Cyprus, this amazing Island located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. I got so many nice memories and ideas from that trip.
Super tasty food, lovely people, wonderful landscapes. Just to make an example.
My first step into this lovely country was Larnaka (a city in the South) during the night and I immediately fell in love with this country. Love at first sight? Absolutely.
It was the beginning of May and the weather was already warm. I remember plenty of people taking baths in those stunning beaches.
Besides, I cannot forget about the quality food that I had the chance to try out. With every single meal I was so happy to discover what the Cypriot cuisine could offer to me.
I got inspired. I started to be very open minded after looking at those recipes, since they were combining many ingredients with a powerful result. The real taste of the pure Mediterranean cuisine combined with the delicious flavors from the Middle East.
I started to replicate them at home, bringing Cyprus always with me.
What is so special? Move on and discover some dishes I strongly recommend you for your next trip to this beautiful Island.
5 super dishes from Cyprus with love
*1 Koupepia (Stuffed Vine Leaves)
(Rolled vine leaves filled in with a mixture of minced meat, rice, tomatoes, onions and erbs)
This dish comes from the Middle East and since the first time I tried it out I was so impressed by it. It is usually served at buffets, as a part of a meze and it is a very special way to start the meal (even if for me it is more than enough, since the portions are usually quite big); I also tried the vegetarian version of it, since you already know my love for veggies. The sauce adds a lot of flavor and the mixture of those elements is really fabulous.
*2 Grilled Halloumi Cheese (Cypriot cheese)
This cheese does not need a lot of explanation. Feel free to order it when you are sitting in a tavern since it is one of the most typical ones of the Island.
Especially if cheese is your thing, well go for it. This is a semi-hard salty cheese with a rubbery texture, which is made of a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. During my travel experience I used to eat it combined with a fresh salad and I must say it fits so well, since it adds a lot of taste to it. One peculiarity of the amazing Halloumi cheese is that it can also be easily fried or grilled, basically each version you are going to try it will be delicious.
Looking for some energy? Halloumi is waiting for you.
*3 Tahini dip
(Dense paste made from ground sesame seeds)
How to literally dream with your eyes opened… Tahini dip! From my food experience in Cyprus on, this one has become part of my daily routine. For sure it is part of my heart. You know when you see some sauces on the table and you wonder about the taste and if it fits or not your dish? I was eating some vegetables and cheese when I got this dip, so I decided to add 2 spoons on it.
Know what? One minute after the whole dip was over. I ate it all. I was looking for more.
This is a pureed sesame seed paste, which is also made with olive oil.
Together. This combination is unbelievable. Pure love and passion.
And even if it is not possible to replicate exactly the same dip at home, since the original one has to be eaten in Cyprus, well for sure I am doing my best to make it and dress many dishes with its delicious taste.
*4 Yemista (Stuffed Peppers Cypriot Style)
(A variety of stuffed vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, zucchini and onion flavored with erbs)
I can eat this one every lunch and dinner and never get bored of. It is a delicious mixture of veggies which is used to be served slightly warm or at room temperature. There is also the version with rice and minced pork, which I did not try out. There is no right season for it, winter or summer time you will find it available and I am already dreaming about when going and eating my next portion of it!
*5 Glyko Karydaki (Fresh Walnut Preserved in Syrup)
No surprises at all if one of my favorite dishes comes from the sweets area and I cannot forget this dish.
I was walking through the streets in the village of Kannavia (region of Nicosia, the capital city) when an old woman invited me and other friends to try some typical, local products; I did not know a lot of them but each one was a delicious lovely discovery.
I needed some time after to look for and find out the name of this dish, and when I did it was like a pure throwback to that time. It is amazing, for me it was perfect as a snack in the afternoon. Very sweet one, very great one.
And this is just a first taste of Cypriot food and cuisine.
Time to go and check out more recipes that this beautiful island can offer.