CERTIFIED CYPRIOT PRODUCTS
CERTIFIED CYPRIOT PRODUCTS
- Geroskipou Loukoumi
- Koufeta Amygdalou Geroskipou
- Paphos Sausage
- Agros Rose Spoon Sweet
- Lountza Pitsilias
- Pitsilia Sausage
Protected Designation Origin Products:
- Kolokasi Sotiras/Poulles Sotiras
Halloumi: one of the most characteristic products of the Cypriot gastronomy, the production of which dates long back in time. It is the main type of white cheese (semi-hard) and holds a prominent position in the Cypriot cuisine. Sheep’s or goat’s and sometimes cow’s milk is used for its production. The more it ages, the more salty and tasty it gets. It is stored at high temperatures and it is consumed as it is, fried or grilled. It is combined with watermelon or lountza and it is served with Commandaria or other sweet wines. It accompanies pasta as well as soups.
Paphos Cheese: produced during Easter in the province of Paphos from sheep’s milk, goat’s milk or a mixture of them. It is hard and yellow on the outside, with the characteristic ribs of the vessel in which it matures. It is consumed with bread, but it is mainly used for the making of flaounes.
Halitzia Tilirias: a soft, white cheese with holes and sour taste. It is produced in the area of Tiliria and Tsakistras, from sheep’s or goat’s milk, or a mixture of them. It is consumed with fresh salads, with bread or alone, sprinkled with olive oil and oregano.
Anari: a soft cheese, sub product of halloumi. There are two kinds of anari; the unsalted one which is used in the making of traditional pies, and the salted one which most of the time is dried in order to last longer.
COLD CUTS & MEAT PRODUCTS
Paphos sausage (PGI) : produced in the communities of the province of Paphos from pork mince that matures in red dry wine and is dried in the sun. It can be consumed fried or grilled, and may be combined with bread, tomato, cucumber, etc.
Traditional cold cuts (meat products) : the main kinds of cold cuts are sausages, lountza, hoiromeri and posyrti, which are made from pork. Apohtin and tsamarella are cold cuts made from goat’s meat. Combined with a glass of wine or zivania, they constitute the ultimate Cypriot mezedes. Despite the fact that the traditional production of cold cuts is limited, in many rural communities people continue to produce them following the traditional way. Cold cuts used to be the main food for rural families. The absence of refrigerators led to seeking methods for meat conservation.
Hoiromeri, posyrti and lountza Pitsilias: cold cults produced from pork. The pork matures in red local wine and then it is being smoked. They have dark color, strong scents of wine and smoke, and a slight salty taste. These products are usually produced in areas of high altitude, because the cold climate favors their conservation. The process of their production is almost the same for all of them; the only difference is the meat part used. Hoiromeri is consumed as meze as it is, yet lountza and posyrti are consumed fried or grilled and served mostly as an appetizer or in sandwiches.
Pitsilia sausage: produced in the communities of Pitsilia from pork mince that matures in red local dry wine. Different spices are added, and the sausage is being smoked.
Tsamarella – apohtin: very salty traditional dishes (mezedes) produced from goat meat. They were widely produced in the villages of Marathasa and in the mountainous villages of Paphos. Nowadays, tsamarella is produced in Pitsilia as well. Apohtin is produced in the same way. The only difference is that for the production of apohtin the bones of the animal are also used, while for the production of tsamarella bones are removed. Tsamarella holds the title “Presidium” from the Slow Food Organization. Tsamarella and apohtin are ideal to accompany zivania.
Zalatina: a meat product made from pork. Small pieces of meat from the head, tongue, tibia and other parts of the boar are used for its production. The bones are removed and boiled again with the addition of vinegar, some pieces of red pepper, rosemary, lemon juice and quartzite. After the mixture cools down and gets thickened, it is served as an appetizer which accompanies sipping.
Trachanas: a fermentation product of wheat and sour milk produced during summer. When boiled well, the mixture thickens and is molded into small oblong pieces that are being spread out in the sun to dry out. Trachanas is very famous in Cyprus, especially in the villages where livestock farming is practiced. It is consumed as a soup – boiled in water – or cooked in chicken broth. It is considered to be the national dish of Cyprus. Its nutritional value is very important; hard working people used to consume trachana in the dawn, before leaving for work.
Macaroni pierced: a type of traditional pasta with holes. They are consumed with grated anari or halloumi and spearmint.
BAKED GOODS & DOUGH
Flaouna: associated with various Easter customs, offered as a treat. It is consumed hot, cold, or as paximadi (a type of dehydrated bread) and accompanies various beverages.
Arkatena Omodous: a type of koulouri (circular bread) made with leaven, using the foam that is produced after the chickpea fermentation. It is consumed in their soft form, as bread, or as paximadi. Arkatena are mainly produced in Omodos and Koilani.
Tertziellouthkia: bakery products made from dough. They are cooked and then served in diluted carob honey or epsima. Traditionally, tertziellouthkia were consumed during the fasting period.
SWEETS & PASTRIES
Loukoumia: traditional confectionery products made from sugar and which used to be offered as a treat in the traditional kafeneia and Cypriot houses. “Loukoumi Geroskipou” is the first Cypriot product to be registered as of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) in the European Union Registry. Its production was initiated by Sofocles Athanasiou in the 19th century. The initial recipe of Loukoumi Geroskipou and the local know–how have been passed on from generation to generation and are being adopted up until today in the same geographical area. Loukoumia are also produced in Lefkara and Foini, and each of those has their own history as their production began many years ago.
Tillyria figs: sun-dried figs, small, white and soft, with sweet taste. They are made from July to September.
Maxilles Lysou: a type of fig which is produced in the village of Lysos and was named after the Latin name “macilentus’’ which means lean. In the past, maxilles used to be the winter sweet of Lysos residents. It is served with walnuts.
Sioutzioukkos – Ppalouzes – Kkiofterka – Epsima – Portos: traditional sweets which are made from grape juice, mainly in the villages of Troodos. Their production dates back to the end of the 19th century, when grapes started being widely cultivated in the villages of mountainous and semi-mountainous areas (especially in Pitsilia and Marathasa). Sioutzioukkos and kkiofterka are ideal accompaniments for alcohol, especially zivania. Ppalouzes is consumed hot, cold, or as a dessert. Epsima is used in many sweets replacing sugar. Portos is a type of marmalade.
Spoon sweets: served with a glass of cold water, they used to be the most common treat served in the Cypriot houses during the last century. Spoon sweets may be fruits or vegetables cooked and kept in syrup. An important detail is that the manufacturers of the spoon sweets must be highly skilled in order for the sweet to obtain the desired features. Spoon sweets like watermelon, cherry, grape, fig, eggplant, and quince accompany coffee or are served as a dessert after any meal.
Almond sweet: the traditional sweet of the Kouris – Xilourikos region. It is made from almonds, the main ingredient, and sugar. Every year, in Limnatis, a feast dedicated to the blooming of almond trees takes place, during which the making of the sweet is presented.
Agros rose spoon sweet (PGI): ): a traditional spoon sweet produced in Agros in the area of Pitsilia. The main ingredient is the petals of Rosa damascena. The rose spoon sweet was traditionally produced from the housewives of the area for self-consumption. Since 1985 it is produced on a commercial scale. It is consumed as a spoon sweet or/and as an accompaniment to other sweets like muhallebi. Since 2016, it is registered as a product of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) in the European Union Register.
Koufeta Amygdalou Geroskipou (PGI): roasted sugar-coated almonds that are consumed as a sweet. It is registered as a product of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) in the European Union Register. The production of Koufeta Amygdalou Geroskipou was initiated in 1895 in the community of Geroskipou by Sofocles Athanasiou.
Carob honey: the honey being produced from carobs which are considered to be the ‘’black’’ gold of Cyprus. It is used in the making of pasteli Anogyras (a sweet made of sesame and honey), as well as other traditional sweets like tertsiellouthkia.
Pastelli Anogyras: a traditional sweet of Anogyra village. Its production, according to historical references, seems to date back to the era of the Frankish rule. Its main ingredient is carob honey. Every September, in Anogyra, the festival of pasteli is organized, during which the traditional way of its production is presented.
Agros Rose Water: the distillate of the flower “Rodes Damaskinis”. Rose water production has been taking place since the old days in the mountain villages of Troodos, especially in Milikouri and Agros. It is used as syrup for sweets and mainly pastry making.
OLIVE OIL & PRODUCTS
Kypriaki Epitrapezia Elia – Cyprus Table Olive: produced from the processing of the fruits of the local variety which is cultivated throughout the island. The most famous variety is the local Cypriot. It constitutes part of the daily diet of Cypriots since ancient years. Black olives are common in all meals, accompany legumes and salads and are used in baking. The green and sour ones are mainly served as mezedes.
Cyprus extra virgin olive oil: produced from the processing of the fruits of the local variety. The cultivation of olive oil dates back to the Bronze Age. The world “elia’’ (olive) – appears as a place name in many areas among Cyprus, which is an evidence of its importance. The Cyprus extra virgin olive oil is used in appetizers, salads, bread, frying etc.
FRUITS & VEGETABLES
Mandora: a cross of mandarin and orange in taste and size. It is exclusively cultivated in Cyprus. It is consumed peeled or as juice. It is the most popular variety in Cyprus and comes first in exports.
Arapaka Mandarin: tasteful and aromatic medium-sized mandarins. The Arakapa mandarin is known as the Cypriot or local mandarin. It is cultivated mainly in semi-mountainous areas like Arakapas in the province of Limassol, from which it also took its name.
Anathrika Mushrooms (Pleurotous eryngii var ferulae lanzil): among the most wanted and popular varieties of mushrooms in Cyprus. As their name implies, they can be found in areas where there are anathrikes (ferula communis), at the routes of which they grow during autumn and spring.
Cyprus red soil potato: well-known for its excellent taste and its firm texture. It can be easily distinguished from other varieties due to its reddish skin, which is obtained from the fertile soil of the Red Soil Villages where it is cultivated. The Cyprus red soil potato is cultivated in the west area of Nicosia.
Kolokasi (PDO): a type of vegetable cultivated in Cyprus and its edible fruits are called “mappes” or “poulles”. The cultivation of kolokasi takes place mainly in the provinces of Paphos and Ammochostos. Kolokasi is cooked and consumed in different ways, e.g. fried, yiahni, with or without meat. It can also be consumed as an appetizer when fried like chips. Since August 2016, Kolokasi Sotiras/Kolokasi Poulles Sotiras, holds the EU Protected Designation Origin Product mark.
Caper with vinegar (koutrouvi): after the caper is collected, it is put into a pot filled with water and salt and remains there for a week. It is then drained, vinegar and more salt are added, and after a few days the caper is ready for consumption.
Red mushrooms (Lactarius deliciosus): a variety of wild mushrooms which grows in areas with pine trees. Its name comes from its orange-red color. Collecting wild mushrooms is an important component of local dietary habits. Up until the last century, part of the Cypriot diet was based on the collection of wild food.
NUTS & OTHER STUFF
Paphos peanut: also known as arapiko fistiki (peanut) or fistikoudi. Paphos peanuts are collected from the plant Arachis hypogaea which is cultivated mainly in the areas of Paphos (Geroskipou, Achelia, Timi, Mandria, Kouklia, Anarita, Nikoklia). Τhe seeds of the plant are consumed as nuts, salted or unsalted, and are also used in pastry making.
Pitsilia Hazelnuts: edible nuts derived from two varieties: ntopia (local) or makroula (Corylus maxima) and peiratika (Corylus avellana). They are widely found in the area of Pitsilia and especially at the northern slopes of Troodos, from Madari to Papoutsa. During the first half of August, many festivals and events for the promotion of hazelnuts are being organized in the communities of Pitsilia.
Troodos Trout: produced in fish farms in Troodos. It is consumed grilled or cooked in the oven. It is also used as the main ingredient in a lot of recipes.
WINE, SPIRITS & OTHER ALCOHOLIC DRINKS
Cyprus is one of the oldest wine production countries. The cultivation and production of wine, according to historical sources and archaeological evidence, date back to 4.000-2.000 B.C. The reputation of Cypriot wines has been and continues to be high. The main wine growing zones of Cyprus are located in the semi-mountainous and mountainous communities of Limassol (Krasochoria, Koumandaria), Paphos (Laona, Akamas and Vouni Panayias- Ampelitis), Larnaca and Nicosia (Pitsilia). In the community of Kyperounta, the vineyards are located at an altitude of 1.500m, one of the highest altitudes all over Europe.
Local varieties of Cyprus
- Maratheftiko:red variety which produces robust wines, and with the possibility of aging. It is a rare variety which dates back to ancient years.
- Local Mavro: more than half of the vineyards of Cyprus produce local Mavro. It is one of the two main varieties used to produce zivania and Koumandaria. Its grape is of moderate production capacity with mild acidity and taste.
- Ofthalmo: red variety that is cultivated mainly in the wine-growing zone of Pitsilia and in some villages of Paphos. It produces wines with light colors, characteristic aromas, light body and low acidity.
- Yiannoudi: red variety, one of the most promising in Cypriot oenology, yet cultivated at a limited degree. Wines of exceptional color and impressive tannic structure are produced, which can be paralleled to noble red varieties from abroad. Its aromas come from bushes and wild berries from the countryside. It is a variety that has the ability to produce both light and full body wines.
- Promara: white, rare grape variety with big and compact grapes. It is drought resistant and produces wines characterized by exotic and lemon aromas.
- Spourtiko: a variety with short vegetative cycle, which produces a light white wine with aromas of lemon and intensive acidity.
- Xynisteri: the main white wine variety of Cyprus, lends wines floral and fruity aromas, ready for consumption or with the possibility of medium aging.
- Morokanella: white, rare and promising grape variety, cultivated in the area of “Krasochoria” (winemaking villages) in Limassol and in semi-mountainous Paphos since 1998. It produces wines characterized by sweet aromas of stone fruits, citrus peels, quince, almond and white flowers, medium to full body with balanced acidity
- Vasilissa: white, rare and promising grape variety. In Vouni Panagias, it is known as White Strawberry or Tsaousi. The wine is round, full-bodied but always fresh, with medium acidity. It can be consumed as aperitif or accompanying seafood, cheeses, risotto, vegetables with fresh herbs, and fish with white sauce.
Apart from the local varieties in Cyprus, some international noble varieties are cultivated as well, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Mataro, Grenache, Syrah, Asyrtiko, Malvazia, Aromatica, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot.
Zivania: the traditional alcoholic beverage of Cyprus, inextricably linked with the local tradition and culture. It is the distillate of grape marc of Xynisteri and/or native Black which is produced by simple distillation on copper stills. The distillation of zivania began during the Venetian rule. Its production constitutes an important source of income for Cypriot wine growers. It used to be considered as the drink of the lonely man who wanted to rejuvenate himself after a difficult day at work. It usually accompanies mezedes (“tsimpimata” or “tsimplikia” in the Cypriot dialect).
Ouzo: another traditional alcoholic drink of Cyprus, registered as a Protected Geographical Indication product (PGI) in the European Union, along with Greece. Its production is related to the production of flavored (with anise and mastic) zivania.
Commandaria wine: a sweet dessert wine, produced for thousands of years in Cyprus, especially in the area of Commandaria, at the foothills of Troodos. In ancient times it was known as the Cypriot “nama’’ (a sweet red wine that is usually used in Greek Orthodox Churches in the Holy Communion), but since 1192 A.D. the knights of St. John’s Order gave the wine its current name. It has been designated as a Protected Designation Origin Product by the EU. Its production process is uncommon due to the fact that the grapes are spread out for a few days in the sun for dehydration before wine processing. Commandaria is being made from the local varieties of Mavro and Xynisteri.
Wine Routes of Cyprus
In order to explore the rich viniculture tradition of Cyprus, you may visit the wine routes of Cyprus. A wide number of wineries will welcome you for an exceptional wine tasting experience.
- Commandaria Wine Route
- Diarizos Valley Wine Route
- Krasochoria of Limassol Wine Route
- Laona- Akamas Wine Route
- Mountainous Larnaca- Nicosia Wine Route
- Pitsilia Wine Route
- Vouni Panagias – Ambelitis Wine Route
For more info visit the relevant website..
Paphos gum: made from the resin of tremithos tree (Pistacia atlantica subsp. Cypricola). It was mainly produced in the Turkish-Cypriot village Lempa, in Paphos. It was also produced in Tala and Kisonerga where many tremithos trees can be found. Nowadays, resin is imported, and Paphos gum is mainly produced in Geroskipou, where local small industries follow the traditional way of production. It is hard and used as a gum or as an aromatic ingredient in various sweets.