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Flaouna constitutes the main Easter delicacy which is in fact made in almost every single household in Cyprus during the festive period. Every family usually gather and help with the making of “flaounes” and each member assumes a special role in the whole procedure. The making procedure begins on the previous day with the grating of the cheese in order to create the so called “foukos”, which is actually the stuffing.  Early in the morning of the following day the procedure continues by preparing the pastry and forming the “flaounes”. Next, the “flaounes” are left to prove placed on metal trays or the traditional “tsetsos” before taken to the clay oven to be baked.

Once baked and cool, some of them can be placed in the freezer wrapped in aluminium paper or kitchen foil so that we can enjoy them later on after defrosting them and heating them in the oven.

The classic “flaouna” contains cheese and halloumi cheese, but in recent years some show particular preference to whey cheese as it is considered to be healthier, while the making of the pastry is also less time consuming.

The origins of “flaouna”

It is believed that the “flaouna” constitutes the Christian continuation of an ancient Greek custom related to the making of a type of sweet delicacy containing nuts which was called “palathi”. In fact, according to Kyriakos Hadjioannou (“Ta en Diaspora”, B’, 1979, pp. 56-65), the naming “flaouna” derived from the ancient Greek “palathi” (παλάθη > flado > fladoonis > flaouna). The ancient Greek “palathi” was offered to children going around the houses singing to welcome the swallows and spring. What is noteworthy is that up until recently “flaouna” was offered as reward to children or grown-ups who used to go from door to door singing to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ or to wake up the residents so that they could go to church.

Source: Great Cyprus Encyclopedia, Edited by: Antros Pavlides, Nicosia (1984-1996).

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