Something wonderfully and culturally creative has been birthed from our very own Kurilpa peninsula – and more specifically, from a clubhouse on Vulture Street in West End.
Members of the Cypriot Youth of Brisbane (CYB) have worked away through many late nights, over the course of more than six months, to release a cookbook. Within its pages are some of the Cypriot community members’ most cherished traditional family recipes, with the aim of keeping their rich culture and language alive today.
The book, entitled Our Cypriot Kitchen, recently made its debut at the Paniyiri Greek Festival on the 23rd and 24th of May, 2015. It houses 50 authentic Greek Cypriot recipes such as Yemista (stuffed vegetables) and Bourkouri Salata (cracked wheat salad), accompanied by the secret techniques for their preparation. Remarkably, the book has been written, edited, photographed and produced by volunteers of the Cypriot community. But it is no amateur publication. With thoughtfully placed text and droolworthy images, it takes discipline to browse through the book without heading for the supermarket (or market, if you prefer), stat.
Food is and has been an important part of every culture, and for those who call the island in the eastern Mediterranean their ancestral home, this is no different. “As Australian-Cypriots, the kitchen has always been the centre of attention in our households and we want to share this experience with our readers,” CYB president Chris Vasiliou remarks. He continues, “While we have grown up as Australians, our love for Cyprus still runs through our veins and is present in the food we eat, the language we speak and the games we play.”
Sneak a peek at ourcypriotkitchen.com.au. Proceeds from the book sales go towards supporting the community’s various activities, including a traditional dancing group and for sending relief to Cyprus.
Words by Rachel Lee