Lokum is one of the most popular Cypriot sweets. It is produced in large quantities and with an incredible variety of flavors: tangerine, coconut, pineapple, peach, mint, etc. For those who want to try several flavors at once, many manufacturers offer assorted different types of lokum in one package, for example, pomegranate-figs, bergamot-mastic-rose.
You can buy lokum in absolutely all grocery and souvenir shops and markets. You can often buy with the “3 for 2” or “5 + 1 free” promotions. If you want to buy the “most Cypriot” lokum, you should visit the “Aphrodite Delights” factory in Geroskipou, near Paphos (34.753118, 32.460519).
Cyprus produces delicious tahini halva. It is more delicate in structure and taste than sunflower. In stores, you can buy halva without additives or with different additives: pistachios, cocoa and various nuts. Our favorite is pistachio halva – we think it has the best taste, even though it costs 1-2 euro more than standard options. Still, it rarely exceeds 5-7 euros in a local shop for a 400g brick.
Baklava consists of puff pastry stuffed with crushed nuts with sweet syrup and honey. Very high in calories, very sweet, but very tasty. My favorite is Baklava from AlphaMega and Sigma Bakery. It is better to buy baklava in bakeries or in large supermarkets with their own bakeries, because it’s not always tasty in kiosks and souvenir shops.
Carob syrup and sweets
Cypriots have great respect for the Carob tree. Products obtained from the fruit of the tree are used in cooking at different stages of food preparation. Most commonly, carob beans are used to make syrup (used as maple or agave syrup), paste, powder, and pastelli. Since pastelli something similar to the caramel, it is mixed with sesame seeds and nuts and make gozinaki.
Most often, the following types of honey are sold in shops in Cyprus:
- Thyme honey. It has a tart, but pleasant taste and aroma typical of thyme – our favorite type. It is great to drink with tea.
- Forbs or polyfloral is the most common type of honey. Unfortunately, it is impossible to accurately describe its taste and aroma, because they depend on the variety of honey plants from which the nectar was collected, on the place of collection and the time of year.
- Citrus or orange. It has a light citrus aroma and sour or bitter taste. It is better to buy pure citrus honey immediately after harvest, as it is difficult to store for a long time.
- Lavender honey. Has a pleasant herbal aroma and delicate memorable taste.
As a gift, you can also choose a set of several types of honey, for example, thyme-citrus-floral or honeycomb in a beautiful jar with honey.
In the second part, we’ll talk about Cypriot cheese, olives and wine.0