed grapes.
Although Cypriots have lived on and enjoyed their version of Mediterranean diet for centuries, today in a world of even more uniform tastes and a gradual shift to Western style food habits, the effort to retain customary loyalty to distinctive local food and wines, becomes increasingly harder.