11 essential tastes of Cyprus (CNN)

Fruit&veg_Cyprus_map

Pizza joints, sushi bars, “British” pubs, curry houses and Thai restaurants rule in Cyprus’s sprawling resort areas, far outnumbering humble Cypriot places.

But you can find true indigenous dining in urban parts such as Paphos, Limassol, Larnaca or Nicosia if you follow groups of determined-looking Cypriots around lunch or dinnertime.

The search is easier if you head for the hills, to smaller villages with fewer visitors.

Either way, you’ll find menus that blend flavors inherited from Greece, Venice, Turkey and the Middle East.

Spices such as cumin, cinnamon and coriander enrich many dishes.

Cypriot cooks also use lots of wild and foraged ingredients, including greens such as kapari (wild capers), the tiny snails called karaoli and game including rabbit, hare and partridge.

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