Hidden Culinary Gems of Cyprus: Anari Cheese

In the heat of the summer, who wants to do much cooking?  Its more about finding some shade and maybe jumping into a pool surrounded by flowers; like here at a friend’s garden.  I recently finished this semi abstract painting…

A Cypriot friend, a self confessed ‘foodie’,  suggests that I try a local Cypriot whey cheese renowned in the Paphos area.  At the next Paphos Saturday morning fruit and vegetable market I enquire about this cheese from my usual vendor and discover she makes both fresh halloumi and anari cheese!    Not only does she make this cheese but she and her daughter recommend how to serve it!   Perfect!

With the anari cheese and recipe in hand, off we go for a coffee and then I prepare the cheese for a salad lunch – perfect for hot summer days.

Anari is made in a large round – similar to how some soft goat cheese is made in France and elsewhere.  The idea is to slice the cheese into rounds for serving.   In the local presentation, the round of anari  is then covered with a combination of carob syrup and honey and served in this way.    We generally eat very few sweet things but I did have pomegranate syrup in the kitchen for cooking as well as honey.  So on went the pomegranate and honey covering for the slice of anari cheese.      The response!    Absolutely delicious and surprisingly not sweet.

if I were to recommend a wine, I would choose an unoaked Chardonnay or a Viognier to complement the creamy,  honeyed flavours of the Anari cheese prepared in this way.

Fresh anari will keep in the fridge for up to a week, so we enjoy a slice of cheese presented in this honeyed way several times!
Ricotta is a similar cheese so this will be an alternative when I can’t buy fresh anari and it will be interesting to make a comparison.

Simplifying meals is important on hot summer days!

Kali Orexi! / Bob Appétit!

6 thoughts on “Hidden Culinary Gems of Cyprus: Anari Cheese

  1. Liz, this looks like a wonderful treat to try!
    I very much enjoyed this post and especially the painting at the top of the page. Thank you!

  2. Lovely painting, Liz! I recently discovered Halloumi sheep and goat cheese from Cyprus and enjoyed it grilled, served over a salad. The Anari cheese does sound delicious but I haven’t seen it offered here.

    • So pleased you like the painting, thanks. Yes, Grilled Halloumi is very good with a salad and a squeeze of lemon. I serve that quite often. If you like the sound of the pomegranate and honey on the Anari, try it on Ricotta instead if the Anari is not available. Thanks so much for your comments.

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