Hi everyone. I am back from Cyprus, after visiting my family for a few days. Although the weather was not very good, mostly cloudy and cold, I had a great time. The days passed so quickly and all the days were full, visiting most of my relatives and of course, eating and eating (and again eating) all the time.
On Sunday it was the name day of Aghios Antonios (Saint Anthony), so we went to the church of Aghios Antonios, in Limassol. Aghios Antonios was our parish before the new church of Aghios Ioannis was built and was the church in which I was baptized. The church is in the ex Turkish section of the city and you can see the mosque just behind the church bell tower. As I have already written when it is the name day of a saint there is always a panigyri, which is a small fair around the churchyard with stalls selling local products.
We went to the panigyri on Sunday morning and I would like to introduce you to some of these local products.
Some of my favourite Cypriot panigyri sweets: loukoumades, shiamishi, pompes, pischies and koupes. You will find the recipes of all these in the links given except for pompes. Pompes, are similar to loukoumades and have probably taken their name, which means bombs after their shape.
Other traditional products you can buy at the panigyri:
Preserved pork, Lountza, Chiromeri, Cypriot Loukanika,Tsamarella andApohti, Poshirti
The products you can see in the collage from top left are:
1) Arkatena are bread products made from a chickpeas extract, used as yeast. The bread is flavoured with mahlep, cinnamon, nutmeg and rose water with a hint of sugar. Very flavourful and tasty, the crunchy rusks are light and crispy and melt in your mouth 2) Coriander seeds 3) Dried legumes, such as fasolia (beans) of all kinds, koukia (fava beans), revithia (chickpeas) and louvana, ) Trahanas 5) Shoushoukos 6) Pastelli made from carob syrup 7) Pastelli with honey and nuts 8) Sisamopites (sesame sweet pies) 9) Raisins, sultanas, black currants etc. 10) Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, pistachios, etc. 11) Dried fruit, such as figs, apricots, prunes etc. 12) louvana, yellow split peas.
Although I returned yesterday morning I did not find the time to blog and visit you as I have so many things which need to be done, and piles or ironing are awaiting for me after washing all day yesterday.
These recipes are included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!
Soupa Louvana (Cyprus Vetch)
A few days ago I cooked Louvana soup, which is a
yellow split pea soup but made my way. The traditional way to make louvana is to boil the split peas until they are soft and thicken the soup with rice and then to caramelize onions and add them to the soup together with lemon juice.
Update 26/6/2011: Until recently, I used to think that louvana, was the same as yellow split peas (pisum sativum) or Greek fava (lathyrus clymenum). However, I was informed by Prof. Tania Valamoti, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, that Louvana is not yellow split pea but Lathyrus Ochrus, also known as Cyprus Vetch. After google searching, I found some pictures of the plant and that reminded me that when the plant is still young, we used to make a salad with the tender leaves.
Louvanosalata is a
yellow split pea dip. In Greece there is a dip made with yellow split peas called fava dip but the one I made had nothing to do with the Greek fava dip as it was a total new recipe of mine, which I have included in my cookbook.
Last night I made a toasted sandwich using Arcateno Bread, filled with halloumi, lountza and tomato.
Fussili ala Cipriota
Today I did not want to spend the time in the kitchen as I also had to visit the dentist, so I prepared a pasta dish and used some of the pesto which I made during the summer and of course used some lountza and halloumi I brought from Cyprus.
Moungra is pickled cauliflower made by a unique method of fermentation.
All the recipes are included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!