As I write, I am thinking about all the delicious food I came across during my #MEtrip, or solo trip across the Middle East. I am now in Israel, the last country I am visiting before entering Egypt (my destination) and looking back at the trip there was not a single country on my way where food wasn’t great!
In Cyprus, the food has both Greek and Middle Eastern influences. But one thing I didn’t expect was a particular kind of sweet called Cyprus Delights – very similar to the more famous Turkish Delights!
On my guided tour of Paphos, I visited a small Cyprus Delights factory in the nearby town of Geroskipou. Do you want to know more about this sweet indulgences? Bear with me!
Cyprus Delights, aka Loukoumi, were invented in the 15th century during the Ottoman Empire. Back then, this simple but unique sweet made with sugar, cornstarch and aromas was a favorite of the Sultans.
The word “Loukoumi” literally means “relaxation of the throat”, and when you try it you will understand why!
In order to prepare the Cyprus Delights ingredients are mixed, cooked and left in big containers to set and finally cut into squares. The icing sugar is added to prevent them from sticking together.
The original tastes were rosewater and bergamot, but nowadays there are more than 30 different flavors available. Sometimes the modern Loukoumi come with chopped nuts, almonds and pistachios.
One last important note is that you may find many different brands of Cyprus Delights but the original one, distinguished with the PGI label (Protected Geographical Indication), are the “Loukoumi Geroskipou“.
Did you ever try the Cyprus Delights? Is this your kind of sweet?
Thanks to Visit Cyprus for organizing my trip and to Sunjet Magazine for more info about the Loukoumi!
I’ve never, ever heard of Cyprus Delights before – but it makes sense that they exist, given the island’s proximity to and shared history with Turkey. Gimme some of the ones with almonds!