Halloumi: Semi hard cheese made from goat’s or sheep’s milk. Can be eaten raw, fried or grilled, with salads, pitta bread or fried eggs.
Sheftalia: Small sausages wrapped in caul fat or omentum the membrane that surrounds the stomach of pig or lamb. Ground pork or lamb with finely chopped onion, parsley, salt, pepper are the ingredients in the sausage. Lovely eaten grilled or on charcoal.
Afelia: Marinated pork cubes (preferably tenderloin) in wine fried with coriander, bay leaves, salt and pepper.
Koupepia: Stuffed vine leaves with minced pork or beef, fresh herbs cooked in tomatoe sauce.
Kolokasi: A root vegetable cracked into pieces in a distinct way. Cooked in tomatoe sauce with onions, celery, salt and pepper. Pork cut into pieces can be cooked with kolokasi for a richer flavoured dish.
Moutzentra: Healthy and nutritional vegan dish with lentils, rice, caramelised onions and olive oil.
Lountza: A popular delicacy of Cyprus made of dried, smoked tenderloin marinated in red wine and coriander seeds. Grilled lountza and halloumi cheese perfect combination in a Cypriot pitta.
Ravioles: Pastry dough in crescent shape. Filled with a mixture of halloumi cheese grated coarsely, peppermint, eggs. Cooked in boiling chicken broth.
Zalatina (Pork in vinegar): Traditional, original Cypriot starter delicacy made of pork’s head’s and leg’s parts boiled. The water is filtered and mixed with citrus juice, vinegar and fresh rosemary. The final product has a jelly appearance with pieces of meat.
Cracked olives: The green olives are cracked and marinated in olive oil with coriander seeds, garlic, lemon juice, salt.
Cypriot souvlaki: Two or three skewers of grilled pieces of pork or chicken in a Cypriot pitta with pieces of tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, onions. A mixed pitta includes sheftalia as well. Very popular with Cypriots and tourists, cheap and filling and can be found everywhere.
Tava: Baked pieces of lamb with lots of onions, potatoes, olive oil, cumin seeds, whole tomatoes cut in chunks, salt pepper. This dish is cooked slowly in the oven and the result is delicious.
Tahini dip: A dip made of grounded sesame seeds with lemon juice, garlic, water, olive oil salt and pepper. Served with pitta bread, carrot and other vegetable sticks and olives.
Souvla: Large pieces of pork, lamb, chicken on long skewers cooked slowly on charcoal. Firstly, the meat is put as far as possible from the charcoal. Salt, oregano, other aromatics, oil, are sprinkled or brushed on the meat while being cooked.
Koupes: A popular snack or finger food in Cyprus. They are made of cracked wheat and then filled with pork and beef minced meat, onions, olive oil, parsley, cinnamon, salt and pepper. They are deep fried and then cut in half or just the top piece removed, and lemon juice is squeezed in the parts.
Traditional Cypriot Sweets
Soutzoukos: String of nuts (almonds or walnuts) dipped in hot grape juice, sugar or honey, several times and then left in the sun to solidify.
Loukoumades: Small deep-fried dough dipped and soaked in sugar syrup or honey. Sprinkled with cinnamon or grated walnuts.
Pastelli (Nut Brittle): Best quality carob honey is used for this recipe with locally grown peanuts, almonds and sesame seeds. Is a delish, crumbly, healthy snack.
Ladies fingers: Thin pastry shaped like a finger, filled with crushed almonds mixed with cinnamon, sugar and blossom water. Fried and dipped and sweetened in syrup or honey.
Flaounes: An Easter time delicious Cypriot savoury and sweet pastry. The dough covers the filling leaving only a small area uncovered. The filling is made of halloumi cheese, yellow cheese, eggs, mint, mahlab, raisins. Sesame seeds are sprinkled on the flaounes which are baked in the oven. Great for breakfast with tea or coffee.