Any kitchen not only shows the culinary preference of local residents, but also serves as a reflection of the geographical and climatic position of the region, its history. And Cypriot cuisine – no exception.
After a runaway look at the history of Cyprus, it becomes clear that the connection in it is English, Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern culinary traditions looks quite natural.
The Greek and Turkish population of the island has introduced basic culinary traditions to local cuisine. English colonializers, for some time they ruined Cyprus, brought elements of English cuisine. Together with the British on the island, a traditional British breakfast and apple pie came, as well as ginger and curry, actively used when cooking dishes "Pearls of the British Crown" – India.
Earlier, Cyprus was owned by the Venetian Republic. Italians put in Cypriot love for such ingredients like arugula and mint, cinnamon and coriander, cardamom, estragon and basil.
The most famous dishes
If you do not limit yourself with dinners at a hotel restaurant with European cuisine, and at least from time to time eat in local taverns, some dishes of Cypriot cuisine do not miss exactly.
This also applies to surprisingly tasty goat cheese "Hallumi", which is used in any kind. It is served raw, fry, put on sandwiches and add to dessert dishes.
In any of the local traditional Taverins offer "Mezé" – a comprehensive lunch from a pair of tens of dozen dishes that are served by small portions. Each institution serves their meza, with their appetizers, vegetable side dishes and salads, fish and meat dishes.
No less popular "Sulvaki" – kebab wrapped in the cake. It is usually served in its pure form so that the guest can fully appreciate the taste of meat, not "spoiled" sauces and spices.
Be sure to try the cabbagels in grape leaves – "Founding" and minced meat, baked with vegetables and seasoned with sauce of whipped eggs with sour cream.
Talaturi – Cyprus version of the traditional Greek dishes "Dzaziki". It is a thick and dismountain yoghurt with cucumbers, garlic and mint. Unlike the Greek prototype, the cucumbers in the Cyprus dish are not added in the vary, but cut into cubes. Talaturi refreshes well in summer heat.
Feta – one of the two most popular island cheeses. Bake it with olives and vegetables and served in clay pots.
"Kleftiko" is a mutton in Cypriot, local meat dish number one. Meat languishes in the oven clock and it turns out to be delicate, fragrant and surprisingly delicious. Watch the photo near, click on the photo to enlarge.
No less popular "Suvlaki" and "Suvla". However, this is the same thing: Suvla is big swarms and vice versa. Local skeleton version, but it is preparing without marinada and spices, so it may seem a bit dry. If you use wine, then dryness can not be noticed.
Also worth trying "Krasato" – it is a kebab of pickled in the wine pork with a coriander, festing chartlets, Musaka – eggplants with minced meat, sauce and cheese, lamb liver.
Cyprus has long been famous for alcoholic beverages: fragrant wines and liqueurs. The most famous wine – Commandary. It is a sweet red wine with an amazing taste. Buy it best on Troodos, in the Kickkos Monastery.
From the wines it is necessary to taste dry red Domain D’Aahra, dry white alkeyon and aphrodite, semi-tech Tisba and Keo Koch, White Nafeli, Light Red Wine Othello, Tasteless Burgundy Wines.
Want something "boil"? Try "Zivania", the steady grape moonshine with an alcohol content up to 80 °. True, as a souvenir, bring it home will not work, as it is forbidden to take alcohol from Cyprus to 50 °.
Beer lovers, for sure, will appreciate the local varieties of Karlsberg and Keo. Not bad Local brandy and anise vodka UzO. The last one is not like everyone else.
Read more in our article "Cyprus Alcohol".
General characteristics of Cyprus cuisine
In general, Cypriot cuisine is distinguished by an abundance of meat and fish dishes. Practically in every kushan, there are greens and vegetables.
Cyprus cuisine has absorbed many elements of Turkish and Middle Eastern Arabic cuisine, but did not accept excessive acute dishes. So, dishes are not very sharp, but they often put a large number of garlic and parsley. Traditional Turkey for "mainland" acute pepper and zira in Cyprus are used much less.
In local culinary traditions, "Italian" coriander and cinnamon, mint and arugula, etaragon, cardamom and basil. Distributed and "Anglo-Indian" ginger and curry.
With ancient times in Cyprus, winemaking and cheeseing, wines and cheese varieties on the island are very much, it will not work out.
Meat, fish and salads are usually sprinkled with lemon juice. The lemons, chopped on the slices, are submitted to the table almost necessarily.
Olives – another mandatory attribute of the traditional Cyprus table. In some restaurants, instead of olives, they serve baked in foil olives.
Tips for tourists
– In simple eateries or kebabbables, you can dine tightly for some 5-8 euros if you do not order alcoholic beverages. In traditional taverns, lunch will cost a little more – 12-20 euros, including a glass of local wine.
– Taverns are cozy family restaurants, in the menu of which, as a rule, you can find all the main Cypriot dishes. Portions are huge, with the exception of mez. Most likely, one dish is quite enough for two.
– The best "classic" institutions are better to search in the immediate vicinity of wineries. In such restaurants, lunch will cost 25 euros. For this money, you can enjoy a delicious lunch from traditional Cypriot dishes and drown it all good wine.
– Service fee is 10% and is usually included in the total. Details about prices in cafes and restaurants We talked in the article "How much money to take to Cyprus".
– Some ingredients may be unusual to the Russian stomach and the body as a whole. Just in case, take medications from allergies and to normalize the work of the gastrointestinal tract. We talked about the medicines in detail in the articles "What to take to Cyprus", "what is impossible in Cyprus" and "to Cyprus with children".
– Tips are optional, but also from a small monetary promotion, hardly anyone refuses.
– Enter with bare torso or in a swimsuit only in beach restaurants. If the institution is slightly away from the shore, it is not worth doing this.
What to bring from products?
Most often with Cyprus, the Cheese "Hallumi", Liqueurs and Wines. Practically necessarily – the famous dessert wine Commandaria. Many tourists carry home sweet souvenirs from Cyprus: almond grains in the grape molasses "Suzukos", halva, bows and other sweets.
Read more in our article "What to bring from Cyprus".
Pleasant tastings of local dishes, and read our articles about Cyprus (Links below).