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Things you may not know about North Cyprus produce...

Have you ever wondered if you could eat the carob sticks you find around our resorts? Did you know that figs can contain dead wasps? Can you guess what one of the largest farmed produce of Cyprus used to be? We are all aware of the production of and vast availability of Olives here in North Cyprus, but many other products are also grown here, providing both jobs and economic growth. Fig trees are common here in North Cyprus. They are usually in season from August to October, but can be ready earlier if the summer is a particularly hot one. We have a few fig trees dotted around our resorts. You may have noticed how frequently wasps visit Fig trees, and there is a reason for this. Like most fruit trees, Figs have both female and male varieties. Wasps will burrow into almost all Fig fruits. If they find they have burrowed into a male fruit they will be able to lay eggs. The babies of which hatch and leave the fig. However if the wasp burrows into a female fig she will be unable to lay eggs, and usually die of starvation inside the fig, disintegrating inside it as it grows. Knowing your Fig could contain a disintegrated wasp suddenly makes eating figs seem a little different! Luckily most of the cultivated varieties, although female trees, do not require pollination, and so do not attract the wasps in the same way. Rest assured though Figs naturally have seeds inside. It is those that make the fig crunchy inside, not pieces of wasp :-) . We have over 30 Carob Trees on our resorts. Many of you have noticed the dark brown sticks that grow from them, often dropping onto the ground. Carob sticks, or pods as they are also known, are usually harvested in September. They produce is extremely popular with locals, and is akin to chocolate when created in a certain way. Many shops sell locally made Carob Syrup or Carob Powder which can be added to desserts, smoothies put on top of cereals or even yoghurts. Carob contains a lot of Calcium, Iron and vitamin B6. The Carob is actually a legume, the same family as peas. The edible parts are the sticks themselves, the seeds inside are removed before the sticks are dried, baked and ground into the powder. If you remove the seeds inside, you can eat the pods raw. How-ever they are better picked straight from the tree when they still have a certain amount of moisture inside them, rather than collected from the ground dry. The sticks from the ground are actually wonderful as kindling. With wood often in short supply for us here in North Cyprus they make a great alternative. *The carob pod is the origin of the carat of a diamond. 1 seed is said to weigh 0.20grams, a diamond weighing 100 carats would be equivalent to 200 carob pods. A revived industry! One of the less known produce of North Cyprus has recently been revived as a farming practice in North Cyprus, the production of Tobacco. The region of Kapaz used to bring in a plentiful harvest of tobacco. Although the produce of tobacco had died off in North Cyprus, in recent years it has begun again in the Latakia region. Farmers are producing an aromatic tobacco that doesn’t require a rich soil type, for use in pipe smoking. The leaves are harvested from July to October, being dried and mostly shipped to Turkey. (produce map thanks to :

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