Cyprus is a place rich in culture, history and dramatic scenery. While there is a laidback atmosphere to the country, if there is one thing that Cypriots take pretty seriously is its food.
The cuisine takes inspiration from all over. There are flavours from Greece and Turkey while given its proximity to the Middle East, there is certainly hints of influence from across the water. What we can say is that Cypriot food is both unique and insanely delicious. Experience the local gastronomy for yourself with these must-try Cypriot dishes.
Photo credit: Stuart Webster via Flickr
You know that delicious fried cheese you simply cannot stop eating? That comes from Cyprus. Halloumi is a king of cheeses effortlessly providing that mouthwatering salty hit that makes any dish infinitely better. From sliding on top of your lamb burger to being the little pieces of Heaven hidden away in your salad, it is the versatile cheese that makes everything right with the world.
It is Cyprus’ most famous product and among the biggest exports to the UK and makes goats and sheep milk taste so delicious and it goes with everything…or you could just eat it on its own.
There is always one of your mates who tells a story of the “incredible kebab” he had after a night out but nothing, repeat, nothing will come to close to the powerhouse that is a souvlakia. Forget everything you knew about kebabs because this Cypriot favourite takes it to the next level. Think succulent, perfectly grilled pork or chicken tenderly place in a warm pitta bread and paired with a cooling salad.
Sitting alongside is a sheftalia, spicy pork or lamb sausage, and a plate of perfectly fried potatoes. Honestly, once you have had a souvlakia nothing in life will be the same again.
And what’s the delicious dip on the table near your souvlakia? Why, that’s tazatziki, delicious tzatziki. That fresh yoghurt accompaniment is like the halloumi of the sauce game and just goes with everything. Made with fresh cucumber, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and mint can be drizzled onto grilled meat, scooped up with fried halloumi and warm pitas or just be eaten by the spoonful – it’s your call.
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There are not many cold days when you’re on an island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea but stifado is the closest thing to a ‘winter warmer’ you are likely to find in Cyprus. Tuck into chunks of tender beef stewed in a red wine sauce with onions and cinnamon. Stifado has been eaten in Cyprus since the 16th century and was brought to the country by the Venetians. Pile it high on rice or bulgur and dig in.
Makaronia tou fournou
Photo credit: Cyprus Beat
We can all agree that lasagne is pretty nice. It’s that classic Italian food which ticks every box on the palate. Okay, so how about a Cypriot version? We’re talking halloumi melted on top of layers of minced pork in a rich tomato sauce sandwiched between pasta sheets and decadent béchamel sauce. Pierce this crispy top with your knife and be transported into cheesy, gooey, tomato-y paradise.
There is even a little salad to accompany this indulgent dish.
Photo credit: Alpha via Flickr
After all that savoury goodness, you’re going to need something to satisfy your sweet tooth and wouldn’t you know it, Cyprus delivers on this front. You have not felt true love until you have bitten into a fresh batch of loukoumades. These deep fried dough balls are ever so fluffy and pack that elegantly sweet honey punch that really hits the spot.
Whether they’re coated in crushed nuts, cinnamon or sesame seeds they are provide the perfect end to a tour of Cyprus’ irresistible food.
Has your mouth stopped watering? Taste all of these incredible dishes by booking your next holiday to Cyprus. We have a range of package breaks available for Easter, summer and beyond. Visit www.sunmaster.co.uk/deal-finder to create your dream Cyprus holiday.