Eating Like a Local in Cyprus
A vacation in Cyprus means you’ll experience beautiful beaches, high temperatures no matter which season you arrive, and the warm Mediterranean Sea. Another plus is that the local cuisine isn’t too bad either.
If you’re taking a trip to this sun-blessed island then be prepared for the freshest of seafood dishes, authentic kebabs and some fantastic, locally produced wines.
Read on for this crash course on eating like a local in Cyprus.
Delicious Island Cuisine
Cypriot food is a heady mix of nationalities, including Greek and Turkish cuisines. On this island you can also find dishes which feature Italian, French, Middle Eastern and North African influences – something which you can discover if you book your trip with First Choice. The traditional Cypriot diet is much like that of a number of Mediterranean countries meaning plenty of seafood, fresh vegetables and fruit, as well as plenty of olive oil. Meat is featured in meals in the form of pork, spicy smoked sausages and those delicious fried meatballs known as keftedes.
The Famous Appetizers
Eating like a local in Cyprus wouldn’t be complete without Meze, one of the best ways to sample a selection of local dishes accompanied by some alcoholic drinks. Diners will usually have around 20 different meat or fish dishes to choose from, which can be either hot or cold and eaten before or as a main meal. Meze translates to ‘little delicacies’ but be prepared to eat a lot and make sure to try out some souvlakia and sheftalia, which are skewered, charcoal cooked pork pieces. Salad and Greek olives will also be served along with some neat brandy or beer.
Traditional Cypriot Meals
Eating out at restaurants in Cyprus is a definite social occasion and a way of life for the locals. The quality of food is high and you can expect the freshest of ingredients in whichever dish you choose. Seafood lovers should try the calamari drizzled with lemon juice or the baked fish Nicosia with olive oil and garlic. You can’t go wrong with a Pastitsio, which is a baked pasta dish with ground beef and delicious béchamel sauce and topped off with halloumi cheese.
Don’t miss out on the moussaka, one of the island’s most well-known dishes comprising of lamb or pork and layered with aubergines, tomatoes and potatoes. Afelia is another dish worth trying and consists of braised pork in a red wine.
Accompanying Cypriot Drinks
There’s no shortage of alcoholic drinks across this island and let’s face it, trying out new drinks on vacation is never a chore. Wine making on this island dates back 6,000 years and there is a wide range of wines to choose from. The wine regions of Limassol produce the sweetest of dessert wines and Commandaria can be found all over the island and tastes not unlike a sweet sherry. Zivania is another popular drink and is similar to the Italian grappa but does have a high alcohol content that can take some people by surprise.
These are just a few of the food and drink flavors that can be sampled on this sunny island. Take your time and try out a new dish every night, after all drinking and eating like a local in Cyprus is all part of the enjoyment of exploring this wonderful country.
Special thanks to First Choice Holidays for contributing this Eating Like a Local in Cyprus post.