My name is Ivy Liacopoulou and I am from Cyprus. I have published my first cookbook with my family recipes, which is called “Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste”. Mint & Cinnamon are predominant flavours in almost all Cypriot savoury dishes and Cinnamon & Blossom water in most of our desserts. For those of you who do not know Greek, “kopiaste” is a polite way of inviting somebody to come in and literally means “make an effort to” but it is also synonymous to “welcome”.
We say “kopiaste” when we want to invite someone in our house, to share our food with or when we open our house to friends and invite them to come in and make themselves at home and offer them a cup of Greek Coffee and a sweet, as an act of hospitality.
So in my way I am inviting you to step inside my “virtual kitchen” through my cookbook, to taste my recipes as I will share with you all my recipes and all my “little” secrets.
If you are like me, uninspired by cookbooks that devoid of originality and authenticity, often poor victims of meddling editing and mega publishers pressuring tactics, and hungry for a true cookbook with authentic Cypriot recipes, then this book is for you. You may be a novice or an experienced cook, but “Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!” with its clutter free instructions and clean, pleasant images will definitely assist and delight you.
The recipes are written both in the U.S. and the metric system and substitutes are given for local ingredients. Cypriots are Orthodox and almost half of the year is fasting period, so a lot of the recipes are nistisima (vegan).
Mediterranean food is delicious, easy, inexpensive and, of course, healthy. In the cookbook you will find a lot of recipes, which reflect on the simplicity of the Mediterranean style of eating, ranging from the classic makaronia tou fourniou (pastitsio) and moussakas, sheftalia, ravioles, koupepia, bourekia, flaounes, kolokotes, daktyla, loukoumia (delights), mahalepi, to more complicated recipes such as bombari, zalatina, pastitsia (almond cookies), shiamishi, loukoumia tou gamou and more.
I have included a small sample of my own recipes as well, always based on the traditional principles of the Mediterranean diet, such as louvanosalata, a dip with yellow split peas, galeos marinatos (marinated tope fish), moussakas and pastitsio nistimo (vegan), sykotakia me lahanika (chicken giblets with vegetables), caramelized spiced dry fruit in Commandaria wine.
The cookbook is not only addressed to the lovers of Greek food in general but is also a handbook to all the Greeks of “diaspora” who will not only get back to the simple hearty fare of their childhood by recreating the recipes of their ancestors but will also come closer to their culture and heritage.
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