Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cypriot Delicatessen

Many fans of Culinary Saint have expressed their interest in Cypriot cuisine and foods, and that is why a trip to Agros, a traditional village in the mountainous Pitsilia area of Cyprus, was well worth the effort. Other villages in the area include Platanistasa, Kyperounda, Alona and Palehori.
Agros, with a population not exceeding 1000, is known for its smoked meat products, rose products (rose infused wine, rose water,rose candle, rose brandy and many more) and pottery. You can find more info and buy rose products online at We went to Agros for the meat!
There are quite a few smoked meat producers in Agros, all using the same method in producing these great tasting meat products. We decided to visit Traditional Meat Products of Agros Petros Stavrou Ltd. Petros Stavrou can be found at:

10 Petrou Eliades Str.
4860 Agros
Tel. +357 25 522020
+357 99 612146

We were lucky to find him at his store, because Agros is so small, Petros does not have many customers coming and going all the time. Most people when buying smoked meat products buy in bulk, the reason being that these smoked meat products last and keep very well for long periods of time. Petros, meeting us for the very first time, was kind enough to take us downstairs to the smoke room where he showed us the meat being smoked.

The photos above show Loukanika, Hiromeri, Loutza and Bacon in the smoke room. Any type of wood can be used to smoke the meat except the wood from Pine and Eucalyptus trees. The Loukanika (sausages) need only about 7-10 days in the smoke room, whereas the bacon, hiromeri and lountza need more. The reason is that the ingredients of the Loukanika are first soaked in red wine for a few days, where they sort of get "cooked" or to be more correct, get cured.
The ingredients for Loukanika are more or less the following: lamb, pork, marjoram, orange peel, garlic, bay leaves, coriander, salt and pepper. Each Loukanika producer's sausages taste different because each producer uses different quantities of the ingredients, and uses different wood to smoke the sausages.
From the photos below you can see smoked bacon and Loukanika up close. You can clearly see how much fat goes into the sausages. I love it! My motto has always been that if meat does not have some fat on it, it's not meat!

All four meat products are widely used in Cypriot meze dishes. Lountza and Hiromeri are eaten as is in the form of thin slices served with slices of cucumber and crushed green olives. The Bacon and the Loukanika are fried in olive oil or grilled, served with grilled Halloumi cheese. Bread and Zivania are also a must at the meze table!