Home and Away actress and Australian-born Cypriot Ada Nicodemou follows her roots back to Cyprus.
Now my son Johnas is a little older, I wanted to take him to Cyprus. I wanted him to meet all the family, to experience our culture, to eat the food and have his cheeks squeezed by his aunties! I wanted Johnas to have a better understanding of how our family traditions started and feel a greater connection to the rest of our family.
My family is from Limassol in the south of Cyprus. My mum one of four siblings so there’s aunties, uncles, lots of first cousins and my dad who all live over there. So they spend the whole month fighting over who was going to feed us whose house we are going to, and it’s not even just “are you guys coming over tonight, it’s what are you guys doing for lunch?”
Every night was spent at one of my family’s house for a souvla, which is a traditional Cypriot dish of meat cooked on the coals of a BBQ (Greeks do this with a whole lamb but we cook souvla with skewers of meat). My uncle is usually in charge of the souvla! We chat and drink Cypriot wine, it’s beautiful. Food is a huge part of our culture but dinner is long! We’d spend two or three hours every night feasting with the family, so Johnas was going to bed every night at midnight, which was interesting for a four year old!
I’m such a foodie and there’s just something about Cypriot halloumi, goats cheese and yoghurt – you can’t get the same in Australia. The pork and lamb is the same. It all just tastes so much better over there. It’s the little things like this that really make going back to Cyprus worthwhile.