Food and drink are an important part of Cypriot culture. People of North Cyprus enjoy eating together by setting up colorful tables of delicious Meze, varied kebabs and fried cheese and a variety of olives. The most important materials of Cypriot food are olive oil and fresh seasonal vegetables such as tomatoes and eggplants. One of the most delicious and unique Cypriot dishes is “Şeftali Kebab”, in which the meat is shaped into round balls.
Cypriot Food and drink are very popular and they are a big part of any given social occasion in Cyprus. What is great about Cyprus’s gastronomy is that you can trace its rich history through the variety of national dishes. The island’s particular geographic location has brought in a mix of Greek, Turkish, and Arabic culinary influences.
Cypriot people love their food, but more importantly, they love the social aspect that comes from sharing and being together. It is the norm that large families eat together on the weekends, hence the popularity of meze style dishes that are comprised of many different items for everybody to share. They will serve it with a variety of breads and dips.
One of Cyprus cuisine’s main ingredients is olive oil. In fact, olive trees have been part of Cyprus’s history since the Neolithic period. They also use a lot of fresh seasonal vegetables, like tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, parsley, and coriander. Traditional Cypriot foods include souvlakia (grilled meat kebabs), shaftalia (grilled sausage), afella (pork marinated in coriander), fried halloumi cheese, olives, pitta bread, kolokasi (root vegetables), lamb, artichokes, chickpeas and rabbit stews (stifado).
Cypriots generally eat three meals daily; dinner is the main meal.
- Breakfast They eat breakfast around 8am. The breakfast normally is combination of olives, grilled or fresh haloumi, bread and tomatoes and, of course, coffee. It’s a wonderful combination to start your day.
- Lunch They eat lunch around 2pm or 3pm; meals don’t usually last for more than an hour or so. Sunday lunch is the exception: on both sides of the island, this is when you will find entire families gathering, either at home or in restaurants, and staying for a good three to four hours, eating, drinking and chatting.
- Dinner People usually eat dinner late, which is when restaurants start to fill up. The restaurants usually serve Meze for dinner. The family members and friends usually share the Meze, and they pass the dishes vociferously, so don’t be shy to ask if you’re dining with Cypriots and want to try something from the other end of the table.
If you are going for a Mezze dinner:
First on the table are shiny olives, salads and fresh bread, along with hummus and other dips. Next are the vegetables. Some are garnished with lemon, some are raw, a few are pickled or served with haloumi. Sausages and Cyprus’smoked pork. enjoy eating the vegies and cheese, but remember, a bite of each will suffice because the biggies are still to come. The next course is the meat (vegetarians may be able to order vegetarian meze). A meat meze is a parade of lamb, chicken, beef, pork, souvlaki, kleftiko, sheftalia (spiced, grilled sausage), meatballs and smoked meat. If you’re having fish meze, then expect everything from sea, including prawns, octopus and of course calamari.
Finally, the waiter will bring fresh fruits and pastries. They are a real delicacy.
The best advice is to be sure not to have any lunch before you go for a meze dinner. Pace yourself and eat slowly and, as with every good meal, we recommend a nice wine, so choose a bottle and kali orexi. foods in North Cyprus is very very delicious. just try it.