Cyprus gastronomy basics

Today we’re going to talk about Cyprus gastronomy basics and how traditional Cypriot food is a wonderfully eclectic and unique combination of Turkish and Greek cuisine mainly, but you can also find many restaurants focused on Chinese, French, Indian and Italian foods, as one should expect from any truly international place.

However we’re going to talk about general Cypriot culinary features and we’ll start with the generally recognized herbs and spices, which include celery, parsley, oregano, pepper and roka. However it can be argued that the most important herb in Cyprus is mint, because it’s used in many dishes featuring ground meat. As far as vegetables go, the most commonly used ones are carrots, courgettes, cucumbers, grape leaves – which is quite interesting, lettuce, okra, green beans and tomatoes.

One dish that you’ll hear about is ‘meze’, and this name applies to a variety of dishes and an Eastern style cooking, including halloumi, celery, green peppers, olives, chicken, fish roe, sesame dip, smoked ham and stuffed vine leaves and many other. The meze is normally eaten with bread, dipped into various special delicacies.

The main courses that you’ll find, and simply have to try out, are moussaka – which is layers of chop lamb or beef, courgettes, eggplant, sliced tomatoes, topped with white sauce, suflakia – which are basically pork of lamb kebabs, avgolemoni – egg and lemon soup, just to name a few, we’ll be taking each of these major traditional recipes and talk about them in later articles, but for now we’re only mentioning them.

When it comes to sweets and desserts, glyka refers to preserved made from almonds, apricots, cherries, dates and grapes, while souzoukko is makde by dropping nuts in boiled grape juice, then there is also kadeifi, baklava and halatopureko – honey cakes basically.

Beverage-wise, the most popular non-alcoholic drinks are Turkish coffee – of course, and ayran. The popular alcoholic drinks include wine, brandy sour – which is a mixture of various local brandies, zivania – a grape distillate, commandaria – a very popular dessert wine.

Of course this doesn’t take into account the many regional variations, make sure you employ our Larnaca car hire services in order to get a better feel for the region’s delicacies.