The Home of the Cypriot Snack…
There are many delicious snacks of the island – some you may be familiar with and others that are very traditional and eaten more so by locals. One of the locally-loved snacks is the ‘koupa’, and what makes it even more special, is that its introduction to Cyprus was in Larnaka many, many years ago!
A koupa is a handheld snack, shaped like an American football, with a crust made of bulgur wheat, and stuffed with mince, onions, parsley and spices. Alexis Michaelides, a historical researcher in Larnaka, has uncovered the ancient origins of the koupa and traced it all the way back to Larnaka during Phoenician times.
Parsley, onion, bulgur wheat and aromatic spices were predominant ingredients used at the time, and Alexis explains that making koupes was a good way to use up inferior meat, as the rest of the ingredients would mask the quality - as would the frying process. It was after World War 1 that Larnaka really became the popular place on the island to enjoy a koupa at one of the many koupa takeaway places. So much so, that the first people to have cars in Nicosia in the 1940s would drive down to Larnaka especially for the tasty snack!
You can find koupes at local bakeries and in some restaurants too.