Meze dinner

Trip Start Jan 20, 2010
Trip End May 15, 2010

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Flag of Cyprus  , Nicosia,
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

(February 26th) The day after we went to the old city for our tour, we went back for a traditional Meze dinner. Meze is small plates of many different types of foods. We went to a place called Xefoto with my roommates, one of the girls that lived across the hall, Johana (it was her 21st birthday) and her three roommates. When we sat down they brought out a pitcher of house red wine, pita bread and three different types of dips, tahini dip (sesame base), tzatziki or talattouri (yogurt-dip with cucumber), melintzanosalata (eggplant dip) and green olives with crushed dry coriander seeds. They than brought us a village salad with fresh cucumber, tomatoes, basil and feta. Next we had grilled halloumi cheese, which is a local hard goat cheese you can either eat plain or with pita bread. Than we had raviolis stuffed with halloumi cheese and moussaka (zucchini with minced meat and béchamel sause), and sheftalies (grilled minced meat rolled in caul- like a fatty sausage), and kaftedes (fried pork meatballs made with potato, onion, egg and parsley). At this point the whole table is covered with dish after dish after dish. They than served us afelia (pork cooked in red dry wine and dried crushed coriander seeds) and lamb kabobs. We also had stuffed grape leaves with tomato sauce on top (served hot), rice, another type of sausage, and mushrooms. For dessert they brought our pourekia, which is a pastry filled with fresh cottage "anari" mixed with cinnamon, deep fried and hunny drizzled on top.

During dinner we made friends with the owner of the restaurant and he gave us a real insight to how living in a divided country really was. You learn about it in class but to hear a real person's story of how he was wealth running a hotel to being kicked out of his home and losing contact with his family, wife and kids (9 months and 4 years) and being taken into the army for two years. After he was released from the army he randomly met up with his family again and opened a restaurant 35 years ago (his son now owns a restaurant attached to his (chilies)). Even though the Greek and Turkish Cypriots are divided, he wanted us to know that he thinks of the Turkish Cypriots as brothers and they are not the problem, the problem is the Turkish settlers who moved from Turkey after the Green line was established to make the Turkish Cypriot population seem larger (this is a common feeling Greek Cypriots have toward the Turkish Cypriots.)
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