Food & Dining

While being in Cyprus you will be able to enjoy the excellent Mediterranean cuisine and a variety of superb local wines!

The Island has many restaurants, café/bars that offer food and drinks, a variety of which consist both Local and International Cuisine.

Cyprus has many restaurants and taverns, where taverns are called the traditional restaurants serving traditional dishes, what is so called Meze. Meze consists of many plates having a mixture of different traditional Cypriot food either fish Meze or meat Meze. There is no better way to taste the Cyprus cuisine other than dining in one if the well known taverns of the Island.

Below you may find some Cypriot Specialties:

Starters

  • Tahini: sesame sauce with lemon and garlic
  • Talattouri (Tzatziki): yogurt prepared with cucumber and peppermint
  • Taramosalata: pink dip made of cod roe with lemon, potato puree, onions and oil
  • Trahanas: coarsely ground wheat grains dried with yogurt and added to soups together with halloumi
  • Village Salad: salad composed of cabbage, lettuce, celery, cucumber, tomato, pepper, olives, feta cheese and herbs.
  • Hummus: cold chickpea puree.
  • Olives: marinated with garlic, coriander, lemon and rhyme
  • Pastourmas: garlic sausage
  • Halloumi: cheese made from either sheep's or cow's milk which tastes especially good when fried. You can only find this cheese in Cyprus.
  • Lountza: ham, usually served in sandwiches and fried with halloumi.

Main Course and dishes included in Meze most of the time:

  • Afelia: pork, marinated with coriander
  • Hiromeri: smoked ham
  • Kleftiko: lamb simmered in foil
  • Keftedes: fried meatballs
  • Kolokasi: root vegetables
  • Kolokithakia: courgettes either stuffed or plain served as a side dish.
  • Koukia: broad beans, served either as soup or raw in salad.
  • Koupepia (dolmades): stuffed vine leaves
  • Makaronia tou Fournou: macaroni cas¬serole made with ground meat.
  • Pilafi: coarsely ground wheat grains and vermicelli cooked in chicken broth and served with a selection of different vegetable side-dishes
  • Souvla: pork, chicken or lamb roasted on a spit, which is especially popular at family picnics, birthdays and special occasions. It is also considered a “man’s job” to take care of the spit
  • Souvlakia: grilled meat kebabs
  • Sheftalia: grilled sausage made of ground meat
  • Stifado: beef or rabbit stew prepared with onions

Cypriot Desserts

  • Baklava: puff pastry filled with nuts and soaked in syrup
  • Daktila (“ladies' fingers”): finger-shaped strudel pastry filled with a nut-cinnamon mixture and soaked in syrup
  • Glyko tou koutaliou (“spoon sweet”): fruit or walnuts marinated in syrup and served with a glass of water as a welcome titbit for guests
  • Honey: often served with yogurt and almonds or anari
  • Koulourakia: a ring-shaped cookie or rusk biscuit sprinkled with sesame seeds
  • Loukoumades: deep-fried balls of choux pastry served in syrup
  • Loukoumia or Cypriot Delight: a culinary speciality from Yeroskipos, near Pafos consisting of cubes of gelatin served in rose water and dusted with powdered sugar
  • Palouzes: a kind of pudding made from grape juice and flour; it is the basis for soutzoukos.
  • Pourekia: deep-fried pastry stuffed with anari, sugar and cinnamon
  • Soutzoukos: a long chain of almonds strung together, dunked in palouses and then dried.
  • Fresh Fruit: especially grapes, figs, melon, citrus fruits, and watermelon

Cyprus Wines

Recent excavations reveal that both the grape variety and winemaking in Cyprus is one of the oldest in the world with a production dating back some 6000 years.

After archaeological research took place two jugs were found at the village of Pyrgos in Lemesos district which had been used for wine – even grape pips were traced! At the village of Erimi eighteen pots were unearthed, twelve of which had been used for wine at some period between 3500 and 3000 BC. This cultural heritage is the oldest in the whole Mediterranean basin and leads to the assumption that Cyprus triggered the spread of winemaking to Greece, Italy, France and other regions.

Today there are more than 40 regional wineries in the whole island!

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