Cyprus a journey, oranges and a Greek orange salad with Feta

As a child I remember so vividly as I stepped off the plane from England the familiar smells of Cyprus, they rushed to embrace me. The smell of orange blossom, white Jasmine and heat. They say it is the little things in life which give so much pleasure, here is a small example of that.

Oranges in tree

The months of March and April are a delight in Cyprus, the trees overflowing with oranges is a mesmerising sight. In England we bought our oranges from the supermarket, when in Cyprus to be able to reach up into a tree and pick my own is a wonderful feeling, the orange smells so fresh and the orange blossom gives out a heady fragrance. Take an orange and cut it and close your eyes, just smell the fragrance, imagine that smell mixed with lily of the valley or the strongest smelling rose you have experienced and that will give you an insight into the heady aroma of orange blossom.

I have often travelled from Polis in the South to Ayia Marina where my father came from, as you wind up the road towards the mountains you pass orchards after another full of orange frees and when the orange season is at its height the oranges fall onto the roads and are squashed by cars, it seems so decadent, mother nature as a provider, its so lovely to see.

Oranges are one of the main export products by the Cypriots, in the last few years this has declined as other areas of the world vie to establish trade, but the export remains of importance to the island.

Here is a recipe for Greek Orange feta salad;

Cypriots do not usually have lettuce, these are the the ingredients for your Greek Salad;

Put these ingredients into your salad bowl;Greek salad

3 Tomatoes thickly diced the colder and fresher the better

1 Cucumber thickly diced again as cold and fresh as possible

2 large juicy Oranges cut into segments

Black and green olives

Feta cheese diced into large chunks

For the dressing, which is really the key to this salad; Add Extra virgin Olive oil ( the most expensive you can budget to, it should be thick and green, red wine vinegar, lemon, black pepper, salt. Shake the ingredients together well and taste.

Pour the dressing generously over the salad and mix very well, then add the garnish mint or cilantro or parsley. Thats all there is to it, perfect.

I hope you enjoy the salad and this is how you say orange in Greek

In Greek: πορτοκάλια, pronounced por-toh-KAHL-yah