How is seafood prepared in Cypriot cuisine?

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Traditional Methods for Preparing Seafood in Cypriot Cuisine

Seafood has always been a staple of Cypriot cuisine, and the island’s close proximity to the Mediterranean Sea ensures that it is always fresh and readily available. The traditional methods of preparing seafood in Cypriot cuisine are relatively simple, with the focus being on bringing out the natural flavors and textures of the fish and shellfish. Grilling is one of the most popular ways of cooking seafood in Cyprus, with fresh fish like sea bream, sea bass, and red mullet being grilled whole and served with a drizzle of lemon juice and olive oil. Another popular method is boiling, with octopus and squid being boiled until tender and then served with a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lemon.

Popular Seafood Dishes in Cypriot Cuisine

One of the most popular seafood dishes in Cypriot cuisine is the classic fish meze, which is a selection of grilled and fried seafood dishes served as a series of small plates. The meze typically includes dishes like grilled octopus, calamari, prawns, and sardines, served alongside dips like taramasalata and tzatziki, as well as bread and olives. Other popular seafood dishes in Cyprus include black-eyed peas with mussels, which is a hearty stew made with mussels, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, onions, and garlic, and fish souvlaki, which is a skewer of grilled fish and vegetables served with pita bread and a side salad.

Seasonal Variations in Cypriot Seafood Cuisine

As with many cuisines that rely heavily on seasonal ingredients, Cypriot seafood cuisine varies throughout the year depending on what is available. During the summer months, when seafood is at its most abundant, grilled fish and seafood meze become even more popular, with locals and visitors alike flocking to the seaside tavernas to enjoy a feast of fresh seafood. In the winter months, heartier seafood stews and soups become more prevalent, with dishes like fish chowder and octopus stew being particularly popular. Whatever the season, however, seafood remains a key part of Cypriot cuisine, and will continue to be so for generations to come.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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