One of the best things about going on a luxury holiday to Cyprus is having the chance to try the local cuisine. Cypriot food borrows more than a few ingredients from neighbouring countries, yet still manages to conjure up some unique flavours.
The easiest way to describe Cyprus's food is essentially Mediterranean with a hint of the east. You'll probably recognise a few of the dishes on local menus from when you've visited a Greek restaurant - especially meze - but a lot of Cypriot delicacies give these flavours a bit of a twist.
This could mean adding eastern spices to what would otherwise be a typically Mediterranean dish. Pork afelia, for example, is a meat stew that wouldn't be out of place in nearby Greece - if it wasn't for the lashings of cumin and coriander!
All about meze
As already mentioned, meze plays a big part in both Cypriot and Greek cuisine. This consists of a number of little dishes that allow diners to pick and choose flavours, rather than having one main course made of just two or three elements.
Typical meze dishes include olives, tsatziki, grilled halloumi, pork rissoles known as sheftalia, sausages and keftedes, or meatballs. You might also come across some more unusual flavours, such as snails in tomato sauce.
A meze-based meal will usually finish with glyko, a traditional fruit preserve. Many homes use a recipe that has been passed down through the generations, ensuring the end result is as authentic as possible. Glyko is almost always served to guests with a glass of water.
A lot of Cyprus's sweet treats are similar to those in Greece - and are truly delicious. Keep an eye out for kourabiedes, which are butter almond biscuits usually baked to celebrate a special occasion, like Christmas or Easter.
Another popular dessert option is loukoumades, which are deep-fried balls of sweet dough soaked in either honey and cinnamon or sugar syrup for a truly decadent way to end your meal. They are often eaten in Turkey, too.
Speaking of which, you might recognise one other sugary treat that's often consumed in Cyprus - loukoumia, otherwise known as Turkish delight. You can choose from a range of flavours, including mint, cinnamon, lemon and orange.