RELIGION, FOOD AND WINE ON THE ISLAND OF CYPRUS
Trip Start Oct 25, 2009
43Trip End Nov 02, 2009
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Christianity gained an early foothold in Cypurs, when the Apostles Paul and Barnabas introduced this religion in the first cntury AD.
To this day religion is fundamental to the life of almost every Greek Cypriot, most of whom belong to the Greek Orthodox Church.
Hospitality is a byword in Cyprus and – Kopiaste in Greek means, "Come and enjoy our hospitality"
The traditional Cypriot diet is a healthy one, based on vegetables, salad, fruit, olives and olive oil, cheeses and small quantities of meat. Much of the food eaten daily are olives, almonds, figs, beans, chickpeas, dates, herbs and honey.
WINE IN CYPRUS
Commandaria is the oldest name for a wine in the world. The name derives from the Grande Commanderie (feudal estate) of the Knights Hospitaller of St. John of Jerusalem, an ecclesiastical military order headquartered at Kolossi.
Commandaria is a dark sweet dessert wine made from grapes grown in an area on the southern foothills of the Troodos Mountains.
Cyprus has a very long history of wine production and the island has fifteen indigenous varieties of grape.
Legend tells us that the first mortal to learn the secret of making wine was Icarios, who learned the art from Dionysus, the god of wine himself
Many of the wineries welcome visitors for guided tours and tastings, and there is also The Cyprus Wine Museum at the village of Erimi.
Zivania is a traditional spirit that has been drunk in Cyprus for centuries. It is distilled from grapes with high acidity, which are crushed and the whole mass, called zivana, is fermented and then distilled.
Soutzoukos is a popular sweet of Cyprus.
The main ingredients used to make soutzoukos, are grape must, almonds or in some cases walnuts and flour.
Soutzoukos making has two parts:
Making must jelly, called palouzes or moustalevria; and dipping strings of almonds into it.
Must is placed in a large bronze cauldron (called chartzin or kazani) and heated slowly.