Talk:Cypriot cuisine

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WikiProject Cyprus (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Cyprus, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Cyprus on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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Attempts to improve article[edit]

I have started to re-paragraph the article in accordance with Wikiproject food here: [1] Any help appreciated! StephP 13:07, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

I will happily help you in this, i have tried to clear up the souvla article, which was just plain misleading apart from your excellent original, short but accurate. Be aware though that i am passionate about cypriot food, and am not prepared for example to pretend that cyptiots enjoy what greeks enjoy on the table- i.e. i do not see how articles about horiatiki salata can possibly link back to cypriot cuisine- we don't eat feta cheese in that way, as you well know.

I intend to write about bourekia, pittes, shamishi, pourgouri, psito, yiahni, tashinopittes and the like. I would not like to see an article about cypriot cuisine pretend that we eat what the lebanese, syrians, mainland greeks or mainland turks eat. That would be doing our grandmothers, be they greek or turkish cypriots a big disservice! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hotspury (talkcontribs) 12:19, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Expensive fish[edit]

I can see why someone has removed my paragraph on how expensive and unreliable fish is in restaurants in cyprus, particularly those aimed at tourists, but as a cypriot myself i do think its important to acknowledge that by giving foreign visitors the impression that we can't cook fresh fish without any explanation is just bare faced deceit. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hotspury (talkcontribs) 12:02, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

It would be very useful if,[edit]

someone of turkish cypriot origin could provide some names for the dishes described, being a greek cypriot I am lamentably ignorant for example, Kleftiko i know is firin kebab, but that is about all i know. many thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hotspury (talkcontribs) 17:20, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

i can see why[edit]

this page links to greek cuisine, but why greek macedonian cuisine, its absurd, so i have removed the link —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hotspury (talkcontribs) 23:08, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Yiahni[edit]

"04:59, 2 December 2008 Zlerman Seafood: yiahni is tomato sauce, not onion sauce"

Although yiahni is often made with tomato, and may even be a tomato style sauce, yiahni is, by definition, a sauce that is made with a base of sauteed ONIONS. "ahnizw" means to saute. In terms of Greek Cuisine (Cypriot Cuisine)this refers to sauteed ONIONS. There are MANY tomato sauces in these cuisines that feature tomatoes as a base or as an ingredient that do NOT use onions. I know of none that are refered to as "Yiahni".

Scott Anafas (talk) 03:02, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Thank you for your important comment. Please look at the previous version of Cypriot cuisine. Yiahni is mentioned twice: under "Food preparation" it appears as tomato sauce, under "Seafood" it appears as onion sauce. I changed to tomato because this is what I saw in all references to yiahni on Google. I would very much appreciate it if you, with your personal knowledge, could help straighten this out in Cypriot cuisine. The situation with the cuttlefish sauce is particularly unclear, and nothing can be verified as no sources are given. Any help with yiahni (and with the rest of the article!) will be much appreciated. --Zlerman (talk) 03:19, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
    • I can clear this up a little. yiahni is a word that appears in forms all the way to india, in cyprus, there will always be some tomato in the dish, tho the ammount is quite variable, depending on season and what the pricipal ingredient is. this is the case to the extent that someone explaining you how to prepare the dish, may ommit to tell you that you should add a small grated tomato. a more helpful explanation of a yiahni dish is that it has been stewed in oil, with other ingredients as has been mentioned. As for the previous comment regarding tomato sauces that contain no onions, well in cyprus, that really isn't the case. I'm only using my own knowledge here, but yes in Greece and indeed parts of italy, you may find this, but not in cyprus. Onions are a staple food, they are put in everything, often in pulped form (not unlike many cooking cultures all the way to the indian subcontinent), so you may not know they are there. Interestingly they are eaten raw at almost any meal where the principal cooking method is rather plain, and this brings me onto the most useful distinction that a cypriot makes between a "yiahni" dish and a more simply prepared one, the more simple meal will be served with raw onions, garlic, and for those who want it, dried red chilli pepper, oh and lemon and olive oil. These are lenten dishes for the greek cypriots, though turkish cypriots eat them too. Yiahni is more elaborate and seasonal as it requires tomatoes-back to that hoary old chestnut! well i thought this may clear things up a little, but now looking back, i'm really not sure!!!Hotspury (talk) 12:27, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it is not really clear to me. Let us start with a simple basic question. Is "yiahni" a sauce for a dish or a dish in itself? If it is a sauce, then what dishes normally come with this sauce and what are the ingredients for the sauce? If it is a dish in itself, can you try to describe a typical yiahni dish? Thanks. --Zlerman (talk) 16:28, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

It would be very difficult for me to define "yahni" exactly, because every village, every HOUSEHOLD has a recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation and subtle to wide variations and differences abound. In Cyprus this becomes more difficult because if I were to allude to yahni being Greek my Turkish neighbors would find fault in that. Therefore, I refer to the above comment about Greek cuisine. In Greece, in general, the term 'yiahni" is seldom heard. It seems to be reserved for the elders that may remember it being uttered from the elders of their youth. It is a term that is antiquated. The modern Greek versions of "yiahni" more closely resemble a dish known as "plaki". Since Cyprus has had a certain "seperation" from Greece on and off for a short while, the term is still heard and held closer to the heart of the natives of Cyprus than perhaps of neighboring regions. Further clouding the the yiahni definition, in Turkish cuisine plaki refers to large beans stewed in oil, perhaps seasoned with onions and tomatoes, etc. whereas in Greece here in modern times it is more often used to describe a dish of fish baked in the oven, and preparations vary widely (with some preperations accenting the oddly placed potato in the dish far more than anything else). The classic "yiahni" as I would know it if presented at a table before me would be a dish of any protein, vegetable or legume stewed in a sauce of sautéed onions, regardless of tomato. Tomatoes came form America. Yiahni dates back LONG before tomatoes made their way to Europe etc...

We are often crippled by our modern habits to follow French restaurant style cookery and cooking techniques. These have NO PLACE in Greek or Cypriot cookery. Perhaps a link to a video somewhere on the internet can show how typical country style Greek and Cypriot cuisine casseroles (one pot dishes) are prepared. More often than not, depending upon the region, the dish, who is cooking and what they are cooking, sautéing anything non protein before placing all ingredients into a pot is atypical. Therefore to name a dish "yiahni" describes the cooking technique to the person eating the dish of food before them. They would know that this dish is prepared by first sautéing onions and then proceeding with the rest of the preparation. Things that perhaps foreign translators (read: invaders) interpret incorrectly as it may not appear in the food preparations of their villages in other (non Mediterranean) countries from where they came. Scott Anafas (talk) 21:12, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Thank you! I will digest this important information and try to reflect it in the article. --Zlerman (talk) 03:23, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Even tho i agree with almost everything Scott Anafas says, it misses the point here. Whether the recipes vary from village to village and household to household is niether here nor there. A yiahni dish will have an oily sauce, always with onions and almost always with tomatoes- it may be a very small quantity of them, but a few grated into the sauce as it cooks will be present. Traditions change over time and the tomato took off. As did the potato. In regard to the second paragraph- yes, South Eastern european dishes are extremely dissapointing usually in restaurants which adhere strictly to the French mis en place preparation. But that may well be due to sloppy preparation- you end up with a "catering industry" version of each dish. Put that in an island where the catering industry is geared up towards tourists, and where restaurant reviews for locals are extremely biased in favour of the establishments ( i refer you to the revies of cyprus time out and the cyprus mail) and you have a disastrous eating scene.

However, I do feel that with some ingenuity, a fine dining experience could be achieved with cypriot dishes and flavours coupled with cooking techniques that would allow quick dish assembly along with attractive single plate presentation. There was one restaurant in london that tried to do this, with some success(certainly in the food department) but unfortunately that is no more. In cyprus itself there are all kinds of places that are producing some decent stuff(regardless of my rant against the catering industry). There will be a breakthrough at some point, that is not to say there will be a merging of the cooking techniques, more that there will be places where you can eat high quality cypriot food, served in three separate courses, intelligently divised, and accompanied by well chosen wine —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hotspury (talkcontribs) 12:03, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Authenticity[edit]

I'm quite suprised that there is now a whole paragraph devoted to the mezedhes that one would find in the worst kind of tourist restaurant on the island. Cypriots either have fish mezedhes, which have some of those dishes, or meat mezhedhes which will have others. Only tourist traps combine the two. You must appreciate that an island such as cyprus, where the tourist industry is massive, the way our food is presented to foreigners is at complete variance with what we eat ourselves. Yes you could eat the meze described, but you would not be a cypriot doing so. It is akin to saying that the traditional food of the carribean is the grand buffet lunches supplied bythew large hotels!Hotspury (talk) 15:28, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

  • It would be extremely helpful if you (or other knowledgeable editors) could provide some URL references that correctly describe (in English) the authentic situation with regard to mezedes (and other Cypriot dishes). These references would then be used to update the mezedes section. Alternatively, you could write up your own views either here or directly in the body of the article, and see how other editors respond to your version. The section should reflect both the authentic Cypriot view and the view through the eyes of the tourists. Thanks for your important comment. --Zlerman (talk) 01:43, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
    • There lies the problem, because of the internets commercial nature, i can find many many references to what is currently the case, tho i may refer you to the mezze page here, there is a paragraph on cyprus mezze! i have some beautifully written books on the subject, but there really is nothing on the internet that points to authenticity. this actually hilights one of the problems. the island has been extremely successful in marketing a strange version of its culture, and to an extent, what is written is not incorrect, millions (well hundreds of thousands) of tourists will eat one of those enormous mezze meals. What is actually delivered to a cypriots table will have those dishes, but only some, and then only in season. Hotspury (talk) 12:05, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
I would really like to try and reflect in our article the distinction you are making. When you wrote in your reply, "i may refer you to the mezze page here, there is a paragraph on cyprus mezze", were you planning to give me a link? If yes, please repeat it, because there is no link in the above paragraph. Alternatively, you could scan a relevant page from one of your books (if it is in English, of course) and e-mail it to me: I will try to process the information and incorporate it in the article. Can do? --Zlerman (talk) 16:34, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Am quite surprised to see that traditional dishes as afelia and koupepia are not even quoted. In general one has the impression this article was written by a Briton who knows much more the occupied North than Cyprus proper. BTW, I am an Italian cook, who knows Greek and Cypriot cuisine, knows very well Cyprus (both the Republic and the occupied North) and speaks Greek, so I can read the real recipes, not the Daily Mail ones... Methinks we should get a real Cypriot here to tidy up this article. UsulHiir (talk) 10:38, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

I wrote most of this article and am a greek cypriot, it is not my responsibilty to write about every dish- souvla is the main omission, but that is because there is an excellent page on souvla here already. I take great exception to your accusation of daily mail recipes, not least because i think that particular publication should burn! I have said from the start that I cant write all of this myself- but i believe i set down a good framework within which others can add to. Most importantly I want this article to stear well clear of the political machinations- those things do not affect what we as cypriots put into our mouths.Hotspury (talk) 19:42, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Improvement & Update[edit]

This is a very good new website for the cuisine of Cyprus: http://www.cyprusfoodndrinks.com/ —Preceding unsigned comment added by 193.170.48.195 (talk) 14:09, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Proposed merge[edit]

Merger with Turkish-Cypriot cuisine

Despite quite a few calls, there appears to be no evidence that the Turkish-Cypriot cuisine article will ever include information missing from this page. It would be much better if we could concentrate research on this topic onto one page, surely: especially as just about every dish is common to both TC and GC communities, albeit under different names. I therefore propose merging the two and repeating calls for Turkish Cypriot editors to contribute more to this page. Vizjim (talk) 07:54, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

  • No opposition in a month, so I've done it. No need for a merge as content was entirely repeated. Vizjim (talk) 11:10, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Proposed deletion of Kothropita[edit]

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