Cyprus, Nicosia

Traditional winter holiday dishes in Cyprus

Updated: 3 months ago
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The main Christmas dish for Cypriots is suckling pig. According to the simplest recipe, it is customary to roast it on a spit on Christmas Eve surrounded by family. But the second version of the dish is more complex, where the suckling pig is prepared using a special technique. Several days before the holiday, the carcass is cut and marinated in wine with salt and coriander. Then the meat pieces are dried and smoked over a fire. The whole process takes several days, but it is one of the best pork dishes in Cyprus. By the way, it is believed that Christmas suckling pig in wine brings peace, money, and healthy offspring to the house.

The traditional New Year's dish for Cypriots is vasilopita. This is a pie for the local Santa Claus - Vasilisa, into which a coin was always added during baking. In the past, it was believed that Grandfather Vasilis would come to the house tired and hungry. Therefore, a piece of vasilopita and a glass of red wine were left for him under the Christmas tree to appease the mythical character and earn a prosperous year. In the morning, gifts were unwrapped and the pie was eaten, and whoever got the piece with the coin was considered lucky.

On January 6, the day of Epiphany in Cyprus, it is customary to prepare kserotiana or loukoumades - a delicious sweet pastry. In villages, it is still customary to throw the dish with buns onto the roof of their house. This is a tradition for appeasing evil spirits, a kind of ransom so that throughout the year they do not bother or bring troubles. But today on Epiphany, it is simply customary to enjoy kserotiana and loukoumades - traditional food for Epiphany.

Traditional Cypriot Christmas and New Year dishes are easy to prepare, so everyone can try to immerse themselves in the local culture and roast a suckling pig or bake vasilopita.

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