Cypriot cuisine has been influenced through the centuries by the many conquerors. The most important influence though, came by the ancient Greeks. Since ancient Greeks came to the island, until nowadays, Greek language and Greek civilization and culture are dominant on the island. Most of the Cypriot recipes are similar to the Greek ones but as in many other parts of Greece, there are a few differences in the ingredients used.
Cyprus cuisine has also been influenced by the Persians, the Arabs, the Latins, the Turks, the British, the Armenians and the Maronites and believe me, many more. Some of these recipes are now considered as traditional and Fish Mayonnaise is one of them, which we used to do often when we had buffet dinners.
You have all probably heard of the Greek Mediterranean Diet. Researches have shown over the past forty years that the Greek traditional diet is one of the healthiest of the whole world. Despite our very bad habits, (low physical exercise and too much smoking), Greek men have the highest survival age in Europe (75 years) and women are fifth in Europe (80,3 years).
It has been established that the consumption of olive oil is very healthy as it lowers the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) in the blood. This is due to the fact that olive oil has high concision of natural antioxidants and nourishing compoments (e.g. polyfenoles, flavonoidi, carrotins etc.).
A correct and balanced nutrition necessarily contains olive oil on a daily basis. The essence and taste, which gives to all foods, is unique. However, let’s not forget that like all oils, olive oil as well, is a fat and must be used in moderation. The oils contain fatty acids, which can be separated in three kinds: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. The animal fats contain mostly saturated fat acids, the seed oils polyunsaturated, while the olive oil contains mostly monounsaturated fat acids up to 83%. The oleic acid, the main component of olive oil, comprises such a monounsaturated fat acid.
As the main source of monounsaturated fat acids, the olive oil helps:
- The lower of «bad» cholesterol (LDL) in blood.
- The maintenance in the blood of «good» cholesterol (HDL).
- The good function of the intestine.
- The prevention of cardiovascular diseases and the protection of the organism from the coronary disease due to the strong antioxidants it contains.
- The cure of gastric and duodenum ulcer, as it eases the digestion.
- The decline of the gastric juices.
- The best immersion of calcium by the organism.
- The correct metabolism of diabetics and consequently the balance of the diabetes rates.
- The prevention from cancer.
- While last but not least … it revitalizes the skin.
The information given above have been translated from the Greek site inCardiology.Gr as well as from Olive oil and I wanted to justify the use of mayonnaise, which is considered by many people as not healthy. I have also drawn and translated the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid where you can see the structure of this diet.
The fish mayonnaise is made by boiling vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, celery, onion and beetroot and fish. The fish is cleaned from skin and bones and is mixed with some of the vegetables and an olive oil mayonnaise.
During winter I make a soup out of the broth. After removing the fish, I strain the broth to make sure that no bones have remained amd add some extra vegetables.
Both recipes are included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!