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Cypriot Traditional Pasta

Cypriot Traditional Pasta


‘Makaronia tis Smilas / Makaronia tou Sklinitziou’ (which means ‘skewered pasta’) are a type of dried pasta made by mixing durum wheat flour with a little salt and water, and/or by mixing another type of flour with semolina, salt and water. Is a handmade dried pasta that is made in Agios Theodoros village in rural Larnaka.

The characteristics of ‘Makaronia tis Smilas / Makaronia tou Sklinitziou’ arise as a result of the know-how and local expertise of their producers. Specifically:

Firstly, the selection of the special tool used to make the product is of great importance. This thin reed-like stem is carefully selected and cut from plants of the genus Juncus sp. In the local dialect, the plant and, by extension, the tool, is called ‘sklinitzi’. Sometimes, particularly in the past, a fine skewer known as a ‘smíla’ was used instead of a sklinitzi.

The product therefore also owes its name to this tool. When selecting the sklinitzi, which producers will use for years, they will choose a stem of around 30-40 cm in length, with a smooth and cylindrical surface. Stems with flat sides or a rough texture are not considered suitable for forming an evenly shaped cylindrical hole in the ‘Makaronia tis Smilas / Makaronia tou Sklinitziou’.

Another element that is important in shaping the particular characteristics of the product is the elasticity of the dough, which depends on the resting time. Small pieces of dough are worked with the sklinitzi to achieve a cylindrical shape that tapers at the ends. Each piece of dough will become a piece of ‘Makaronia tis Smilas / Makaronia tou Sklinitziou’.

The thin, traditional pasta has been adopted by the EU Commission as a protected geographical indication (PGI) from Cyprus. The pasta is often consumed during festive or special events and in bygone times was traditionally prepared as one of the dishes eaten as part of the Cypriot wedding week - on a Sunday, on the day of the wedding itself, or on the Tuesday after.