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- Desserts And Alchohol
- Essential Guides
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- History Of Cyprus
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- Turkish Cypriot Cuisine
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Desserts and alcohol are considered delicacies in many traditions, and that’s no different in North Cyprus where the variety is mouth-watering
Desserts In North Cyprus
The Turkish kitchen has a rich and varied dessert menu. Its such an important part of any table, theres so much to choose from, and all are deliciious and sweet. Most desserts in both Turkish and Turkish Cypriot cuisines have one thing in common, not only are they covered in syrup, but they also involve rich and complicated flavours from pistachios to rose water and everything in between! Each is as delectable and sweet as the one before (perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth), and within moments of tasting your first Cypriot dessert you will realise just how beautiful they are and wish you never had to leave.
If you have a sweet tooth, be prepared for some serious temptation. In North Cyprus it's all about lots of syrup and lots of sugar whther you are in Kyrenia or Famagusta and in-fact any other towns.
Baklava and kadeyif are favourites on the desert menu, both boasting crushed nuts and cemented with syrup in crunchy pastry. To finish off your meal or just as a mid-day break the Turkish coffee is a must try for any coffee lovers. It is strong stuff, and you can chose which level of sweetness you want when ordering. You can even try doing some fortune telling out of the grounds it leaves behind in the mug after!
As there is so much variety we have added just a small selection to give you an idea of the kinds of desserts that await you.
Ceviz macun (Green Walnuts in Syrup)
Ceviz Macun is a popular Cypriot dessert that might sound unusual to a westerner but is actually much sweeter and softer than you might imagine. The nuts are soaked in water for a week so that they become softer and more absorbent, and then they are boiled in fresh water. Finally they are stuffed with an almond and covered in sugar which is then heated to make syrup. The walnuts are great to pick or as a treat for children and because they store really well (lasting for up to a year) you can take them home and not have to worry about a thing!
A bready pudding, Ekmek Kadayifi is a very popular sweet, in-fact it’s the next most popular dessert after Baklava. You can purchase the bready sheet if you wish to make your own version. Actually a very simple dessert; You cut the bread into two separate slices. Then place a layer of unsalted ricotta cheese like cheese along with cinnamon and finely chopped almonds (which are optional) between the layers like a sandwich. You then soak the bready sliced layers into sweet syrup made simply from sugar and water, with a dash of rose water for fragrance. As another option, top with crushed pistachio. Add a scoop of ice-cream and serve for the ultimate treat, or serve with water or coffee.
Paluze is a simply made dessert. It’s a combination of fruit layers and thinly crushed biscuits and nuts. Placed traditionally in a glass bowl and topped with some Jelly. The Jelly itself is made form a combination of natural granulated sugar, gelatine, fruit juice such as watermelon or pomegranate. The Jelly is not firm and wobbly as British Jelly but more of a gel texture. A favourite in summertime especially.
Patlican Macunu (Eggplant)
For many people, this dish sounds unusual at best, and downright disgusting if you aren't an eggplant fan, but somehow the Cypriots have worked their magic over this vegetable and managed to turn it into a delectable sweet preserve. Boiled and then cooked in sugar, vanilla and cloves, the eggplants are perfect for putting in a jar, and are regularly available in this manner. A bit like tinned peaches or other fruit, this preserve is fantastic as an ingredient in a dessert, or just as a indulgent snack on their own!
Karpuz Macun (Watermelon)
Boiled and sweetened like the Patlican Macunu, slices of watermelon are added to quick lime and then large amounts of sugar before being preserved in jars. Great as a snack over coffee, or a gift for guests.
Sucuk Uzumden, also known as Ceviz Sucugu in Turkey, is another unusual Cypriot sweet dish, made by stringing walnuts together and then dipping them repeatedly into a grape paste much like jam. This is done repeatedly until the walnuts are completely coated and begin to look somewhat like a thin and lumpy "sausage". Perfect for snacking and great for a quick sweet treat, why not try Sucuk Uzumden?
Yogurt Tatlisi, or Yoghurt Dessert, is a really tasty cake like pudding that is made almost exactly like a classic sponge apart from a few key differences. Firstly, instead of plain flour, semolina is commonly used, although flour only recipes do exist. Secondly, the key ingredient is (obviously) yoghurt, and in fairly large amounts. Almost equalling the amount of semolina, the yoghurt is key to keeping the sponge moist and light, as well as sweet. Finally, after the cake is baked, the cook will make flavoured syrup using anything from rose to lemon which will be poured over the cake. Toppings and additional ingredients can include nuts or desiccated coconut and for extra sweetness the cake can be baked a little longer with the syrup and then covered again in the liquid. Like most Cypriot dishes, Yogurt Tatlisi is rich and sweet, but perfect for slowly picking at with a cup of thick frothy coffee.
Kalo Brama (Honey Cake)
Kalo Brama is fairly similar to Yoghurt Tatlisi in that they are both sponge like cakes which have a syrup poured over them for flavour and sweetness. Kalo Brama typically is flavoured with rose water, semolina and almonds as well as spices and herbs such as cinnamon and yoghurt can also be used. Unlike Yoghurt Tatlisi, Kalo Brama doesn't use typical ingredients such as flour or sugar; instead a semolina mix is used and baked with blanched almonds. Finally syrup is poured over the cake to add moisture and this delectable treat is perfect for accompanying coffee or tea.
Alcoholic Drinks Although a largely Muslim country, alcohol is still in abundance in North Cyprus, and the north is known especially for the Brandy it makes, as well as the cocktail Brandy Sours that are seen as North Cyprus' national drink. And of course wine is popular and made locally, which means not only is it beautiful but it can be found at fantastic prices!
Brandy Sours thought by many to be the drink of Cyprus, a Brandy Sour is a cocktail that is a distinct mixture unique to Cyprus (although international variations do exist) including brandy and lemon flavouring. Created during the 1930's, it was designed for an Egyptian Royalty, Prince Farouk. He had a taste for ice tea, which was the original base of the cocktail.
Ingredients making the cocktail are of course Brandy , Lemonata (a traditional lemon squash), some bitters and lemonade or soda water to taste over ice. Brandy sours are particularly popular in the stylish bars of North Cyprus where it is frequently drunk and served on almost every menu.. why not try it at the Kyrenia harbour?.
Brandy is an eternally popular Cypriot drink, and the brands made in Cyprus are unique both for their sweet taste and the percentage of alcohol contained. A typical brandy should contain about 40% alcohol, but some can have up to 60, truly not for the fainthearted, however brandy in Cyprus has 32% alcoholic content. Having been made in Cyprus for over 100 years, brandy is a common staple of life, especially as it is a vital ingredient in the national cocktail of Brandy Sours.
Wine has been an important drink to the Cypriot people for thousands of years, with proof of its creation in the country dating back to 2300 BC. Wine made in Northern Cyprus is not commonly thought very highly of, but in recent years wine producers have made a concerted effort to increase the quality and quantity of their product, resulting in Cyprus being 37th in the world for wine production. A range of great wines are made in Northern Cyprus and when you're next deciding on what to order on holiday, maybe pay a little less for a bottle that hasn't been imported and experience the best of beautiful Cypriot wine. You won't regret it.