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20.12.2011 Latest North Cyprus News 20/12/11
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, urged Cyprus leaders to speed up the negotiation.
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- North Cyprus Food and Beverages - Local Dishes and Specialities - Meze - Olive Oil - Kebab - Baklava - Turkish Coffee - more -
The culture of a country is often said to be reflected in its cuisine and North Cyprus is no exception.  Eating out is popular amongst residents and visitors alike and there is a wide choice of restaurants to confirm this!  Many offer a large selection of local dishes, combining the varied flavours of the Mediterranean, Turkey and the Middle East, whilst those diners seeking “international cuisine” are also well catered for.  

Green and black olives   Seftali kebab Fried fish Local dishes

A typical meal in a Turkish Cypriot restaurant will consist of meze, followed by lamb/chicken kebabs or fresh fish accompanied with salad and bread, then pastries or fruit for dessert and coffee.  Meze is a selection of hot and cold appetizers - the Turkish Cypriot equivalent of the Spanish ‘Tapas’ – and usually consists of köfte (meatballs), grilled Hellim cheese, hummus and tahini dips, mint yogurt and a variety of dishes made with fresh vegetables which are often flavoured with locally produced olive oil

Turkish Cypriot cuisine includes specialities such as grilled şeftali kebab (peach kebab), made with minced lamb, onion and spices and the famous (and very delicious) slow-baked lamb usually cooked in a clay oven.  Freshly caught fish is available in abundance with many different varieties on offer including Barbun (red mullet), Levrek (sea bass) and Chipura (gilt-head bream) as well as squid (kalamar) and other sea-food.

Salad Sigara Boreki Fresh produce Artichokes

Vegetarians in North Cyprus are not forgotten and will delight at the variety of fresh local produce available to tempt their palate: yalanci dolma (vine leaves filled with rice, onions and tomatoes), stuffed bell peppers or dishes made with fresh aubergines, sigara böreği (white cheese rolled in filo pastry and deep fried) and  bulgur köftesi (cracked wheat balls). Fresh herbs, such as fennel, sage, oregano and thyme, are grown in the mountains and are widely used to flavour and complement the many local speciality dishes on offer.

For dessert you will typically be offered baklava (sweet pastries), lokma (small doughnuts in syrup) or ekmek kadayif (a pudding made with bread and cream).  Fresh fruit is always plentiful and you will usually be offered a selection including melon, grapes, oranges and figs.

Stuffed vine leaves Fresh grapes Baklava Tea

To drink there are many options.  In the heat of the day you may wish to try a glass of cooling Ayran – a slightly salty, yogurt-based long drink served chilled with a little mint.  There are many good local wines, beers and spirits including the famous brandy sour cocktail – made with brandy, lemon and angostura – or you can try a glass of raki (an alcoholic aniseed flavoured drink).  End your meal with a cup of thick Turkish coffee - with sugar (az şekerli) or without (sade) - or a refreshing cup of tea (çay), apple tea (elma çay) being a firm local favourite.  

Afiyet olsun !   (Bon apetite !)

For more information on North Cyprus and some of the many things it has to offer, please see our pages on North Cyprus Leisure Activities and North Cyprus Places to Visit