If the gorgeous weather and beautiful scenery don’t already have you desperate to visit Cyprus, then the food probably should. The island is home to a multitude of traditional dishes that will truly make your mouth water. To not eat these when you’re on vacation here is really missing out.
Something that makes for a good starter, appetizer, or meal accompaniment is koupepia. Popular in Greece and Cyprus, it sees minced meat and rice wrapped in grape leaves and cooked with lemon juice and tomatoes. It’s one of the most versatile dishes available on the island, meaning you can pretty much enjoy it whenever you want.
If you’re in Cyprus during the colder months of the year, stifado is always a good dish to opt for. Favored as a meal that will warm you up, it’s concocted using rabbit – or beef – vinegar, onions, and plenty of herbs and spices. It’s slow-cooked, so it can take a while to prepare, but every minute is worth it once you taste what it has to offer.
When talking about slow dishes, it’s impossible not to mention kleftiko. This is something you have to prepare a whole day in advance because it needs at least 24 hours to cook. You’ll understand why once you try it for yourself. All that time spent in the kiln marinating in the other ingredients turns the lamb into an unforgettable savory experience.
Eggplant is an ingredient that tends to get a mixed reception. Some people like it, some people don’t. Whatever category you fall into, though, you’re bound to be a fan once you try it in a moussaka. There’s something about the way this casserole is made that makes the flavor so enjoyable. It must be the blend of ingredients, which typically includes lamb and béchamel sauce.
Going to Cyprus for a kebab might not seem like that big of a deal, given the availability of this dish back home. However, you haven’t truly tried a kebab until you’ve eaten one made by a Cypriot local. Beautifully seasoned with ingredients like lemon and oregano, this meal will feel like something entirely new, even though you’re bound to have had one before.
Something else you might already be familiar with is sliced meat on pita bread, aka souvlaki. Again, it’s been adopted as a common dish in the States, so you might not feel like it has anything to offer in Cyprus. Once you try the original, though, you realize that the stuff you get at home simply can’t compare.
There’s always room for dessert, especially when it tastes as good as ekmek kadayifi. This bread soaked with syrup and covered in Turkish clotted cream is bound to appeal to anyone with a sweet tooth. One bite of this, and you won’t be able to resist eating the entire dish, no matter how full you might feel.
The good news is that the next time you’re in Cyprus, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding something delicious to eat.