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Cuisine of Northern Cyprus

The culture of a place is always reflected in its kitchen, and Northern Cyprus is no exception, Cypriot cooking, like its people is unique. A typical Turkish, or Turkish Cypriot restaurant meal consists of meze, kebabs(lamb or chicken) or fish, followed by fruit and coffee. Meze is a selection of hot and cold appetisers. Cypriot home cooking s different and is only found in a handful of restaurants in Northern Cyprus, so you will have to look out for them. Probably the most famous of Cypriot culinary specialities is hellim cheese. This full-fat soft cheese is made from whole goat's milk, salt and a touch of mint. It is typically served with salads, cucumber or melon. It also makes an excellent side dish, as well as fried or grilled topping. Another speciality is molehiya, a green leafy vegetable which grows only in Cyprus and on the banks of the Nile. It is usually cooked with chicken or meat and is delicious and wholesome. Another interesting vegetable, unknown outside Cyprus is Kolokas, a root vegetable which when cooked (again with lamb or chicken) has the texture of potato but a sweeter taste. Cypriots have two kind of unique kebabs and both of them can be found quite easily in restaurants. One is Kup kebab (lamb or goat) wrapped in foil with potatoes and herbs and cooked for hours in a clay oven. The other is sheftali kebabs, which are small spicy and sausage like. They are skewered and cooked over hot charcoal. Of course you will want a drink with your meal. Turkish wines are a great favourite with the meal, but there are locally produced drinks too. There are Turkish Cypriot beers, raki and brandy. One favourite amongst visitors, usually as an aperitif, is brandy sour, a cocktail made with brandy, lemon juice and angostura bitters. For those who prefer something non-alcoholic, there is some home-made lemonade called limonata.

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