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Traditional Treats

Many of the traditional treats are still produced in Kato Platres. Some of them are dried raisins, “epsima”, “palouzes”, “soutzoukos” and “kiofterka”. All these are grapes products.

Raisins are dried grapes. The inhabitants of the village dry them so as to keep them. Raisins are used in many traditional treats, for instance in Easter “flanounes”.

“Epsima” is concentrated grape juice that looks like honey. It is mostly made of black grapes. The grapes are blended and juice produced, is also known as “moustos” or “moustari”. “Moustos” is then boiled in a big pot, named “hartzi”. The foam produced by heat is removed with a big spoon. “Moustos” is boiled twice and white dirt is added to it so as to absorb all dirt. This is how “epsima” is produced, namely a black ropey liquid with sweet and sour taste.

“Palouzes” is another traditional treat whose main ingredient is “moustos”. The initial process is the same as for “epsima”. However, flour is added in the pot. The mixture is stirred until it is coagulated. Rosewater, cinnamon and mastic are also added. “Palouzes” is ready when, according to the women of the village, “it does not stick on the plate”. Its is usually served with ground almonds or walnuts. 

“Soutzoukos” is one of the traditional treats that take a lot of time to prepare. Initially, almonds are placed in water and then on long threads, usually a meter long, using a needle. There threads are dipped in a big pot, the “hartzi” containing “palouze”, several times. Soutzoukos is thick and this depends on how many times the thread with the nuts is dipped into the pot. It is then placed on branches so as to dry in the sun. When they are dry, then “soutzoukos” is ready. It must be noted that “soutzoukos” remains fresh for a long time.

Finally, “kiofterka” is a treat also made of “palouze”. It is in actual fact dried “palouze”, cut in small square pieces.


Sources:
Iona Ioannis, Traditional Cyprus Professions, Nicosia 2001
Nicos Ioannou, Secretary of Kato Platres Community Council
Hadjithomas Andreas (ed.), Cyprus, vol.6
Great Cypriot Encyclopedia, vol.5 and vol.12

 

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