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, local people use much less oil than their neighbors in the Mediterranean. They consider such food useful, without taking into account sweets, sprinkled with syrup. Dishes are always prepared only from fresh products, so the food turns out to be superb. All Cypriots rightly believe that stale food can not be used. If you do not have free time, you can always eat here with a pita in the form of an envelope made from bread stuffed with salad and meat. However, unlike us, the Cypriots believe that food should not be rushed, food should be enjoyed to the fullest, not hurrying up. Yes, the Cypriots really know a lot about food, and they associate the notion of rest with an abundantly forced dining table 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.
There are no fundamental differences in the cooking of the northern part of Cyprus from the southern one. Unless in the menu you will not find dishes from pork. When visiting restaurants in Cyprus, order a meze (mese) for the most complete representation of the island cuisine. Meze is a complex dinner of 20 dishes, which are served as the previous one is eaten. Cooks have an individual idea of what should be part of the meze, however, the "mandatory" set of dishes and the order of their filing is strictly observed. For the beginning, the table will be made with salads, cheeses, cold and hot snacks prepared from vegetables, meat and seafood, then the "true" meat dishes take turns, and the end of the meal is sweet fruit dishes. Some taverns serve fish instead of meat 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 traditionally make wine, you can also buy or taste good wine. However, the most famous and ancient wine of Cyprus - "Commandaria", named after the command post of ionites, settled in the fortress of Kolossi. This fortress was located near Limassol, but it is believed that the recipe for this wine was known much earlier. If you visit the restaurants of Limassol, do not forget to order the sweet dessert wine "Commandaria". The secret of its aroma is that the collected grapes are languishing in the sun, as this increases its sugar content; further, in the process of making wine, it is aged in a special way. Not all finished wine is bottled, some of it is mixed with young wine, and then aged in oak barrels for at least two years. This procedure of mixing wines is repeated from year to year using harvests of different years. There are several types of "Commandaria", the best of all is "Commandaria St. John ", which has a black label. More often than not, tourists from all over the world take this wine with them.
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.