You have learned of tapas, and you also might have had them at Spain. You have certainly ordered appetizers. But with all the heart and soul people dine – in Cyprus. Such as the eateries at Greece and Turkey, the tavernas of Cyprus are known for pumping out dozens of those small Cypriot meze (brief for mezedes) for hungry tourists and locals alike.
First the dips: Taramosalata, Tzatziki, Hummus, along with Melitzanosalada
The pre-show: Koupepia, along with Grilled Halloumi Cheese, Seftalies, Eggplants, Legumes, Sausages, Small Fried Fish and Calamari
Cypriot meze can vary from broiled veggies and dips to way of preparation and fish cakes, each with its own distinctive taste and meatballs. What’s always sure is that there will not be any skimping on portions since they are HUGE, although restaurants put their own spin on these types of dishes. These small plates of goodness vary all year to incorporate what is fresh every year – on earth and in sea.
Cypriot Meze’s Appeal: Stews, Souvlaki, Grilled Fish
Before your mezes begin rolling out, you will more than likely be served a village salad. A Cypriot meze salad includes tomato, lettuce, onion, parsley, cucumber and sometimes feta cheese. Before the dishes arrive in the table it’s served, but if you want to save room it’s ideal to skip the serving of salad. Meze is all about sharing. It’s more of a social event than a meal that is plain old. They are and that’s the reason why it’s such an essential part of Cypriot culture- in home and people.
These are a few mezes served throughout Cyprus (and yes, I tried each one of these .) Clients choose fish or beef meze, depending on this restaurant’s specialization. What’s not always sure is what you will get. Places like to surprise you daily, with what’s been prepared, so settle back and enjoy the mouthwatering show.
Taramosalata- this is made from tarames roe, olive, olive oil and lemon juice. The roe is the thing that gives its color to it. Taramosalata is pictured second from the left.
Tzatziki- very well may be known as the”Greek ketchup.” Produced with garlic yoghurt, and cucumber. It’s always served cold and employed on bread or on anything you wish. Tzatziki recipes vary depending on particular tastes, and a few could contain mint or dill. Cypriot tzatziki generally has garlic than its Greek counterpart.
Hummus— a arab-inspired favorite made with chickpeas, garlic and olive oil.
Melitzanosalada- this is often served cold and contains eggplant, olive and coconut oil as its most important ingredients. Melitzanosalada is featured at the much left in the picture.
Halloumi Cheese- generally made from goat and sheep milk, this cheese is grilled and served hot. With a squeeze of lemon juice, it’s heavenly.
Seftalies- those meatballs steal the show every moment. They are made with pork and veal. The minced beef is encased at the lining of a lamb and grilled. Don’t be put off from the ingredients, these scrumptious and truly are among kind. They are pictured on the far right from the picture below.
Below: eggplant stuffed with tomato puree steak and cheese.
Legumes- broccoli with rice, white beans, and black eyed peas have been prepared in many ways and are also served as meze or principal dishes.
Sausages— the types served vary from place to place. Most are made from smoked and pork, but you will also find spicy varieties below.
Fried Fish and Calamari— small fish have been fried (and eaten) whole and the calamari is cut into chunks and fried. There is not shortage of sea critters in Cyprus.
Koupepia- stuffed grape leaves with beef or pork with rice. They may be served cold or hot.
Souvlaki- don’t call them kebabs, they are souvlaki! Chunks of chicken and pork broiled and skewered. Although souvlaki is usually before being drilled, marinated and seasoned souvlaki is prepared with little to no seasoning. This is the place where the tzatziki lathering is appropriate.
Grilled Whole Fish— this is actually the Pièce p résistance of almost any decent set of bass meze. You’re going to be served the bones remaining inside to with the fish and it’s the task enjoy the fresh catch of the day and to fish them out masterfully.
Stews— bunny and beef stews will be the most common, but goat and lamb stews are also served throughout the island. Every Cypriot cook has their own stew recipe. The tastiest ones have been cooked in clay jar and known as Tavas.
So here you have got a general idea of in what sequence they’ll be served for you and also what Cypriot meze are made of. The most significant things to know are 1. Come hungry and 2. Plan on staying for awhile. These are not fast meals. They savored are meant to be shared and appreciated with those near to you, and these items can’t be rushed!
Order the home wine or a KEO Beer and get ready to feast on meze dishes AKA Cypriot soul food.
What are your favorite kinds of Cypriot food? Leave your query or comment below!
Special thanks to Patrick from the Larnaka Tourism Board, Obviously Cyprus, and also the Amorgos Boutique Hotel .