Cyprus. The land of Aphrodite, stunning seashores, heat, hospitable individuals. As proud as Cypriots are of their island, they’re captivated with their meals. Many a debate happens every Easter about who has made the very best flaounes, mouths water on the mere point out of delectable koupepia, and let’s not neglect the world well-known, salty goodness that’s halloumi cheese.
Meals recollections and traditions comprise a major a part of a tradition’s identification. The best way meals was sourced and ready, the aromas that crammed the kitchen as meals have been being cooked, the sense of neighborhood that introduced teams of individuals collectively to maintain conventional recipes alive and go them on to the longer term generations.
In Cyprus, there’s a devoted workforce preserving the recipes, methods, and traditions of Cypriot meals by way of the Cyprus Meals and Diet Museum, which opened in 2012. Across the similar time, a digital model, the Cyprus Digital Meals Museum, was additionally launched. These are non-government, non-profit organisations which can be devoted to the analysis, recording, research, and promotion of the island’s gastronomic tradition. The museum is taken into account the primary of its variety in Europe.
The digital museum comprises an astounding 500 recipes and is split into six classes; meals, recipes, meals, manufacturing & distribution, manufacturing strategies, and utensils & instruments.
“It was created for most of the people as a bestowment for the longer term,” says Dr Chrystalleni Lazarou, President of the Cyprus Meals and Diet Museum. “It offers the brand new technology with the recollections and the wealth of the previous generations and creates a bridge connecting younger individuals with Cyprus’ wealthy previous.”
“Though Cyprus is a small island, there are a number of native variations to dishes,” says Dr Lazarou. “For instance, kouppes are normally made with vine leaves, however in sure areas they use cyprium leaves, mallow leaves or Swiss chard leaves. Within the village of Agros, they add rose petals within the stuffing. Sadly, most of those variations have been forgotten as individuals who knew these secrets and techniques have handed away.”
As Cyprus is positioned on the borderline between Asia and Europe, it stands as one of many centres of agriculture within the japanese Mediterranean since prehistoric occasions. Small-scale farming together with some foraging actions have historically been the technique of assist for the inhabitants of rural Cyprus. Consequently the food plan which predominated in Cyprus till the Sixties was characterised by a excessive consumption of grains, greens, and different vegetable sources.
The Ministry of Agriculture compiled a listing of the 28 most consultant conventional meals from Cyprus. In addition to flaounes and halloumi, the listing contains trahana, soutzioukko, loukaniko, Cyprus additional virgin olive oil, and Paphos cheese.
Though the museum has obtained nationwide and worldwide recognition from organizations resembling UNESCO, and its assortment can be obtainable on Europeana, the most important digital encyclopedia, it’s surviving below troublesome situations, and its ongoing administration is made attainable principally by volunteers. There may be nonetheless quite a lot of work that must be accomplished, together with translating all the fabric into English in order that non-Greek audio system can use the web site and re-designing the web site to offer it a up to date and extra user-friendly aesthetic.
“We all know that a lot of Cypriot dishes and meals have now been forgotten basically, solely the older technology nonetheless remembers them. In these trendy occasions, we now have an pressing have to file reside testimonials and the preparation of Cypriot dishes from the few individuals remaining who lived at a time when custom thrived,” says Dr Lazarou. “This requires sources resembling using filming and pictures tools, which comes with a price.”
Folks taken with serving to the existence and enchancment of the Cyprus Meals and Diet Museum can accomplish that by selling the web site to their household and associates on social media, donate by way of a GoGetFunding platform, buy the museum’s movies and publications, volunteer web site redesign, translation and pictures companies and e mail conventional recipes with images to the museum.
“Anybody who can present assist, both monetary or non-financial might be offering a nationwide service,” says Dr Lazarou. “They may play a direct half in preserving the historical past, custom and tradition of Cyprus.”