Last Updated on January 4, 2019 by Maite Aja
The mixture of Greek, Turkish and Italian influences has turned Cypriot cuisine into the perfect showcase of delicious Mediterranean gastronomy. The cuisine of Cyprus stands out for the intensity of its aroma, its color, and its flavor. All food lovers should visit the island to find out about the best foods to try in Cyprus.
Cyprus is capable of pleasing all palates with its wide variety of dishes. From the popular “gyro”, a bread cake filled with lamb or pork meat very economical and easy to find in any establishment, to other traditional dishes such as “moussaka”, a minced meat pie with aubergines and gratin cheese. This island has a wide range of food, culinary techniques, and presentations that will not leave visitor indifferent.
Next time you are visiting the ancient island of Cyprus, make sure you tray these yummy street foods:
1. Halloumi cheese
One of the most typical flavors and which could best define the cuisine of Cyprus is ‘halloumi’ cheese. Its flavor is different from any other cheese you have tried before. They press it with mint, which gives it a unique touch. Halloumi, both raw and grilled or fried, is one of the main dishes of any restaurant’s menu.
For those who want to know a part of the Cypriot gastronomic culture in one fell swoop, it is enough to ask for a ‘mezes’. As you may know, this unique dish can be considered a representation of the cuisine of the country because it can be made of up to 30 different small dishes. Diners will see how small plates, each with a different option, will fill the table with various tastings.
3. Fish dishes
Products of the sea could be considered the maximum exponents of the most important Cypriot dishes. Any type of fish grilled in wood-fired grills and accompanied by a lemon dressing can be a real delicacy. The octopus in wine or the original crab cakes are some of the many examples of dishes in which food and cooking techniques combine perfectly.
Koupepia are grape leaves stuffed with rice, vegetables, and meat. You will find this delicious starter in most restaurants in Cyprus. Other traditional starters are olives, snails with tomato sauce and Kypriaki pitta with some yummy sauces such as ‘tzantziki’, made with cucumber and yogurt. What is more, in Cyprus there is a garrison par excellence: oranges. Any dish can surprise the visitor with an accompaniment made with this fruit, present in all banquets.
5. Dessert and coffee
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When it comes to dessert time this country has so much to offer. Some delicious Cypriot desserts you can’t miss include ‘Kataifi’, ‘Muhallebi’ and ‘Loukoumi’ among many others. Coffee, just like in Turkey, cannot miss after a meal. It is good to know that if you want something sweet to finish your meal, you will ask for a ‘gliko’.
There are many good Cyprus wines to marinate the meal. And ‘zivania’, a whiskey made with the leftovers of fermented grapes once the wine has been distilled, is the most traditional way of putting an end to a good menu. Although this is not the only function of this distilled beverage as it is also used to rub it by the body to relieve muscle pain.
Photo credit: Marco Verch on Flickr.