Best Food in Cyprus
Food in Cyprus is a serious business, and you can find the most delicious dishes in Cyprus. You rarely see a crowd of Cypriots around a table without several plates of food and snacks. The island, with its rich history and location across three continents, has seen a variety of influences, all of which have added to its culinary richness.
Proximity to the Middle East has definitely had a great impact on Cypriot cuisine, as many of the dishes are similar to Middle Eastern cuisines, and the flavors are shared between Cyprus and Turkey. But the closest cuisine to the island is Greek cuisine.
Koupepia & Gemista Minced Meat
Cypriot dolma is made from minced meat, rice, onions, tomatoes, and a combination of aromatic vegetables. This combination is carefully wrapped in vine leaves and is one of the popular dishes of people all over Greece, Turkey, and the Middle East. Koupepia is sometimes made in large quantities and frozen to enjoy later. Gemista is a combination of different vegetables that are often made with peppers, tomatoes, onions, squash, or even pumpkin flowers.
Souvla Grilled Chicken
Souvla is similar in appearance to Souvlaki but has a different taste. This food is one of the most delicious dishes in Cyprus. It is prepared from large pieces of lean meat cooked on a skewer using charcoal barbecue. The meat used in this dish is often the neck or shoulder part of lamb or chicken. This dish is the king of meat dishes. Also, it is common to find this dish in family gatherings with drinks and snacks. Moreover, you can often have this meal with various salads and potatoes.
Makaronia Tou Fournou made with Pasta
This food in Cyprus is known as pastitsio in Greece, but in the Cypriot version, they use Halloumi cheese mixed with dried mint. The main ingredients of Makaronia tou fournou are pasta, sauce, minced meat, and tomatoes. Grated cheese is often poured on it to make it crispy. This dish is usually made in a large oven tray, and when served as a main course, it is eaten with a salad.
Kleftiko a Tasty Meat Dish
Kleftiko is also another one of the most delicious food in Cyprus. This dish gets its name from a word that means “stolen meat.” In the past, people who stole meat would place it in a covered hole in the ground so that it would cook slowly and not produce smoke that would expose their position. Today, this dish is traditionally cooked slowly in round ovens and flavored with vegetables. Kleftico is often eaten with baked potatoes or wheat cooked in onion and tomato sauce. Furthermore, you can also combine it with yogurt to add more flavor after each bite.
kolokasi A Vegetarian Dish
Kolokasi arrived in Cyprus from Southeast Asia and Malaysia. Those who want to try this food should be careful because this plant, small taro, can be poisonous in its raw form. However, kolokasi is popular all over the island and is especially popular in winter. To prepare this food, chop taro and cook it with tomato and onion sauce, fragrant vegetables, and chicken. Some people like to replace chicken with red meat at times.
Koupes A Fried Bulgur Wheat Snack
Koupes originates in the Levant region. The outer layer is made of bulgur wheat, and on the inside, there is minced meat with Middle Eastern spices. This delicious dish usually comes with a slice of sour lemon. You can buy Koupes from bakeries across the island.
Loukoumades a Delicious Dessert
Loukoumades is a round pastry fried in hot oil, soaked in honey, and then covered with chopped walnut, sesame, and cinnamon. These sweets are often called honey donuts, and the best way to enjoy them is to have them with some fresh tea or coffee. You can find Loukoumades in cafes all over the island.
Halloumi is Fried Sheep Milk
Halloumi is probably Cyprus’s most famous food, reaching many European and Middle Eastern countries. This food is recognizable by its relatively salty taste and elastic texture and has become one of the favorite choices of chefs around the world. You can see it with various foods such as lamb kebab or fried Halloumi. This cheese is obtained by combining goat and sheep milk. This method is a bit unusual due to the lack of acid-producing bacteria that are present in the production process of all dairy products.
Souvlakia & Sheftalia Grilled Meat
Souvlakia is the Cypriot version of the Greek food of the same name, made from small pieces of grilled charcoal on a skewer and a large amount of salad. This food in Cyprus is very popular, and you can eat it with pita bread. The pita bread used for souvlakia in Cyprus is thinner and larger than this bread in Greece and is usually made in a pocket shape instead of a flat type. Chicken meat is usually used for this dish, and it is eaten with sheftalia. Shaftalia is made from spicy sausage slices with fragrant vegetables and grilled lamb.
Kolokouthkia me ta afka a Fried Pumpkin and Egg Dish
Kolokouthkia me ta afka is often served with a variety of foods and snacks. This food in Cyprus is made with fried pumpkins, scrambled eggs, and salt. Most traditional restaurants and eateries offer this food to their customers, and because of its simplicity, it is always served with a main course.
Ttavas meaning Clay Pot in Cyprus
Ttavas means “clay pot” and refers to the traditional method of preparation of this food. Pieces of lamb, rice, vegetables, and potatoes are all cooked together in this clay pot dish and then added to the cumin for a better aroma.
Stifado Dish Beef Cooked With Cinnamon
Stifado is another delicious Cypriot meat dish and a famous food in Cyprus. To make this dish, beef is cooked with cinnamon sticks and cloves to give it a sweet taste. Also, Stifado takes several hours to make and is usually eaten with rice and oatmeal.
Louvi made with Black-Eyed Peas
Louvi is a stew food in Cyprus that can be found in every Cypriot kitchen. This healthy and simple dish is made from Black-eyed peas and comes with squash, oil, salt, and lemon. These beans are low in fat and high in carbohydrates and protein. Also, due to its high resistance to heat, it can easily withstand the extreme heat of Cypriot summers. They often serve Louvi with tuna, cucumber, and tomato.
Trahanas Soup a Fermented Dish
This heavy soup is another food in Cyprus that vegetarians can try among the island’s many meat dishes. Trahanas is made from dried and chopped wheat and sour goat’s milk and is an ideal winter food. It is common to add a little halloumi to the soup after it is ready. This makes the cheese softer and easier to chew. Those who are very fond of this food can buy it dry, take it with them, and drink it whenever they like. If you are looking for a different souvenir, Trahanas is also a good choice.
Glyko tou Koutaliou a Delicious Dessert
Glyko tou koutaliou is the name of this delicious food in Cyprus, meaning “spoon sweets,” and they got this name because of their size, which is the size of a teaspoon. These sweets can be made with any kind of fruit, vegetables, or nuts. First, you have to boil it and then add sugar to get a thick syrup for storing it. Locals prefer walnuts, watermelons, and cherries and often enjoy it with a Cypriot coffee or a glass of water.