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Traditional Products and Dishes

Donkey Milk*

The production of donkey milk is not particularly common. However, a lot of scientific work underscores the benefits of using this type of milk.

Yoghurt

Traditional yoghurt or “sour milk” as it is also known is still produced in some villages.

Olive-oil

Olive-oil is one of Cypriots’ favourite products. Several households continue to produce their own olive-oil mainly to cover the needs of their family.

Buns with carob honey

“Buns with carob honey” is one of the traditional delicacies made in many villages.

Arkatena
‘Arkatena’ are traditional buns with a special taste. The most well-known ‘arkatena’ buns are made in Omodos.
More:
  • Omodos (link ‘Folk Arts’)

Almond Sweet
A sweet with a very special taste is the almond sweet whose main ingredients are pale almonds.

  • Limnati (link ‘Traditional Products’)

Spoon Sweets
Spoon Sweets are made in several households of Cyprus. In the past, women used to welcome their guests by offering home-made spoon sweets.
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Zivania
The traditional alcohlic drink of ‘zivania’ is produced even today in several villages of Cyprus. For the production of the drink one needs a distiller, which consists of a copper boiler, a copper or clay cap and a cooling tube. ‘Zivania’ constitutes a spirit of wine or pomace known as ‘zivana’.
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Wine
In several villages of Cyprus people continue to produce local wines using grapes from the vineyards. In particular, they mainly produce dry dark wine, as well as the famous sweet wine ‘commandaria’.
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Commandaria
‘Commandaria’ is a sweet wine with a special taste and unique scent. ‘Commandaria’ is produced in multiple semi-mountainous villages of the Lemesos district. The name of the famous wine is linked to the military administration of the Hospitaller Knights that was known as Commanderie or Commandaria.
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‘Resi’
One of the traditional dishes of Cyprus is ‘resi’, a wedding dish which was mainly served in the villages of Pafos. ‘Resi’ was made using wheat beans which were cooked in broth taken from various types of meat.
More:

  • Limnati (link ‘Traditional Products’)
  • Drynia (link ‘Traditional’)

Rose Water
In some villages of Cyprus people still continue to produce rose water, which is in fact used as an ingredient in several homemade sweets.
More:

  • Spilia(link ‘Traditional Products’)

‘Soutzoukos’ and other grape byproducts
Many delicious traditional sweets are made using grape juice. These include the ‘soutzoukos’, ‘palouzes’ and ‘kiofterka’. In some villages of Cyprus there are women who continue to make these traditional sweets, this way contributing to the survival of the traditional way of preparing them.
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Frumenty
Frumenty is traditionally made using goat-sheep milk and ground wheat. The frumenty soup is one of the traditional dishes of Cyprus. Quite often, pieces of ‘halloumi’ cheese are added to the soup to give it a unique taste.
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‘Halloumi’
A white cheese which has been made on the island ever since the very old years and it is one of the most popular Cyprus products. In many villages of Cyprus, mainly senior housewives continue to produce the traditional ‘halloumi’ cheese in their houses using goat or sheep milk while following the traditional recipe. However, the industrial production of ‘halloumi’ prevails nowadays.
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Village Homemade Bread
In many households of Cyprus residents continue to make village homemade bread, which is baked in traditional clay ovens heated by burning logs.
More:

  • Spilia (link ‘Traditional Products’)
  • Limnati(link ‘Traditional Products’)
  • Mari (link ‘Folk Arts’)
Sources:
Websites of Community Councils referred in the text.
Ioannis Ionas, Traditional Cyprus Professions, Lefkosia 2001
* Article published in Ethnos Newspaper entitled “It Beautifies and Heals …” March 14th 2011, retrieved from http://www.ethnos.gr/article.asp?catid=22733&subid=2&pubid=58020951

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