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The island's geographical position and its history have resulted in a very interesting merge of Greek, Turkish, Arabic and English culinary influences. Abundant vegetables, pulses and grains are a large part of the Cypriot diet.  Goats milk, cheese olives, wild greens, potatoes, capers, nuts and herbs form the basis of many Cypriot delicacies.

Cypriot dishes are well seasoned, but not spicy. The best known spices and herbs include pepper, parsley, arugula, celery, fresh coriander (cilantro), thyme, and oregano. Traditionally, artisha (cumin) and kolyandro/kolliandros (coriander) seeds make up the main cooking aromas of the island. Mint is a very important herb in Cyprus. Meats grilled over charcoal are known as souvla, named after the skewers on which they are prepared. 

At the weekend families gather to eat at a relative’s house or at a restaurant or taverna, where groups of 15 people or more are nothing uncommon. These are informal gatherings where the table is usually strained to breaking-point under the incredible number of different dishes. Plates are piled high, and everyone tries a little bit of everything, although leaving a clean plate is unusual. This style of dining comes from the Cypriot preference for meze (which means "mixture"), which consists of many small dishes with a little of everything that is available on the day in that taverna or restaurant. There is no better way to sample Cypriot cuisine than the meze, as you can literally enjoy the widest variety of local food in one sitting. . The standard meze is either meat or fish for the main dishes and a plethora of small, side dishes ranging from salads, potatoes and eggs to hummus and tarmasalata.

Every corner in Cyprus from the towns to the villages have traditional souvlaki shops that serve chicken or pork kebabs in pita bread or on a platter. Grilled halloumi cheese, mushrooms and loukaniko (pork sausages) are also served.

Although Cyprus is an island, the price of seafood is quite high as this part of the Mediterranean is not rich in fish. Traditional Cypriot seafood dishes include small, deep-fried fish and cuttlefish rings




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