A Guide to Traditional Cypriot Cuisine
If you’re the type of traveler that loves to taste as much of the local cuisine as possible, a trip to the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus will be an indulgent treat for all of your senses. Due to its location and history, the local Cypriot cuisine is a fascinating fusion of Greek, Italian, Turkish and Middle Eastern flavours, and as dining on Cyprus is more akin to feasting, you’d better make sure you bring your appetite!
However, the ‘feasting’ element only really applies to the evening meals, as most Cypriots actually start their day with a modest, light breakfast. With temperatures that can often reach scorching levels, heavy, cooked breakfasts are out of the question, so when you visit on flights to Cyprus with airlines like Jet2.com expect to begin your day’s eating with a healthful meal of tomato, eggs, cucumber, olives and halloumi, the traditional cheese of Cyprus, with some fresh crunchy bread or pastry on the side.
Lap Up Lunch
When lunchtime rolls around, the locals often choose to stave off their hunger with a selection of mezes, which are small dishes similar to the tapas that are traditionally eaten in Spain. You’ll find a wide selection of mezes on the menu to choose from, and the choice could include anything from octopus in red wine to keftedes (meatballs) or sheftalia (pork rissoles). Each restaurant will have its own exciting and unique menu, so don’t be afraid to experiment!
The evening meal is when Cypriots really go all-out, so don’t overload on mezes at lunchtime. Meat, particularly lamb, pork and chicken, plus seafood are a central part of Cypriot cuisine, and evening dinner menus are likely to feature such dishes as souvlaki (meat skewers), stifado (beef stew) or yemista (stuffed vegetables). These dishes are rich, heavy and sauces are often laden with red wine – a delicious way to end your day!
If you like to indulge your sweet tooth at the end of a meal, Cyprus won’t disappoint. Make sure you try loukoumades (fried dough balls in syrup), melomakarona (honey cakes) and kourabiedes (almond cakes), all washed down with plenty of local wine of course, for the ultimate Cyprus dining experience.
This Guest Post is from Jennifer Tulip of Jet2, who knows great Mediterranean food when she sees it. Love it when we dish up something yummy? Let me know in the comments and I’ll keep it coming! Thank you, Jennifer for the great food and photos.