I have spent the last 3 weeks in Cyprus, spending time with my 90 year old grandfather, and eating, sleeping and swimming in a flat sea. Although I didn’t cook much while I was there, I did document some of the amazing food. Many of the ingredients are really simple, possibly even boring to some, but the quality of the produce was sublime. Even the cheapest olive oil had me contemplating nips.
The night after I arrived was my father’s cousin’s birthday. This was our first big meal. Food at Stella and her sister’s adjoining house has always been phenomenal. But it is not just the food. It is the process of eating, drinking, laughing and eating some more. Being a mid summers eve, we ate around a long table outside. My chair was just under some flowering jasmine. It is in the writing of these moments where I am reminded how words and images will never suffice when dealing with the experience of food.
The meal started with the best olives I think I have ever eaten in my life. Also on the table were bowls of roasted nuts. I am not sure I will be able to eat nuts here ever again with lamenting the freshness of these guys. The next round involved mini pita with braai grilled haloumi and tomato. As I was about to tuck into my third pita, the rest of the food started appearing on the table.
Eventually on my plate I had a rocket and feta salad; the third pita; haloumi ravioli with grated anari and mint; grilled mushroom; chips; and a bunch of dippy things. Round two involved karpouzi (watermelon) and cheeses. Dessert was ice cream and birthday cake.