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Panigyri in Cyprus and some Cypriot products

Hi everyone.  I am back from Cyprus, after visiting my family for a few days.  Although the weather was not very good, mostly cloudy and cold, I had a great time.  The days passed so quickly and all the days were full, visiting most of my relatives and of course, eating and eating (and again eating) all the time.

On Sunday it was the name day of Aghios Antonios (Saint Anthony), so we went to the church of Aghios Antonios, in Limassol.    Aghios Antonios was our parish before the new church of Aghios Ioannis was built and was the church in which I was baptized.  The church is in the ex Turkish section of the city and you can see the mosque just behind the church bell tower.   As I have already written when it is the name day of a saint there is always a panigyri, which is a small fair around the churchyard with stalls selling local products.

We went to the panigyri on Sunday morning and I would like to introduce you to some of these local products.

Some of my favourite Cypriot panigyri sweets:  loukoumades, shiamishi, pompes, pischies and koupes.  You will find the recipes of all these in the links given except for pompes.  Pompes,  are similar to loukoumades and have probably taken their name, which means bombs after their shape.

Other traditional products you can buy at the panigyri:

Preserved pork, Lountza, Chiromeri, Cypriot Loukanika,Tsamarella andApohti, Poshirti

The products you can see in the collage from top left are:

1) Arkatena are bread products made from a chickpeas extract, used as yeast.  The bread is flavoured with mahlep, cinnamon, nutmeg and rose water with a hint of sugar.  Very flavourful and tasty, the crunchy rusks are light and crispy and melt in your mouth 2) Coriander seeds 3) Dried legumes, such as fasolia (beans) of all kinds, koukia (fava beans), revithia (chickpeas) and louvana, ) Trahanas 5)  Shoushoukos 6)  Pastelli made from carob syrup  7)  Pastelli with honey and nuts 8)  Sisamopites (sesame sweet pies)  9)  Raisins, sultanas, black currants etc.  10)  Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, pistachios, etc.   11)  Dried fruit, such as figs, apricots, prunes etc. 12) louvana, yellow split peas.

Although I returned yesterday morning I did not find the time to blog and visit you as I have so many things which need to be done, and piles or ironing are awaiting for me after washing all day yesterday.

These recipes are included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!

Soupa Louvana (Cyprus Vetch)

A few days ago I cooked Louvana soup, which is a yellow split pea soup but made my way.  The traditional way to make louvana is to boil the split peas until they are soft and thicken the soup with rice and then to caramelize onions and add them to the soup together with lemon juice.

Update 26/6/2011: Until recently, I used to think that louvana, was the same as yellow split peas (pisum sativum) or Greek fava (lathyrus clymenum).   However, I was informed by Prof. Tania Valamoti, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, that Louvana is not yellow split pea but Lathyrus Ochrus, also known as Cyprus Vetch.  After google searching, I found some pictures of the plant and that reminded me that when the plant is still young, we used to make a salad with the tender leaves.



Louvanosalata is a yellow split pea dip.   In Greece there is a dip made with yellow split peas called fava dip but the one I made had nothing to do with the Greek fava dip as it was a total new recipe of mine, which I have included in my cookbook.

Last night I made a toasted sandwich using Arcateno Bread, filled with halloumi, lountza and tomato.

Fussili ala Cipriota

Today I did not want to spend the time in the kitchen as I also had to visit the dentist, so I prepared a pasta dish and used some of the pesto which I made during the summer and of course used some lountza and halloumi I brought from Cyprus.


Moungra is pickled cauliflower made by a unique method of fermentation.

All the recipes are included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

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33 Responses

  1. Happy to hear you had a wonderful time withyour family.
    What i would love to have is the sweets from there.

  2. Angie from Angie's Recipes

    Ivy, nice to see you back and bring us so many pictures of different snacks.
    I love the toasted sandwich! So tempting!

  3. Nice to see you back and happy to know that you had good time out there…..pasta looks yum….

  4. Welcome again
    I like when you make us travel, with all your photos
    You seem to have spend a good time in Cyprus
    Good evening and good luck for the dentist !!!

  5. Nice to have you back Ivy. I'd love a plate of that soup and that pasta dish must be wonderful.

  6. Mmmhhh, so tasty! A lovely dish!



  7. I'm glad you had a good time Cyrus! Your pasta as well as that sandwich look delicious!
    Have fun at the dentist!

  8. Ivy, thanks for sharing such interesting pictures…I very much enjoyed. The pasta looks delicious, simple and very tasty 🙂

  9. Looks like you had a great time Ivy. Your fussilli looks superb – delicious!

  10. Good to see you back and safe from your travels…love all the Cypriot produce. I like all your recipes especially that soup and sandwich…yum!

  11. your posts are so detailed , and the food and the recipes so varied and flavorful that it makes me want to buy a ticket and go to Greece!! I wish I will be able to do it sometimes and enjoy the abundance.

  12. Oh Ivy ! Every thing is wonderful ! I would have loved to taste everything at the fair ! And obviously at your home as always !! In northern Italy they make a very long salsiccia called luganiga ! (they say the name dates back to a region in Italy called Lucania). Baci

  13. Nadjibella

    Merci Ivy pour ce voyage que tu nous fais faire.
    Une autre manière de faire les fusillis que je note, même si je n'ai de lountza.
    A bientôt.

  14. Sorry ! Now it is the right link ! (it's food colouring ) Grazie ciao !

  15. Ivy
    I was thrilled to see this post of yours; we were just talking yesterday with my kids of visiting Cyprus and both my son and daughter were excited at the thought. This is giving me an advance taste of all the wonderful offerings in the country! It is so nice to be able to purchase great products at the market and make easy and tasty meals at home.

    • Joumana, that would be great if you visited Cyprus. I wish I would be there as well to meet you and your children. I have thought many times of visiting Beirut and maybe in a future visit I can combine visiting both countries.

  16. What a wonderful place to go! That pasta looks fresh and delicious! Glad you had a good time 🙂

  17. Beautiful photos of the panigyri in Cyprus: I would like to go there and taste all these good things! Nice recipe with fusilli! φιλάκια!

  18. Welcome back! I am sure you had a wonderful time. The variety of products looks great and I only wish I had access to them!

  19. I enjoyed learning about Cyprus and all the delicious products! The pasta dish sounds fantastic! I'm so happy to hear you had such a great getaway!

  20. Liz

    I'm glad you had such a lovely time eating and eating and doing more eating! I wish i was off for a few days somewhere! Although I wouldn't describe myself as a cheese lover I really like the look of that halloumi sandwich.

  21. merci pour les belles photos et pour les bonnes recettes
    bonne journée

  22. Jelena

    Welcome back Ivy 🙂 Glad you had such a great time and thanks for the photos and the explanations 🙂

  23. Welcome back Ivy, and I see you brought lots of goodies from Cyprus. Greece & Cyprus must do a better job of promoting our wonderful charcuterie.

    I'm really curious to try out all these meats.

  24. Welcome back Ivy. It looks like you had a terrific time!
    Your explanations of the food products of Cyprus is amazing and your dish looks very appetizing.
    How I miss ta panigyria! It's the perfect place to buy some great food products!

  25. Nice post! Thanks for all the pics! The pasta looks delish

  26. Sounds like it was a wonderful trip. The dessert photos are gorgeous!! Your pasta dish looks terrific!

  27. I have never been to Cyprus. The food looks woth a trip though 🙂

  28. Everything you made looks so delicious Ivy! Especially the pasta with mint pesto. Love the pictures of the market foods. I wish I could try some of them!

  29. Trop bon une bonne recette de pâtes !! En France aussi on adore !

  30. Welcome back Ivy and what a visual treat this post is!

  31. Delicious looking food as always, Ivy. I've never had louvana and from your description it sounds like something I would love. I will have to try making it – anything with caramelized onions and lemon must be delicious.

  32. Welcome back! We missed you Ivy! Glad to hear you enjoyed your time with your sister and Cyprus! This dish looks very nice … love your mint pesto! Enjoyed all the pix and stories!

  33. […] Read the original post: Fussili ala Cipriota […]

  34. […] Louvanosalata  –   Moungra –    Talatouri –   Elies Tsakistes […]

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