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Cyprus Food and Drink

The cuisine of Cyprus is a unique mix of mainly Greek, Arabic, British and Turkish cooking, influenced over history by the many foreign settlers and traders who have passed through the Island.   The Island’s most famous dish is the local favourite “meze”, which means “little delicacies”. This is similar to the Spanish “tapas” and consists of many small dishes of varied dips, meats, vegetables and fish, usually whatever is fresh and prepared daily in that taverna or restaurant. Other world famous Cypriot dishes are “Moussaka” layers of potatoes, aubergine and minced meat, “Stifado” a stew of lamb or beef, and “Fasolada” which is the Cypriot national dish, a soup of dry white beans, olive oil and vegetables. Halloumi cheese made from sheep’s milk with a hint of mint, is the traditional Cypriot cheese, and is used in nearly every Cypriot dish.
Cypriot desserts are commonly based on honey and almonds, with the renowned “Baklava” being very popular, being layers of filo pastry filled with nuts and soaked in sugar syrup or honey, or “Loukmadhes” which are little balls of dough fried and dipped in honey. Fresh fruit is also commonly served as a dessert, and a traditional sweet is “Loukoumia” which is Cyprus Delight.
Cyprus’ Mediterranean climate means a long growing season, which produces a wide range of fruits and vegetables, and the local markets and roadside stalls sell a vast variety of wonderful fresh produce.
 
Greek coffee is usually a strong, rich black brew, sweetened to taste, with a foam on the top and the coffee grounds in the bottom, and is served in tiny cups accompanied by a glass of cold water. 
 
Some of the locally produced inexpensive wines are well worth tasting, such as the amber-coloured sweet dessert wine “Commandaria” which is produced in Limassol and has the distinction of being the world's oldest named wine still in production. Most of Cyprus’ vineyards are located around the foothills of the Troodos mountains, Paphos and Limassol.
The locally produced Ouzo is very popular in the tavernas, and it an anise flavoured liquier that is a little sweeter than Frenchy Pastis or Turkish Raki. It can be drunk either straight or mixed with water.