Centuries-old traditions and history of Cyprus is reflected in the character of its inhabitants. People through isolation and exclusion have learned to live a subsistence economy. In rural areas of the island residents are engaged in agriculture and cattle breeding that adequately provides them with the necessary products, such as meat and sausage, homemade bread and all sorts of baked goods, dairy products of own production, including cheese, pourgouri and more.
More recently, grain, oil and wine were stored in "Pisarev," which are terracotta pots in the form of bulbs that can be seen today in the decor elements. Cypriots thanks to the bounty of the earth and the mildness of the climate at all times been the owners of various products. Interestingly, they were almost daily use in food products of plant origin, such as figs, chickpeas, herbs, beans, olives, almonds and other nuts, which have come to us since biblical times.
When cooking, the locals use much less oil than their Mediterranean neighbors. They believe such foods useful without sweets, syrup soaked. Dishes are always prepared with only fresh food, so food gets excellent taste. All Cypriot rightly believe that you can not eat stale food. If you have free time, you can always eat here as pita bread envelopes stuffed with salad and meat. However, unlike us, Cypriots believe that food should not act hastily, food should be enjoyed to the fullest, without hurrying. Yes, Cypriots really know a lot about food, and the concept of leisure, they are associated with abundant dining table crammed with a variety of dishes.
Traditional island kitchen includes a combination of the best culinary preferences of inhabitants of the Mediterranean, based viewed tradition of Turkish, Greek, Armenian and Arabic cuisines, its flavor added and masters of French and English cooking. The main part of the Cyprus national cuisine is meat and dishes from it, as well as vegetable dishes. When cooking Cypriots use only vegetable fat, without added fats of animal origin, which makes the food really healthy and easy.
Despite the fact that Cyprus - an island, seafood in the diet of local residents is not much, because almost no fish are caught, and imported from neighboring countries. And because the price of seafood, respectively, for dishes from them, not the lowest. The most common type of fish here - the trout, which today is cultivated in a specially adapted artificial reservoirs.
Almost all the sweets Cypriot cuisine of eastern origin. Very tasty the local honey. Almost all year round on the island there are fresh fruits and vegetables. Surprisingly, the potato crop is removed here three or four times a year. Cypriot strawberry appears at the end of January and remains on sale until November. The island is also famous for its citrus: local mandarins, oranges and grapefruits are very juicy, they make a great juice, which is worth special attention because it is made with no added sugar or preservatives.
Any lunch Cyprus ends popular cup of coffee here.
Fundamental differences in cooking northern Cyprus from the south, no. Is it just that you will not find a menu of dishes from pork. Visiting Cyprus restaurants, order the meze (mese) for the most complete picture of the kitchen island. Meze is a comprehensive lunch 20 dishes served as the eating of the previous one. Chefs have individual idea of what should be included in the meze, but "must" set of dishes and order of their filing strictly enforced. To start a table make salads, cheeses, cold and hot appetizers, cooked vegetables, meat and seafood, then take turns going "true" meat dishes, but the end of the meal are sweet dishes made from fruits. Some taverns instead of beef served fish meze.
Particularly noticeable impact on Greek Cypriot. Everywhere in Cyprus, whether Paphos or Limassol restaurants, or any other city of the island, you can try local Cypriot cuisine.
Mesa - A set of snacks and different dishes, including sauces, meat, fish, vegetables and fruit. This set contains on average a 20-30 titles
Tahini - Creamy paste made from sesame seeds and lemon.
Tzatziki - Cold yogurt, which added chopped cucumbers and mint, seasoned with garlic.
Taramasalata - Fish roe, grind with parsley, lemon juice and chopped onion.
Hummus - Arabic appetizer that combines the tastes of peas, sesame paste, olive oil and parsley.
Loukanika - Cypriot sausages tucked coriander seeds.
Sheftal - Meatballs with spices, cooked on the grill.
Dolmades - Minced meat and rice wrapped in grape leaves.
Barbouni - Red trout.
Octopus - Octopus.
Lountza - Smoked pork tenderloin, marinated in red wine with coriander seeds.
Halloumi - Goat cheese with a delicate scent of mint, baked on the grill.
Kolokasi - Sweet potatoes.
Moussaka - Eggplant with minced meat baked in bechamel cream.
Keftedes - Meat croquettes, flavored with spices.
Souvlaki - Skewers of pork.
Aphelion - Pork in wine with coriander seeds.
Stifado - Beef cooked in wine vinegar with lots of spices and onions.
Kleftico - Pieces of lamb with bay leaf and oregano, baked in clay ovens.
Filfar - Liqueur with orange flavor.
Kommandariya - A sweet fortified dessert wine known since the Middle Ages.
Sherry - Has been known since ancient times.
Aperitifs "Ouzo" and "Crawfish" - With a strong smell of anise.
Sudzukos - Almond grains in grape molasses.
Cocktail "Brandy Sour" - Equal parts Cypriot brandy and fresh lemon juice with a few drops angastury with ice or soda water.
Baklava - Brownie, poured syrup with honey.
Lucuma - Powdered sugar cubes sweet jelly, known to us as Turkish Delight.
Suzuki - Long "sausages" of grape molasses, in which almonds; very similar to Caucasian churchkhela.
The very first country in the world by cultivating vines and vineyards considered breeding Cyprus. Art of winemaking here is very rich in tradition, because Cyprus wines are known worldwide before our era. The first mention of the wine industry in Cyprus is in "Song of Solomon", also wrote about the grapes of the island even Homer and Pliny the Elder.
Currently, the production of wine in Cyprus engaged in four major companies: KEO, LOEL, ETKO and SODAP, as well as some of the monasteries. The monastery Kykkos made great liquors and aperitif, and if you happen to visit the monastery Hrissoroyyatissa not forget to buy a dry white wine Ayos Andronicos.
In the villages of Cyprus, where residents have traditionally engaged in the manufacture of wine, you can also buy or enjoy a good wine. However, the most famous and ancient wine of Cyprus - "Kommandariya" named in honor of the command post of ion exchangers based in Kolossi fortress. This fortress is located near Limassol, but it is believed that the recipe for this wine was known much earlier. If you happen to visit the restaurants in Limassol, do not forget to order a sweet dessert wine "Kommandariya." The secret lies in its aroma that harvested grapes languish in the sun, as it promotes its sugar content; Further, in the preparation of wine, it is held in a special way. Not all finished wine is bottled, some of it is mixed with sweet wine, and then aged in oak barrels for at least two years. This procedure is repeated blending of wines from year to year, using different crop years. There are several kinds of "Commandaria" the best of all is considered «Commandaria St. John », having a black label. Most often, tourists from around the world take their wine just that.
Other popular wines of Cyprus are: dry white wine «Palomino», semi-dry white wine «St. Panteleimon », dry red« Othello ». Among other alcoholic beverages worth noting orange liqueur «Filfar» and brandy «Five Kings». Traditional Cypriot anise vodka is called "Ouzo" and rustic grape vodka - "zivania." These drinks are really worth a try out of curiosity, as they have a distinct taste.