CYPRUS – A culinary journey


Cyprus! The island of Aphrodite and of the legendary Commandaria wine – an island of fertile coastal regions and lush mountain scenery. But a yet without its own cookbook in German. So we all set off together on a journey: Rita Henss, a writer specialised in travel journalism and culinary themes; Markus Bassler, a food photographer who is often in exotic countries; Anja Jahn, an impassioned portrait and reportage photographer; Oliver Hick-Schulz, an editorial designer, who loves to spend his leisure time at markets and in the kitchen, Marianne Salentin-Träger, a creative media specialist who loves traveling and good food; Franz Keller, a star chef with roots in Baden and who is fanatical about quality; and Astrid Zieglmeier, a sommelier, who even as a young girl was touched by a love of wine in her native Saar.

No sooner had we arrived in Nicosia than we got to know Marilena Joannides, a passionate explorer who has devoted herself to the native, simple and forgotten tastes of her homeland for years.

Together with this modern-day Aphrodite, as we came to call her, we set about realising our book project. We explored the culinary and cultural treasures of the island, and were welcomed into the houses, kitchens, and workshops of its inhabitants. We saw carob fruit transformed into golden caramel, the famous halloumi cheese being produced, and how crispy trahanas and much-loved soujoukos are made. And of course, we tried Cypriot wine too, and made some pleasant discoveries. Cypriot nature held some surprises too: in some places, it was reminiscent of the Kaiserstuhl, a mountain range in the Upper Rhine Valley, in others, the rock strata looked like millefeuille pastry. And on the loess soil near Anogyra, many members of the team saw champagne vines growing. There was inspiration around every corner!

Many of our recipe ideas for this book were rehearsed on the island: in a well-equipped private kitchen, in a cloister, and at the oven of a taverna in Omodos. There, we celebrated a wonderful feast with all our helpers and guests. On that note, we wish you much pleasure in reading, cooking and enjoying!

The pleasures of Cyprus

Authentic hospitality and unique products characterize the island of Aphrodite. Scented wild herbs, aromatic mountain honey, fresh fish and sun-ripened vegetables tantalise the palate and the nose: carob caramel, preserved fruit, delicious goat’s cheese, and spicy meat specialities manifest culinary delights from the Troodos mountains to the Mediterranean coast.

In this first-ever Cypriot cookbook, originally in German and translated here into English, we give traditional recipes modern variations, introduce you to the island’s fascinating wine culture and take you on a journey to local enthusiasts and experts on culinary delights.

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