LOCAL INGREDIENTS, HERBS & SPICES, OLIVE OIL
Over the years, both poets and travellers have praised the flavours of the island. In present times doctors and health specialists have added their voices to extolling the virtues of the Mediterranean diet. The grains and pulses, sun-ripened fresh fruit and vegetables, high-protein fish, lean meat and poultry, olive oil and wine are a healthy option, as well as, an irresistible temptation.
In a society of extended families with close ties, it is not surprising that home cooking is an important feature of everyday life, with recipes passed down through the generations. Having a hearty meal in the company of friends and family is what it’s all about. No wonder that hospitality and conviviality are deeply ingrained in the Cypriot psyche, so much so that pleasing has become a fine art. So give free reign to your taste buds and indulge in a culinary feast.
Eating in Cyprus is a serious business. You will rarely see a group of people sitting around the table without some plates to snack on. The island’s cuisine is closest to the refreshing Greek gastronomy, though with an exotic blend of Middle Eastern dishes and some unique foods that every visitor must try. Get to the heart of Cypriot culture by exploring this delicious cuisine.
Start your culinary adventure by ordering ‘mezedes’ at a restaurant where you will be faced with a lavish feast of all the local delicacies. Just make sure you pace yourself for the 20 or more dishes that will arrive.
Be sure to try Cyprus’ famous ‘halloumi’ cheese made from sheep and goat’s milk. You can have it in all kinds of different ways, from grilled to fried or on its own, and in the summer you must try it with watermelon, for an unusual combination of flavours.
Do as the locals do by dipping a slice of village bread into a bowl of cracked green olives with coriander seeds and don’t try to say no to a wickedly sweet ‘glyko’, preserved fruit accompanied by a glass of cold water.