The best local food in Cyprus
5th November 2018
According to our girls it is…. Koubes! You bite the top off and squeeze in some lime for a lovely zing. They are a herby, minced meat mix, with a bulgar crust – like a scotch egg minus the egg. Best served hot for brunch – the kids eat them like they’ve been starved for months. Made locally, hugely filling and you can buy them at all the local bakeries. You will not be disappointed!
Cyprus combines gastronomic influences from The Middle East, Turkey and Greece.
There is a very rich and diverse range of local food – here are other tasty treats you should try apart from the Koubes:
Halloumi – probably the most famous Cypriot export and delicious fried or grilled,
Koupepia – filling of minced meat, rice, onions, tomatoes and a mixture of herbs carefully wrapped in fresh vine leaves,
Gemista – stuffed vegetables including peppers, tomatoes, onions, courgettes and very tasty courgette flowers,
Souvlakia and sheftalia – Cypriot-style souvlaki are small chunks of charcoal-grilled meat on a skewer and a large amount of fresh salad filling all wrapped in a pitta (larger and thinner than the Greek version). The meat is usually pork or chicken and can be accompanied by sheftalia – spiced sausage parcels with herbs, minced pork or lamb that are grilled. Or try the vegetarian options with mushroom and halloumi.
Souvla – large chunks of meat (neck and shoulder of either pork, lamb, or chicken) slow-cooked on large skewers over a charcoal barbeque,
Kolokouthkia me ta afka – side dish made from fried courgettes with scrambled eggs, sprinkled with salt,
Makaronia tou fournou – known in Greece as pastitsio, the Cypriot version uses halloumi sprinkled with dry mint, large pasta tubes, béchamel sauce and a tomato minced pork layer with curls of cheese on the top to give a crispy crunch,
Ttavas – meaning ‘clay pot’ in which it is traditionally served; chunks of lamb, rice, vegetables, cumin and potatoes,
Kleftiko – meat cooked in traditional round, white ovens for many hours, flavoured with bay leaves, oregano and red wine,
Stifado – usually beef with onions and lots of red wine as well as cinnamon sticks and cloves to give it a sweet kick,
Kolokasi (taro) – a vegetable originating from southeast Asia, cut into small chunks and cooked in a tomato sauce with onions, herbs and chicken or pork (beware – can be poisonous when eaten raw!),
Louvi – black eyed beans served with boiled courgettes or Swiss chard, oil, salt and lemon,
Trachanas – thick soup made with dried cracked wheat and soured goat’s milk,
Loukoumades (lokmades) – deep fried dough balls, soaked in honey and then generously coated in crushed nuts, sesame seeds and cinnamon,
Glyko tou koutalio – sweets made from all kinds of fruit, vegetables and even nuts; boiled and then sugared to create the distinctive syrup they are stored in. Favourites are walnut, watermelon and cherry varieties – enjoy with a Cypriot coffee and a glass of water.
If this has wet your appetite for Cypriot specialities, read more here