North Cyprus

Cuisine in Cyprus

Cuisine in Cyprus

There are many influences in today's North Cyprus cuisine, which takes its roots from countries such as Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, France, Italy, and Syria.


Traditional meals start with small hot and cold dishes known as meze followed by fish or meat - kebab.



Meze offers huge selection of small bits such as cold vegetables, salads, humus, cigaraborek (cheese and mint wrapped in filo pastry and fried) cheeses, olives, beans in sauces etc.



There are several different types of kebab- which means barbecued or oven-cooked meat. The most famous one is seftali kebab, a kind of local sausage, small and spicy. Kebab specials can be either chicken or lamb.



Another popular meal is called Kleftico kebab, it is lamb with potatoes slowly cooked in a clay oven.


We should not forget fresh fish which is also popular. Fresh fish is cooked in butter or grilled.


The famous Cyprus cheese Helim, full fat and soft cheese made from sheep or goat’s milk. Helim can be served grilled or fresh. Barbecued helim has a very special taste and is a traditional meal.


Yoghurt is important for Cypriot cuisine. Thick and creamy it is added to meat, vegetables, sauces, kebabs, salads. Also Ayran, a yoghurt drink with mint, is very popular.


Salads, all kind of them, are served with all meals.  Olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper (garlic if you desire) are common dressings for salad.


Different kind of vegetable dishes are very popular. A speciality which can be found is Molohia, a green leafy vegetable similar to spinach. Usually it is cooked with chicken or meat. Stuffed pumpkin flowers called Dolmamake a very special and delicious meal. After the main dish Turkish coffee or tea is served.


Turkish coffee is part of everyday life across Northern Cyprus, it was introduced to the West by the Ottoman Turks in the fifteenth century. It is very popular all over the world today. The coffee beans for Turkish coffee are ground into a fine powder and then cooked together with sugar producing a thick cream on top. Turkish coffee is served in small coffee cups and it can be enjoyed in three ways; sade, which means it is unsweetened, orta, which means is medium sweet, and sekerli, which is sweet.  You will be asked how you like it before it is served.


Popular desserts are Turkish delights, Baklava(sweet pastries), Lokma (deep-fried mini ‘doughnuts’) or a plate of fresh fruit.





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