Cyprus Slow Food in the Fast Lane
23 July 2011:
There’s a quiet stampede to the hottest kitchens of Cyprus. Savvy travellers bypass plate smashing by heading to Limassol’s funky new restaurants offering the freshest ‘paddock to plate’ dishes washed down with wines from local boutique organic vineyards.
Beloved traditional favourites like afelia and pastitsio are all there, side by side with mushrooms flashed in Commandaria wines, and rocket wrapped smoked pork drenched in strawberry coulis and fresh pepper.
Celebrity TV chef and author Roddy Damalis ducks around workmen busy restoring the charming Old Limassol market to scout out fresh ingredients for his regulars at ‘Little Plates’ Restaurant (www.tapiatakia.com, also offers cookery workshops) while staff replenish the cellar with wine from hand picked estates such as Tsambartas. Beachfront taverna ‘The Fat Fish’ rustles up delicacies like crispy crab cakes, scallops simmered in tomato and herb packed sea bream under army style camouflage netting.
Meanwhile, up in the village of Kornos (on Nicosia – Larnaca highway), award winning young chef Savvas Savva (International Gold Junior Chef of the Year, 2010) at Archontiko Papadopoulou (www.archontikopapadopoulou.com.cy) is turning up the heat with his modern takes on ancient classics made from locally sourced meat and fish.
A stunningly restored Cultural Centre with a museum style VIP room, extensive Cypriot wine cellar and silver service butlers, Archonitiko will be on everyone’s speed dial when Cyprus takes over EU Presidency next year.
Cypriot wines date back 5,000 years, so it’s about time you learnt your Xynisteri from Vamvakada on Cyprus’ numerous wine trails. Drive up to Vouni Panayia winery for a tasting session and blowout meze of godly proportions served by latter day goddesses.
And no meal is complete without freshly grilled halloumi cheese. Anogyra village is the holy grail of halloumi, (TV food goddess Nigella Lawson’s loves it grilled), where you can watch the cheese being produced from fresh goat milk.
Humble rosewater from Agros is leading a taste revolution at Venus Rose (www.venus-rose.com). The damask covered slopes of the Tsolakis Rose farm is now a burgeoning producer of organic rose related treats, from rose liqueur, rose wines, to natural beauty products, candles and soaps – all in home made pottery.
Chefs at Tochni Cyprus Village (www.cyprusvillages.com.cy) add it to sweeten up the tastiest cheese pies or ‘tiropitakia’ while others add it to honey cake. But they’re not in a huge hurry. As the Greek proverb goes, ‘if the pot boils, friendship lives’. www.visitcyprus.com
For more information or images of Cyprus call Kallaway Travel team
June Field, email@example.com or call 020 7221 7883.