Spring is marked in Cyprus by the blossoming of Almond trees. Clouds of ethereal white and pink blossom appear, scattered over the hillsides, clear blue skies overhead.
White blossom denotes the bitter almond tree, used for liqueurs, soft drinks and flavouring.Pink blossom is the mark of the sweet almond tree, used in pastries and local sweets.
The” Festival of the Blooming Almond Trees” is held annually at the end of February in the village of Limnatis. Traditional dances, folklore, foods and celebration of the blooming of the trees.
Almonds feature in many local baking recipes but one that is particularly traditional is
“Soutzoukkos”, almonds dipped in “palouze” sweet grape jelly. Airdried into long strings, for serving, the jelly is cut into small circular pieces.
Almond fruits, when green and unripe are also sold for eating in local markets. A tart and crunchy snack, finding them on a walk in the hills is always a pleasure.
Recipe link courtesy of Cypriotandproud.com.