Cypriot cuisine is very similar to Greek cuisine, perhaps unsurprisingly given their close proximity, and also takes influences from Turkey. The nation’s food focuses on local ingredients, fresh flavours and plenty of seafood.
A mezze is a platter of small dishes, perfectly designed for sharing in the sun with a glass of wine. In Cyprus there are several mezze favourites, including hummus, chakistes (marinated olives) and Cacik (a dip made of yogurt and cucumber).
This favourite Cypriot cheese is made of a mixture of goat and sheep’s milk and is un-ripened and brined, giving it a distinctive salty flavour and unique texture. As it has a high melting point it can be grilled or fried, making it perfect for serving as a warm salad topping or in toasted sandwiches.
Lokma are a delicious sweet treat popular in both Turkey and Cyprus. They resemble small, light doughnuts and are often served with a dusting of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey.
As a Mediterranean island nation seafood obviously plays an important part in Cypriot cuisine. One popular seafood dish is Ahtapot Salatasi, or Octopus Salad. Octopus is boiled until soft, mixed with onions, parsley, olives and tomatoes and served with a sauce of olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Yum.
There are several types of kebab commonly cooked and eaten in Cyprus. Among them is the Shish Kebab, which typically features chunks of lamb, peppers, onions and tomatoes being skewered together and grilled. Other kinds of kebab include the Doner and Sheftali.
Flaounes (or flaouna in the singular) are special treats made in Cyprus during the Easter period. These savoury pies are made of a yeast pastry and stuffed with fillings including eggs, spices, herbs and a variety of cheeses. Usually the pastry top is brushed with egg yolk before being rolled in sesame seeds and baked.