Every Gourmand’s Delight – Cyprus
Cyprus is truly a foodie’s delight and guarantees your palate satisfaction. Due to its geographical proximity to Greece, the Middle-east and Turkey, you will find their influence in Cypriot cuisine though it has its distinct taste.
Here is a list of traditional dishes one should try when in Cyprus.
10 dishes one must try when in Cyprus
Koupepia is one of the most famous dishes in Cyprus. The vine leaves stuffed with spiced rice, meat, fresh herbs, and other seasonings are cooked in a tomato-based sauce. The dish is usually a part of a mezze platter or primary dish in itself. Made in big batches, Koupepia is best served cold. When the stuffing is made up of vegetables, the mixture is named ‘gemista’ and can consist of peppers, tomatoes, onions, courgettes, and courgette flowers.
For the people of Cyprus, Halloumi is not just food; it is an emotion. They take extreme pride in this mild salty and rubbery textured delicacy. It is made from a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk and uses rennet to curdle. Halloumi can be served grilled, deep-fried, or served cold with fruit as a summer snack.
Sheftalies look like kebabs and taste heavenly. They consist of minced meat, parsley, onions, and lots of cinnamon. The spicy mixtures are stuffed in the lamb’s membrane and cooked on charcoal. Vegetarian options contain mushrooms and halloumi.
Souvlaki is a part of all celebrations in Cyprus. It has small chunks of meat on a skewer simmered over charcoal. It is served with pita bread, which holds the fresh salad filling, slow-cooked meat, and the sauces.
An extremely simple and healthy dish made up of black-eyed beans. The dish is nutritious and flavorful and usually served with cooked vegetables like courgettes, chard, cucumber, tomato, and sometimes with Tuna.
If desserts are your thing, then this is the dish you ought to be looking for! You can find it easily from street vendors or coffee shops. Loukoumades are deeply fried dough balls soaked in honey and finally garnished with crushed nuts, cinnamon, and sesame seeds.
The most popular soup and another dish for vegetarians, Trachanas, is made from dried, cracked wheat and soured goat’s milk. Pieces of Halloumi are added to hot soup, which softens the cheese in-turn thickening the soup.
Kolokasi is a root vegetable grown abundantly in Cyprus. Very popular amongst the locals, Kolokasi is cooked in tomato sauce with onions, herbs, and chicken. The root is so popular that there are kolokasi festivals where several families flaunt their family dishes.
Makaronia tou fournou
The Cypriot version of a Greek dish named as pastitsio is Makaronia tou fournou. It is layered pasta along with ground meat and some cheese sauce. It is then oven-baked to attain a crispy-crunchy layer of cheese and consumed with a salad.
Glyko tou koutaliou
These are the sweets made from vegetables, fruits, and nuts, which are boiled and sugared. It is consumed mostly after lunch meals. The most popular ones are walnut, watermelon, and cherries.