TURKISH CYPRIOT CUISINE
North Cyprus cuisine has its roots not only in Turkey but also in Greece, the Lebanon, Syria, France, Italy in Armenia. Due to its strategic position in the midst of the Mediterranean on trade routes between Europe, Asia and North Africa many civilisations have conquered this island and all have left their traces in the foods which are still eaten today.
The basis for a traditional meal in North Cyprus are the small hot and cold dishes known as meze followed by freshly-caught fish or succulent kebabs. Specialities to look out for include seftali kebab, a type of local sausage, made from lamb; hellim, halloumi cheese, traditionally made from sheep's or goats' milk and usually served grilled; and pilavuna, a savoury bread made from cheese, egg, milk and raisins.
Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy syrupy lokma, small doughnut-style balls drenched in honey and dusted with cinnamon. Look out too for lokum, or Turkish delight, available in an array of mouth-watering flavours.
Food in North Cyprus is typically followed by thick Turkish coffee served with a traditional Cypriot speciality 'macun' sweet preserves which could be made from sour orange, walnut, quince or even aubergine.
The local tipple is brandy sour. The cocktail is said to have been invented in 1947 for the visit of King Farouk of Egypt who didn't want to be seen drinking alcohol in public. The rim of the glass is dipped in lemon juice or pomegranate syrup and then in sugar. Brandy is mixed with lemonade and soda and served with a slice of lemon.