Nestled in a far-flung corner of the Mediterranean, Cyprus has a renowned reputation for its delicious cuisine. The country is regarded the world-over for its gastronomical delights, so we’ve put together a play-by-play of the Cyprus food you simply have to tick off while you’re holidaying there. Prepare to feel hungry…
Rich, beefy and made from a tomato-based sauce, this Cypriot stew is a pot of pure joy. It’s one of the country’s most wholesome meals and goes down best at dinnertime, in a traditional family-run taverna for added atmosphere.
Among Cyprus’ food to go global, iconic halloumi is a real delicacy. It’s typically made from a combination of goat’s and sheep’s milk for the creamiest flavour. The locals often season it with salt and mint, but pitch up by the harbour in Limassol and you’ll come across various eateries serving it grilled.
So, they might look a bit strange, but stuffed vine leaves are delicious. You’ll find veggie versions packed with rice, tomatoes, herbs and spices. Mad about meat? You’ll also be able to get your hands on versions filled with pork or veal. Once they’re served drizzled in lemon, you won’t be able to resist.
Veggies and vegans, look away now. Does it get any better than meat grilled to perfection? The charred edges of Cypriot souvla make eating meat oh-so appealing. Menus are usually bursting with chicken, lamb or pork options, and salty potatoes and a side salad marry it all up as standard.
The humble meze platter is unrivalled if you like tapas-style helpings and nibbles of different things. In Cyprus, places generally serve a choice of seafood-only, meat or veg plates. Think garlicky prawns, salty octopus, charred courgettes, deep-fried aubergines, hearty lamb skewers, bowls of tzatziki and MUCH more – you decide. Like what you hear? You’ll come across loads of dining options in central Paphos.
This household fave gets a lot of coverage in the Cyprus food stakes. It’s historically from the Middle East, but you’ll be able to enjoy healthy portions of this aubergine or potato-based dish here, too. Not a fan of ground mince? Opt for a restaurant that makes moussaka suitable for vegetarians.
These packages of minced pork look like small sausages basically, but sheftalies are seasoned to be slightly spiced and very herby. They’re often cooked using a skewer and are paired harmoniously with tahini. Bliss.
Makaronia tou fournou
Typically sold as a cooked macaroni bake, with ground meat and béchamel sauce, this local speciality is rather like a lasagne. The carb-packed pasta dish is a full-on diet-buster, so order a Greek salad to go with it and you might feel a bit less indulgent.
These sweet honey-flavoured fried dough balls are the ideal dessert after a big meal or a cheeky treat to accompany a coffee. The syrupy delights are an excellent way to end a mega meze feast, too. Some tavernas might even flavour them with cinnamon! How’s that for yummy?
If we’ve whet your appetite, then you know what’s next – get that trip to Cyprus in the calendar!
Posted: 11th Jun 2019.