As most people know, Cyprus has many links with Greece. These links include the fact that the majority of Cypriots are ethnically Greek, share a common culture and religion with Greece, and speak the speak Greek language. Thus, it is no surprise to find that Cypriot cuisine shares is very much like Greek cuisine.
However, it would be wrong to simply equate Cypriot cuisine with Greek cuisine, Cypriot food also has its unique flavors, traditions and influences. Cyprus is also home to a large Turkish community, and was part of the Ottoman Empire for even longer than Greece was, and thus Turkish influences can also be seen in Cypriot cuisine. Furthermore, Cyprus lies in a unique position, geographically part of the Middle East, but with strong links to Europe, and this too has influenced Cypriot food.
Perhaps the most famous food from Cyprus is halloumi, Halloumi is a form of cheese, with a similar texture to mozarella, a salty taste, and often garnished with mint. Halloumi is highly suitable for cooking, and can be grilled or fried. Traditionally, it is made from a mix of sheep’s and goat’s milk, but in recent years, increasingly cow’s milk is used as well or instead, especially when the cheese is produced on an industrial scale.
Visitors to Cyprus are sure to encounter probably the most popular halloumi dish, known as “halloumi and lounza”. This dish is simply a slice of meat, typically a slice of smoked pork or a piece of lamb sausage, grilled with a piece of halloumi.