What’s not to love about Cyprus?
Beautiful beaches, year round sunshine and super friendly locals. But as a foodie, I love Cyprus for its cuisine.
Cypriot food is big on flavour, but easy on your waistline. Mediterranean dishes are all about fresh vegetables and quality ingredients. If you’re new to Cypriot cuisine and you’re going on holiday to the country, you’re in for a treat. Here are my favourite Greek dishes to try on holiday for any newbies.
If you think you’ve tried halloumi, think again. Traditional Cypriot halloumi from local cows, sheep and goats on the island is unlike anything other. The grilled cheese is richer and sweeter in flavour and goes perfectly with olives or bread soaked in olive oil. If this is one the starter menu, this is a must.
One of my favourite newbie Cypriot dishes to order in a group is meze. Cypriot food is all about sharing with friends and family and meze is the perfect passing-around-the-table-ice-breaker food as their is so much to try. ‘I liked this one’. ‘Oh you have to try this’. Meaning ‘little delicacies’ or ‘little dishes’, meze will give you a good idea of what larger Cypriot dishes you’ll like.
If you aren’t feeling all that adventurous or just want to dip your tongue into the water so to speak, you might find comfort in the familiarity of soulvaki. You might know it as a kebab like I do. Whatever you call it, this grilled favourite serves up tender meat on the skewer or in pita bread. This is perhaps the island’s most popular street food snack.
My favourite value for money dish has to be moussaka because it’s so filling. I was a little apprehensive at first as egg plant a main ingredient which I’d never had. I don’t know, the name of it doesn’t sound very appealing! But I’m glad I did try it. Also containing other vegetables like aubergine, potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes and meat like pork or lamb, it reminded me of a lasagne.
Being an island, Cyprus has access to great quality seafood. Fresh and tasty, my recommendations would be to try octopus or calamari as it’s hard to find this kind of quality for a reasonable price. But I know not everyone is okay with the feeling or texture of either! So fish, particularly salty cod, is a safer bet. Grilled or baked, the quality makes the dish delicious.
And onto desserts, my favourite course. I didn’t know the Cypriots had such a sweet tooth! Souzouko was my favourite discovery. They look kind of weird, but intriguing at the same time which probably drew my attention to them. Nuts (almonds for examples) are placed through a piece of string. This is then dipped into grape juice repeatedly then hung to go hard. The combination might sound weird, but all of our party enjoyed them and had seconds.
Okay, you might have had baklava before, but still worth mentioning for anyone who hasn’t. It’s so popular, Cyprus and Turkey had a row over the originator of this tasty treat! That’s how good it is. This filo pastry triangle of goodness is sweet and crunchy being drizzled in honey and filled with pistachios, almonds and walnuts. it’s a sure-fire crowd pleaser.
Where are you going on holiday to in beautiful Cyprus? I think it might be time to look at Paphos flights again! Where do you recommend holidaying in Cyprus? Tell me in the comments section below!