Autumn is a very important season of the year on Cyprus. It is the time of the olive and other harvests. As in most other Mediterranean countries, the olive plays a significant role in the lives of the people here on the Island, as does the harvest season in general. And, while olives are but one small part of the world’s diet, they are an important one. Cypriots are deeply rooted to their agrarian traditions – to the fabled Earth of this magic Island. Let’s start a harvest journey about the Island, shall we?
Stuff About Olives
Outsiders may not know, but every part of the olive tree is important: the deadwood is used to stoke the winter stoves; the fruit is either preserved in brine or crushed for its precious oil. Even the leaves are dried, blessed and burnt as aromatic incense during church services. Olive trees grow all over Cyprus, except high up in the mountains, where they are unable to survive the harsher winters.
You also must know that the olive tree is the most resistant tree and an evergreen tree. And, let’s never forget that, over the years, the olive has been the symbol of peace, wisdom, glory, fertility, power and pureness. It’s all about reaping what has been sewn, what else?
More Cyprus Yummies
Villagers here usually own at least a small plot of land on which they grow their own vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and aubergines. When you come and visit the Island you can try some interesting ones, not found so much elsewhere – so called “mespila” fruits, (about the size of a plum) colored like apricots, and taro (or kolokassi) , a kind of sweet potato, are wonderful, just to name a couple. And there’s other agrarian delight to be had too…
Villagers here also raise chickens for eggs and meat, and many also keep a few goats, which provide them with enough milk to make their own yoghourt and cheeses. Cyprus is famous for Halloumi cheese, actually. But until the next village, we thought we would leave you yearning for some fantastic Cyprus food – the video below from My Cypriot Kitchen with local celeb Tonia Buxton, shows a bit of the harvest and enjoy process. Until tomorrow.
Photo credit, main image: Olive branch via our partners © pazdottir – Fotolia.com