CYPRUS FOODS , TRADITIONAL DISHES , & RECIPES


Halloumi
cheese is the traditional and most characteristic cheese of Cyprus and its unique taste has taken it to the kitchens of many famous and established restaurants and cuisines. In Cyprus it is not classed as just a cheese, it is part of the tradition of the Cypriots and their everyday life. You can find it at the breakfast table, lunch would not be the same without it,  during the evening it can decorate many a rich man's or peasant's plate. It has a unique taste and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Grilled, fried
, baked, on a salad.  I recommend  Halloumi recipes , for some great ways of cooking this delicious cheese. 
                                                
 
Souvlaki is to the Cypriots what the frankfurter is to the Germans, fish and chips to the British, haggis to the Scottish. 
You get the idea. Most weekends , the barbecue will come out, the charcoal will be lit, the meat [pork recipe , lamb recipe, chicken recipe] will be ready and the beers will be chilled. Pitta bread, tzatziki, a fresh salad mainly of cucumber , tomatoes , lettuce and onion, lemon wedges and a good appetite [kali orexi] and you are talking good food. Kalosorisate!! 




SHEFTALIA
Sheftalia  a Cypriot speciality,  oval shaped meatball and wrapped in caul fat. Caul fat is the membrane that surrounds the stomach and is transparent, fragile, and naturally fatty, although when it is finally grilled or barbecued all the fat melts away.  The filling is made of ground pork or lamb shoulder or leg mixed with finely chopped onion and parsley, salt, and pepper, a touch of brandy, a small amount of grated tomato, mixed together and formed into small oval shapes. Spread caul fat ,cut it into rectangular shapes big enough to wrap around the  oval shaped mix , making little sausages which are put on two skewers. Sheftalia are then grilled, preferably on charcoal until golden brown, about 20 to 30 minutes. In Cyprus it is very common to find souvlaki restaurants that also sell sheftalia in pita bread. In fact it is so common that nearly every neighborhood has at least one souvlitzidiko as the kebab restaurant is called in Greek. Sheftalia recipe

Hummus ( humus, houmous,hoummos) are different words to describe this delicious dip. Widely used throughout the middle east and now in most of the western world, it is healthy, and a  perfect accompaniment to many dishes .Making hummus has been part of Cypriot culture for centuries and it is a dish found in Israel, Egypt, Palestine, Turkey,with each country having its own style of preparing hummus.. Pre ooked chickpeas are widely available , it can be prepared with tahini or without tahini,( crushed sesame seeds) , olive oil, garlic, and served with pitta bread, with felafels,aubergines or as part of a meze, Its nutritional value cannot be underestimated . Hummus is high in iron and vitamin C and also has significant amounts of folate and vitamin B6. 





Lountza is a meat delicacy of Cyprus of dried, smoked pork tenderloin .Pork tenderloin is first soaked in brine , marinated in red wine.  dried and smoked. . As it ages, it becomes harder and more strongly flavored.This delicacy is absolutely delicious cooked or uncooked and it is a perfect accompaniment for alcoholic drinks like zivania or wine. or other delicacies such as halloumi and kefalotyri cheese . It is a greatt meze platter and sandwiches made out of grilled lountza and halloumi are favorite fast food snacks for Cypriots.




Koupepia ( Dolmades, Dolma, )   Tender vineleaves stuffed with a filling of mince meat (which can be pork, lamb or beef , depending on individual tastes) and rice. Each household has its own version but this dish is just as good cold as it is hot and it is a perfect meze accompaniment. Usually it is best served with a side dish of yogourt .





  








Beef Stiffado  .  More to follow










Olives             Salad     Hummus      Tjajiki     Lountza    Tahini    Kalamari    Hiromeri     Feta     Keftethes   Loukanika     Pastourma      Koupepia
Halloumi         Snails    Koupes 
Bread

Herbs & Spices:
Pepper    Parsley   Corriander  Thyme   Oregano    Artisha   Corriander seeds    Mint    Marjoram    Sage  Chives   ROsemary [lasmari}  Basil [vasilikos]