Food and Beverages in Cyprus is well known for its rich variety. Breakfast is usually served between 07:00 and 10:00 in the morning. Lunch is served in restaurants between 12:00 and 15:00. Dinner is served from 19:00 till late in the evening.
With emphasis on fresh local ingredients, a pungent mix of herbs and spices and a light spattering of olive oil, Cypriot food is essentially Mediterranean, similar to that of Greece and with a hint of the Middle East and Asia Minor.
If you are going to extend your stay in Cyprus beyond the games, start your culinary adventure by ordering ‘mezedes’ at a restaurant where you will be faced with a lavish feast of all the local delicacies but make sure you pace yourself for the 20 or more dishes that will arrive.
Be sure to try Cyprus’ famous ‘halloumi’ cheese made from sheep and goat’s milk. You can have it in all kinds of different ways, from grilled to fried or on its own, and in the summer you must try it with watermelon, for an unusual combination of flavours.
Do as the locals do by dipping a slice of village bread into a bowl of cracked green olives with coriander seeds and don’t try to say no to a wickedly sweet ‘glyko’, preserved fruit accompanied by a glass of cold water.
Dishes not to miss:
• Moussaka: layers of minced beef or lamb, sliced potatoes and eggplant, topped with a delicious white sauce.
• Tavas: veal, onions and herbs served in small earthenware dishes straight from the oven.
• Souvlakia: pork or chicken kebab cooked on a slow charcoal fire. It is eaten with salad in a pitta bread.
• Keftedes: spiced meat balls.
• Koupepia: vine leaves with rice and mince
• Kleftiko: lamb roasted in a traditional oven.
• Afelia: pork in a wine and coriander sauce.
• Trachana: dried bulgur in yogurt soup.
• Avgolemoni: egg and lemon soup.
• Sousouko: a favorite at Cyprus festivals and fairs, it is made by dipping strings of nuts in heated grape juice until the confection solidifies
• Spoon Sweets: preserves of almond, date, apricot, cherry, quince or grapes, always served with a glass of cold water
• Loukoumades: similar to doughnuts with honey
• Commandaria: is acknowledged to be one of the oldest named wines in the world, which according to legend, was originally made for Richard the Lionheart and the Crusaders.
• Zivania: Cyprus famous firewater, made from highly-distilled grape juice, is almost pure alcohol and packs a neat punch.
• Soumada: is a warm comforting almond drink served with hot water.
• Cyprus coffee: powdered roast coffee beans boiled in a pot always served with a glass of cold water.