Cypriot cuisine is the cuisine of Cyprus and is related to Greek and Turkish cuisine. Used ingredients are fresh vegetables such as zucchini, green peppers, green beans, carrots, cucumbers and grape leaves, pulses such as beans, broad beans, black-eyed beans, chick-peas and lentils. Pears, grapes, Mandarin oranges, mespila, cherries, figs, melon, citrus, pistachio, chestnut, hazelnut are some of the commonest of the fruits and nuts; the best-known spices and herbs include pepper, arugula, fresh coriander and oregano. Traditionally and coriander seeds make up the main cooking aromas of the island. Mint is a important herb in Cyprus, it grows abundantly, locals use it for everything in dishes containing ground meat. For example, the Cypriot version of pastitsio contains little tomato and generous amounts of mint; the same is true of keftedes or köfte, which are sometimes laced with mint to provide a contrast with the meat. For Turkish Cypriots potato is often used in making keftedes. Fresh coriander or cilantro is another used herb.
It is used in salads, olive breads, spinach pies and other pastries. In some regions of the island it is used to flavour hot dishes tomato-based ones, such as yiachnista. Meats grilled over charcoal are known as souvla or şiş, named after the skewers on which they are prepared. Most these are souvlaki of pork, lamb or chicken and sheftalia, but grilled halloumi or hellim cheese and uniquely to the Greek Cypriots loukaniko are served, they are stuffed into a pitta or pide or wrapped in a thin flatbread, along with a salad of cabbage, thinly sliced onions and sliced cucumber. Although less popular than souvlaki and sheftalia, Gyros or Döner is commonly eaten. Gyros is grilled meat slices instead of chunks, the taste is made different by the salad or dressings added, it is made from various cuts of lamb, pork, or chicken, sometimes but beef. Pourgouri or bulgur, is the traditional carbohydrate other than bread, it is steamed with tomato and onion. Along with pourgouri, natural yogurt is a staple. Wheat and yogurt come together in the traditional peasant meal of tarhana/trahanas, a way of preserving milk in which the cracked wheat is steamed, mixed with sour milk and stored.
Small amounts reheated in water or broth provide a nourishing and tasty meal with added cubes of aged halloumi. Pourgouri is used to make koupes or içli/bulgur köfte, the Cypriot form of kibbeh, where the pourgouri is mixed with flour and water to form a dough, formed into a cigar shape. A hollow is made through the cigar and a mixture of minced meat, onions and cinnamon is packed. After sealing the meat mixture inside the cigar they are deep-fried before serving with lemon juice. For Greek Cypriots, there are many fasting days defined by the Orthodox Church, though not everyone adheres, many do. On these days all animal products must not be consumed. Pulses are eaten instead, sometimes cooked in tomato sauce but more simply prepared and dressed with olive oil and lemon. On some days olive oil is not allowed; these meals consist of raw onion, raw garlic, dried red chili, munched along with these austere dishes to add a variety of taste, though this practice is dying out. Popular seafood dishes include calamari, cuttlefish, red mullet, sea bass, gilt-head bream.
Octopus, due to its peculiar taste and texture, is made into a stiffado with red wine, carrots and onions. Calamari is either cut into rings and fried in batter or is stuffed whole with rice, cloves, sometimes adding mint to the stuffing, baked or grilled. Cuttlefish may like octopus in red wine with onions, it is sometimes prepared with spinach, but without adding garden peas, which are a popular accompaniment for cuttlefish in Turkey, some parts of Greece, Italy. Calamari and cuttlefish feature in meze, a spread of small dishes served as an extensive set of entrées; the most traditional fish is salt cod, which up until recently was baked in the outdoor beehive ovens with potatoes and tomatoes in season. Gilt-head bream is popular because it is inexpensive and like sea bass extensively farmed; until salted herrings bought whole out of wooden barrels were a staple food. They are still enjoyed, but not as much now, as meat are regular alternatives. Many fish restaurants include in the fish meze a variety of different food which include fish, for example fish souffle and fish croquettes.
Cyprus potatoes are waxy with a unique taste, exported internationally. Locals love. Many Cypriots add salt, cumin and some finely sliced onion; when they barbecue, some Cypriots put potatoes into foil and sit them in the charcoal to make them like jacket potatoes – served with butter or as a side dish to salad and meat. Salad vegetables are eaten at every meal
Tsamarella is a traditional food and one of Cyprus' main lunch meats, common in both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. It consists of goat's meat, salted and cured for preservation; the process of preparation traditionally involves drying in the sun for few days. After that, the meat was placed in boiled water and it was filled with condiment and producers put it again in the sun for one more day. Tsamarella is soft, it has salty taste and it is served with alcoholic beverages as a meze. Like the vast majority of Cyprus' dried meats, tsamarella is a traditional product of Marathasa Valley and Pafos' agricultural areas. Moreover, in the past it was placed in special wooden lockers and it was used as a way to maintain food. Jerky List of dried foods List of goat dishes Description from Cyprus tourist information site
Flaouna is a cheese-filled pastry from the island of Cyprus, which may include raisins or be garnished with sesame seeds. Flaounes are traditionally prepared for Easter by Orthodox Greeks as well as Ramadan by Muslim Turkish Cypriots. Regional names for flaouna include vlaouna, fesoudki in Karavas, aflaouna in Karpasia. Flaounes have been made in Cyprus for a number of years and have been served as a celebratory food for the breaking of the Lenten fast, they are traditionally prepared on Good Friday for consumption on Easter Sunday by Orthodox Christians. They are eaten in place of bread on Easter Sunday, continue to be made and eaten for the weeks following. Creating the flaounes can be a family tradition shared with multiple generations; the Guinness World Records holds a record for the largest flaouna made. It was set on 11 April 2012 by the company Carrefour in Limassol; the pastry measured 1.24 metres wide, weighing 259.5 kilograms. As part of the celebrations, 20 percent of sales of flaounes in Carrefour stores on the day in Cyprus, went to charity.
Flaounes were featured as a technical challenge in The Great British Bake Off pastry week episode of season six. Flaounes are a cheese filled pastry interspersed with cheese; the pastry is described as similar to shortcrust in texture. The cheese can be a mix of Graviera, Fresh Anari and/or Kefalotyri. Outside of Europe, these cheeses can sometimes be referred to as "flaouna" cheese. Depending on the area of island in which they are made, the recipes vary so that the pastries are either salty, semi-sweet or sweet, they can sometimes have sesame seeds sprinkled on top or sultanas interspersed with the cheese
Gibanica is a traditional pastry dish popular all over the Balkans. It is made with cottage cheese and eggs. Recipes can range from sweet to savoury, from simple to festive and elaborate multi-layered cakes. A derivative of the South Slavic verb gibati/гибати meaning "to fold, it is a type of layered strudel, a combination of Turkish and Austrian influences in different cuisines of the former Yugoslavia - the strudel is most associated with Austrian cuisine, but it was the Turkish baklava pastry, introduced into Austria in 1453, that laid the foundation for strudel. Today the versions of this cake can be found in Slovenia, Serbia and other regions of the former Yugoslavia. Variants of this rich layered strudel are found in Hungary, Macedonia, Greece and Syria. In the vocabulary of the Yugoslav Academy, as well as in the etymological dictionary of Slavic languages, the word gibanica is a derivative of the Croatian verb gíbati and Serbian verb гибати, which means "to fold. There are derivatives like the word gibaničar / гибаничар – one who makes gibanica, one who loves to eat gibanica, one who always imposes as a guest and at someone else's expense.
Some believe that the word gibanica comes from the Egyptian Arabic gebna, a type of soft white salty cheese used in making gibanica. The original recipe for Gibanica included cow's milk cheese. Homemade cheese can be sirene; the pie is made as gužvara, so the phyllo dough in the middle is crumpled and filled. Besides cheese, the fill contains eggs, kaymak, lard and water. Stuffing may include spinach, nettle and onion. In order to speed up preparation, phyllo dough from a store can be used and sunflower oil or olive oil can be used instead of lard. Many varieties of Gibanica and related dishes can be found throughout the Balkans. Recipes can range from sweet to savoury, from simple to festive and elaborate multi-layered cakes; the so-called "Chetnik Gibanica" is the fatter, greasier version. From the basic recipe, many local specialties have evolved. Prekmurska gibanica, for example, is a "fancy" multi-layered cake from Prekmurje in Slovenia, served as a dessert course on festive occasions. Međimurska gibanica, from the neighbouring Međimurje region of Croatia, is a related but simpler and less "formal" dish consisting of four layers of fillings.
Another gibanica variety, called Prleška gibanica, is known from Prlekija to the west of the Mur River. The basic concept of Gibanica, a cake or pie involving a combination of pastry with cheese in differentiated layers combined with layers of various other fillings, is common in the cuisines of the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean. For example, a similar dish known as Shabiyat is part of the cuisine of Lebanon. Gibanica can be considered to resemble a type of cheese strudel, with which it shares a common ancestry in the pastry dishes of the region, the cuisines of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Gibanica is one of the most popular and recognizable pastry dishes from the Balkans, whether served on festive occasions, or as a comforting family snack. In Serbia, the dish is eaten as breakfast, dinner and snack, is consumed at traditional events such as Christmas and Slava; the largest Gibanica made was in the town of Mionica in 2007. It weighed over 1,000 kg, was applied for inclusion in the Guinness Book of Records.
Around 330 kg of phyllo dough, 330 kg of cheese, 3,300 eggs, 30 l of oil, 110 l of mineral water, 50 kg of lard and 500 packets of baking powder went into its creation. In Slovenia and Serbia there are festivals dedicated to gibanica. One of them, called the Gibanica festival or Days of Banitsa, is held each year in Bela Palanka, it first took place in 2005. The Slovenian festival of Prekmurska gibanica and ham is held in the Slovenian region of Prekmurje, the Croatian festival of gibanica is held in Igrišće in the Croatian region of Hrvatsko Zagorje. Banitsa Zirojević, Olga. "Gibanica". Republika. XV. Republika. Retrieved 21 March 2013. "Gibanica, a pie like no other". Serbia.com. 4 December 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2013. Dragas, Konstantin. "How To Make a Delicious Gibanica". Global Storybook. Folek, Barbara. "Salty Serbian Gibanica Recipe #2". The spruce. "Gibanica više nikada neće biti ista! A svi su mislili da ovaj trenutak nikad neće doći". Telegraf. 22 November 2016
Tahini is a condiment made from toasted ground hulled sesame. It is served by itself or as a major ingredient in hummus, baba ghanoush, halva. Tahini is used in the cuisines of the Eastern Mediterranean, the South Caucasus, the Middle East, as well as parts of North Africa, it is used in Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisine. Tahini is a loanword from Arabic: طحينة, or more ṭaḥīniyya طحينية, is derived from the root ط ح ن Ṭ-Ḥ-N which as a verb طحن ṭaḥana means "to grind", the same root as طحين, "flour" in some dialects; the word "tahini" appeared in English by the late 1930s. Plain, unprocessed sesame paste with no added ingredients is sometimes known as raw tahini; the oldest mention of sesame is in a cuneiform document written 4000 years ago that describes the custom of serving the gods sesame wine. The historian Herodotus writes about the cultivation of sesame 3500 years ago in the region of the Tigris and Euphrates in Mesopotamia, it was used as a source of oil. Tahini is mentioned as an ingredient of hummus kasa, a recipe transcribed in an anonymous 13th-century Arabic cookbook, Kitab Wasf al-Atima al-Mutada.
Sesame paste is an ingredient in some Japanese dishes. Sesame paste is used in Indian cuisine. In the United States, sesame tahini, along with other raw nut butters, was available by 1940 in health food stores. Tahini is made from sesame seeds that are soaked in water and crushed to separate the bran from the kernels; the crushed seeds are soaked in salt water. The floating kernels are skimmed off the surface and ground to produce an oily paste; because of tahini's high oil content, many manufacturers recommend refrigeration to prevent spoilage. This is true among makers of raw, organic tahini, who will prepare their tahini at low temperatures and ship and store it in refrigerated cases to maximize quality and shelf life. Tahini-based sauces are common in Middle Eastern restaurants as a side dish or as a garnish including lemon juice and garlic, thinned with water. Hummus is made of cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. Tahini sauce is a popular topping for meat and vegetables in Middle Eastern cuisine.
In Armenia, tahini can be used as a sauce to put in a lahmajoun. In Turkey, tahini is mixed with pekmez to form a dish called tahin-pekmez. Due to its high-caloric nature, it is served as a breakfast item or after meals as a dessert to dip pieces of bread in during the wintertime. In Iraq, tahini is known as "rashi" and is mixed with date syrup to make a sweet dessert eaten with bread. Tahini is called ardeh in harda in Kuwait. In Iran it is used to make halvardeh, a kind of halva made of tahini, egg whites, other ingredients, it is eaten during breakfast with an accompanying sweet substance grape syrup, date syrup, jams, etc. Ardeh and halvardeh are among the souvenirs of the Iranian cities of Ardakan. In Cyprus, locally known as tashi, is used as a dip for bread and in pitta souvlaki rather than tzatziki, customary in Greece. In Greece, tahini is topped with honey or jam. Jars of tahini ready-mixed with honey or cocoa are available in the breakfast food aisles of Greek supermarkets. In Israel, tahini is a staple foodstuff, introduced by Mizrahi Jews.
It is served as a dip with flat bread or pita, a topping for many foods such as falafel, Jerusalem mixed grill and shwarma, as an ingredient in various spreads. It is used as a cooking sauce for meat and fish, in sweet desserts like halva, halva parfait, halva ice cream and tahini cookies, it is served baked in the oven with kufta made of lamb or beef with spices and herbs, or with a whole fish in the coastal areas and the Sea of Galilee. In the Gaza Strip, a rust colored variety known as "red tahina" is served in addition to ordinary tahina, it is achieved by a different and lengthier process of roasting the sesame seeds, has a more intense taste. Red tahina is used in sumagiyya and salads native to the falaheen from the surrounding villages, as well as southern Gaza. In the Palestinian city of Nablus, tahina is mixed with qizha paste to make "black tahina", used in baking. In the Levant, tahini is a staple foodstuff prepared with salt, lemon juice, optionally mashed garlic, it is served as a dip with pita, a topping for falafel and shwarma, as an ingredient in various spreads.
It is used as a cooking sauce for meat and always served as a side with fish. It is a main ingredient in a seafood dish called Siyadiyeh. Tahini is in sweet desserts like halva with pistachios. In East Asia, sesame paste is a major condiment used in dry noodles. Sesame paste can be eaten as a dessert, known as black sesame soup. A sweet spread, halawa taḥīniyya حلاوة طحينية'sweet tahini' is a type of halva sweet, it sometimes sliced pistachio pieces sprinkled inside or on top. It is spread on bread and eaten as a quick snack. Tahini is a source of calcium, the amino acid methionine, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Tahini made from raw sesame seeds is lower in fat than tahini made from roasted seeds. Tahini's high levels of calcium and protein make it a useful addition to vegetarian and vegan diets, as well as to raw food diets when eaten in its unroasted form. Compared
Hummus is a Levantine dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas or other beans, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. It is popular in the Middle East and Mediterranean, as well as in Middle Eastern cuisine around the globe, it can be found in most grocery stores in North America and Europe. "Hummus" comes from the Arabic word meaning "chickpeas", the complete name of the prepared spread in Arabic is ḥummuṣ bi ṭaḥīna which means "chickpeas with tahini". Spelling of the word in English can be inconsistent. "Hummus" is the most common spelling in both British English. The spelling "houmous" is however common enough in British English to be listed as a less common spelling in some UK dictionaries but not, for example, in the Cambridge online dictionary; some US dictionaries list other spellings such as humus and hommos, but not Merriam-Webster, for example. Although there are a number of different theories and claims of origins in various parts of the Middle East, there is insufficient evidence to determine the precise location or time of the invention of hummus.
Its basic ingredients—chickpeas, sesame and garlic—have been combined and eaten in the Levant over centuries. Though chickpeas were eaten in the region, they were cooked in stews and other hot dishes, puréed chickpeas eaten cold with tahini do not appear before the Abbasid period in Egypt and the Levant; the earliest known written recipes for a dish resembling hummus bi tahina are recorded in cookbooks written in Cairo in the 13th century. A cold purée of chickpeas with vinegar and pickled lemons with herbs and oil, but no tahini or garlic, appears in the Kanz al-Fawa'id fi Tanwi' al-Mawa'id, it is served by rolling it out and letting it sit overnight, which gives it a different texture from hummus bi tahina. As an appetizer and dip, hummus is scooped with flatbread, such as pita, it is served as part of a meze or as an accompaniment to falafel, grilled chicken, fish, or eggplant. Garnishes include chopped tomato, coriander, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, whole chickpeas, olive oil, hard-boiled eggs, sumac, olives and pine nuts.
Outside the Middle East, it is sometimes served with tortilla crackers. Hummus ful is topped with a paste made from fava beans boiled until soft and crushed. Hummus msabbaha/mashawsha is a mixture of hummus paste, warm chickpeas, tahini. Hummus is a popular dip in Egypt where it is eaten with pita, flavored with cumin or other spices. For Palestinians and Jordanians, hummus has long been a staple food served warm, with bread for breakfast, lunch or dinner. All of the ingredients in hummus are found in Palestinian gardens and markets, thus adding to the availability and popularity of the dish. In Palestine, hummus is garnished, with olive oil, "nana" mint leaves and parsley. A related dish popular in Palestine and Jordan is laban ma' hummus, which uses yogurt in the place of tahini and butter in the place of olive oil and is topped with pieces of toasted bread. Hummus is a common part of everyday meals in Israel, it is made from ingredients that, following Kashrut, can be combined with both dairy meals.
Jewish immigrants arriving from Europe in the late 19th and early 20th century adopted much of the local Palestinian cuisine, including hummus, though it traditionally has been part of the cuisine of the Mizrahi Jews who lived in Arabic-speaking lands. The many Mizrahi Jewish immigrants from these countries brought their own unique variations, such as hummus with fried eggplant and boiled eggs prepared by Iraqi Jews, Hasa Al Hummus, a chickpea soup preferred by Moroccans; the Yemenite quarter of Tel Aviv is known for its hummus with traditional skhug hot sauce. More African immigrants have brought specialties such as Sudanese Hummus Darfur, with eggs and grated cheese. Arab Israelis and Jews alike seek out authentic hummus in Arab hummusia, restaurants specializing in hummus, making famous such Arab villages as Abu Gosh and Kafr Yasif. Enthusiasts travel to the more remote Arab and Druze villages in the northern Galilee region in search of the perfect hummus experience. Although sometimes criticized as Jewish appropriation of Palestinian and Arab culture, hummus has been adopted as an unofficial "national dish" of Israel, reflecting its huge popularity and significance among the entire Israeli population.
Many restaurants run by Mizrahi Jews and Arab citizens of Israel are dedicated to warm hummus, which may be served as chick peas softened with baking soda along with garlic, olive oil and tahini. One of the hummus versions available is msabbaha, made with lemon-spiked tahini garnished with whole chick peas, a sprinkling of paprika and a drizzle of olive oil. One author calls hummus, "One of the most popular and best-known of all Syrian dishes" and a "must on any mezzeh table." Syrians in Canada's Arab diaspora prepare and consume hummus along with other dishes like falafel and tabbouleh among the third- and fourth-generation offspring of the original immigrants. In Cyprus, hummus is part of the local cuisine in both Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities where it is called "humoi". In Turkey, hummus is considered as a meze and oven-dried wi
Banitsa is a traditional Bulgarian dish in the börek family prepared by layering a mixture of whisked eggs and pieces of cheese between filo pastry and baking it in an oven. Traditionally, lucky charms are put into the pastry on certain occasions on New Year's Eve; these charms may be small symbolic objects. More people have started writing happy wishes on small pieces of paper and wrapping them in tin foil. Wishes may include health, or success throughout the new year. Banitsa is served for breakfast with ayran, or boza, it can be eaten cold. Some varieties include banitsa with spinach "спаначник" or the sweet version, banitsa with milk "млечна баница" or pumpkin "тиквеник"; the Bulgarian word баница derives from the Old Bulgarian гъбнѫти meaning "to fold." The word developed from the Proto-Slavic form *гыбаница > *гъбаница > *гбаница > баница. Traditionally, banitsa is made with homemade or commercially made pastry sheets that are prepared from a baker's hard dough including flour and water. At home the sheets can be spread by continuously pulling the sheet of dough with one's fingers until it becomes less than a millimeter thin, or by using a rolling pin in several stages with sunflower oil sprinkled between the spread leaves, or by a difficult technique comprising waving movements of the entire sheet over the head of the cook, which resembles pizza dough making techniques.
Commercially available sheets somewhat dried before packing. Another sort of banitsa is made with leavened sheets; the usual filling is cheese. The traditional filling is made of crushed white cheese and eggs. Sometimes baking soda is added to the yogurt; the addition of baking soda results in a fluffier filling. Vegetable fillings include spinach, docks, chards, beet leaves, leeks, parsley, cabbage or sauerkraut. All these variants, including cabbage, are called zelnik, from the word зелен'green'; the leek variant is called onion variant is called luchnik. In some regions of Bulgaria, a filling with rice is made. There are meat fillings with minced meat and mushrooms. Sweet fillings with apples or pumpkin with sugar and cinnamon exist as well. In some regions, only the walnuts and cinnamon are used; the apple variant is called shtrudel, the pumpkin variant is tikvenik. Banitsa with milk is made by baking the leaves soaked in milk with sugar and vanilla. In a large greased baking dish, individual sheets are layered one by one with small amounts of filling and sunflower oil or/and melted butter between them.
After half of the sheets are placed in the pan, a large portion of the filling is spooned onto the leaves and is covered with the remaining sheets and filling in the same manner. The pastry is baked at 200–250 °C. In some recipes, just before the banitsa is finished, a glass of lemonade or sparkling water is poured into the tray, the baking continues for several more minutes. An alternative method of preparation is taking each sheet of dough, laying it out flat and sprinkling some of the filling on it; the sheet is rolled up into a tight roll with the filling on the inside of the roll. The long roll is taken and rolled up in a circle; this first sheet of dough is placed in the baking pan. The process is repeated with the remaining sheets of dough and each consecutive roll is placed around the first one in the pan; the resulting shape resembles a spiral. The banitsa is sprinkled with sunflower oil or melted butter and baked. In Bulgaria, banitsa is a symbol of Bulgarian cuisine and traditions. Traditionally, Bulgarians serve banitza on two holidays -- Christmas and New Year's Eve.
On these days, people add kusmeti into the banitsa. The charms are small pieces of dogwood branch, which vary in numbers of buds on them, they symbolize longevity. The branches are hidden inside the banitsa, the banitsa is baked; when ready, the banitsa is cut to as many pieces as the members of the family are and each piece contains a dogwood branch. Two additional pieces of banitsa are cut - one for the house and another one for Virgin Mary, the protector of the family. A wish is associated with each branch and the different number of buds on the branch helps to recognize the corresponding wish; the wishes include happiness, success, etc. The banitsa is spun on the table and everyone takes the piece, in front of them when the spinning stops, they find their fortune inside the piece – the fortunes predict what one is to expect from the new year. The most common fortunes are "love", "marriage", "baby", "journey", "wealth", etc.. Alternatively or in addition to the kusmeti, some add a coin or little pieces of paper with written fortunes on them.
In this case, they are wrapped in tin foil to preserve them during baking. The word "banitsa" is used as a simile for something creased, or badly maintained. For example, a police officer can make a remark to someone about letting his or her passport "become like a banitsa"; the same can be s