Lemons and Olives – Pride of our Island

by Ralph Kratzer

Lemon_3I think every one of our readers, who lives on our beautiful island of Cyprus, temporarily or permanently, has at one time been in the area of Güzelyurt or Lefke. I was there for the first time in January 2003. I still remember,  coming from the German winter, how I was impressed by the huge orchards, the countless trees heavily festooned with citrus fruits of all kinds: oranges, grapefruits, and especially lemons. These Lemon_4impressions were for my wife and I at that time one of the reasons to leave Germany and emigrate to North Cyprus.

So let´s talk about lemons, the pride of our island:

Lemons have various beneficial characteristics and many different uses in our daily lives.

Lemon_2They can be harvested all year round, and are a valuable fruit that only grows in warm climates. The trees not only look beautiful, but have perennial green leaves with a pleasant smell. Like all other citruses, the lemon needs a warm and damp climate. With its white fragrant flowers and the yellow fruits it is a beneficial asset. In the skins of the lemons there is a rich source of vitamin C and citric acids.

In laboratory tests, experts discovered the lemon’s many characteristics. It has germ killing properties and because of this it is not only healthy to us but as well excellent for cleaning, bleaching, removing stains and even whitening the teeth. Therefore it is also widely used in the cosmetic industry, the ingredients are found for example in shampoos, emulsions and even in leather cleaning products.

Freshly squeezed and added to drinks it can quench a fiery thirst.

Lemon_1To get the best results from lemons, they should always be left to fully mature and never be picked before ripening.

Lemons also have culinary uses, for example in ice-cream making. They play an important role in cooking – for salads, fish, chicken, meatballs, various sauces, mayonnaises and especially in drinks such as cocktails and aperitifs. The rind of the fruit is ideal for adding flavour and aroma to desserts and cakes. In the end they can also be used as a garnish with food and beverage to achieve an individual taste.

Olive_1There are not any islanders I know who are not only fond of lemons, but also have a passion for olives.

These fruits, harvested from the trees which are so characteristic for our beautiful island, nourished by the soil and matured by the rays of the Olive_3Mediterranean sun, not only enrich our food as a side dish or as part of a “meze” but especially provide us with the organically produced olive oil which is most certainly unequivocally indispensable for our daily cooking. Remember my previous article about “Cypriot Food and Beverage Tradions” – click here please.

Olives are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids – easy to digest, balance the blood lipids, protect the heart.

Olive_2This is because they have a lot of vitamin E and secondary phytochemicals, both known to be cancer protective.

And, like the lemon, you nowadays find olive oil in plenty of beauty products.

Source: Res-Bir