Cuisine  Halloumi, a popular cheese made from a mixture of goat's and sheep's milk, originates from Cyprus and is commonly served sliced, either fresh or grilled, as an appetiser.  Seafood and fish dishes of Cyprus include squid, octopus, red mullet and sea bass.  Cucumber and tomato are used widely in salads.  Common vegetable preparations include potatoes in olive oil and parsley, pickled cauliflower and beets, asparagus and kolokassi.  Other traditional delicacies of the island are meat marinated in dried coriander, seeds and wine, and then dried and smoked, such as lountza (smoked pork loin), charcoal-grilled lamb, souvlaki (chicken, goat, lamb or pork cooked on a skewer over charcoal), and sheftalia (minced meat wrapped in mesentery). Pourgouri (bulgur, cracked wheat) is a traditional carbohydrate alternative bread, though macaroni or rice are also common.

Fresh vegetables and fruit are common ingredients in Cypriot cuisine.  Frequently-used vegetables include courgettes, green peppers, okra, green beans, artichokes, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and vine leaves, and pulses such as beans, broad beans, peas, black-eyed beans, chick-peas and lentils.  The commonest among fruits and nuts are pears, apples, grapes, oranges, mandarines, nectarines, medlars, blackberries, cherries, strawberries, figs, watermelons, melons, avocados, lemons, pistachios, almonds, chestnuts, walnuts and hazelnuts.

Cypriot Coffee  In many coffee shops - 'Kafenia' - you will find their traditional coffee served. This coffee is strong but can be served with sugar upon request.  It is usually served with a glass of water to refresh your palate.  Don't be surprised if you see the Cypriots turn their cups of coffee upside down once finished for them to read the future in the coffee dregs.

Flaounes are  the traditional Easter cheese breads made in Cyprus.  Traditionally they are made on Good Friday and are reputed to be a lot of work to prepare.  The preparations usually start from the previous day and on the Friday most of the female members of the family get up at the crack to dawn to finish preparing them.

Keo  This is a beer brewed in the city of Limassol, widely enjoyed by the locals as well as by tourists.  It has a less strong taste than the average lager and can be compared to Pilsner.  In 1987 it won an international bottled lager competition.  You can find it sold in almost any pub, bar or restaurant as well as shops.  Another local beer is Leon.  But many foreign beers are also available in bottles or tins or, sometimes, on draught.


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