Read about 6 of the most popular and unique Cypriot dishes you should definitely not miss while in Cyprus.
Located in the eastern corner of the Mediterranean Sea, right where the greatest civilisations and cultures of Europe, Asia and Africa have met and mingled, Cyprus kept the very best from all of them from a culinary point of view.
Below you will find listed 6 of the most popular and unique Cypriot dishes you should definitely not miss while in Cyprus.
- Souvlaki - The Cypriot Edition
If you have already tried out the infamous Greek souvlaki and you loved it, then this spin-off will leave you speechless. The filling consists of chunks of grilled meat, which could be either pork, chicken or lamb and fresh salad while the pita bread is thin and much bigger than the one used in the Greek version of souvlaki. It can be said that the main difference in the two versions is the pitta that holds the ingredients inside as if it was a pocket, rather than wrap them to keep them in place. Another difference is the absence of the sauces used in the Greek version, and the fuller taste due to the pittas’ ability to be stuffed with more ingredients.
- Oven Makaroni or Pastitsio
Who doesn’t like pasta? In Greece and Cyprus, we love it! That’s why Pastitsio, a dish with large pasta tubes, minced pork and béchamel sauce is usually the main protagonist in our festive dinners, for example at Easter’s celebrations or whatever special occasion brings the family together. Usually, it is prepared in large quantities, for instance in a large oven pan, and it is served with fresh salad as a side dish.
Koubes is a spicy snack that brings in a Middle-east air, having its roots in the Levant region. The outer crust is made of bulgur, and the filling includes minced meat, the flavour of which is enriched with the addition of various spices, popular in the Middle-East. This tasty street-food can be found easily in bakeries all around the island of Cyprus.
A tasty and healthy traditional dish that will leave you speechless with its original taste. The Greek variation is called Dolmadakia, and it basically is vine leave rolls stuffed with rice. The Cypriot edition, Koupepia, is much fuller in taste because the filling consists not only of rice but also minced meat, onions, tomatoes and herbs. Cypriots like so much Koupepia that they cook this dish even when vine leaves are offseason! How? Simply by replacing them with other vegetables that can be stuffed, such as peppers, tomatoes and onions!
The most famous Cypriot cheese! This rubbery, mild-salted cheese has a high melting point, which makes it an excellent choice for a grilled-cheese entrée dish and a tasty addition to a green salad with sour-sweet flavours. Halloumi is made in an unusual way, without the addition of acid-producing bacteria in the making process. The milk used is a mixture of sheep and goat milk. Don’t miss trying it out even as a dessert, with honey, poured on top.
Sheftalies are a traditional, extra tasty dish. If you are a meat lover, you are going to flip out with this one! In essence, it is a type of sausage patty grilled on charcoal for approximately half an hour. The filling inside the caul fat wraps usually consists of minced pork or lamb, thin-sliced onion, salt, pepper, and parsley. You can even try out sheftalies inside Cypriot souvlaki pittas, a choice that is quite frequent in Cyprus!