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Ravioli are to pies what meze are to meat and three veg. Of course, a pie is a wonderful thing – a meal for several people, wrapped up in a large pastry case. Pies are something most of us remember from childhood, and it’s likely that everyone has their own favourite. They’re also peasant food – the meat, the cheese, the vegetables would go further if helped out by pastry.

So why do we say that ravioli are the pies of meze? Because that meal with the dominant centrepiece isn’t always what you want. In fact, it isn’t what most of the planet wants, because the majority of people in the world don’t eat that way – they eat what we call meze, which is lots of small(ish) dishes spread across the table or bench or whatever they’re eating from, and from which they choose what they want to eat. A big pie in the middle of that wouldn’t look quite right. You could cut it into pieces, of course – or you could serve it as ravioli, instead.

Ravioli in general are (yes, “are;” it’s an Italian word, it’s plural and a single one is called a ravioli) little dumplings with a filling sealed inside two thin layers of dough and usually served either in broth or in a sauce which, when you’re eating the sort of ravioli they make in Italy, will usually be one or other kind of pasta sauce. Italians see ravioli as a kind of pasta.

The people of northern Italy tend to be snooty about the people of the south and, particularly, the people of Sicily and they will tell you that ravioli began in northern Italy, but there’s a touch of snobbery about that and it probably isn’t true – ravioli from both Sicily and Malta are recorded at least as early as anything further north, and possibly earlier. The Maltese and Sicilians are both, of course, our Mediterranean neighbours.

Then there are Asian samosas (originally filled with meat, potatoes and peas – an early version of the popular British meat and potato pie), Chinese wontons, the Jewish kreplach (cooked, inevitably, in chicken soup), Indian gujiya which is unusual in being a sweet dish, a dish from around Nice in the south of France filled with leftover meat from the daube and served au gratin and shishbarak from the Middle East filled with minced beef and cooked in yoghurt.

Those early Sicilian ravioli (which they called ravjul) contained either a sort of ricotta or their own sheep’s milk cheese. And our Cyprus ravioli is filled with halloumi cheese, and mint bound with egg, and it will hold up its head in any ravioli company anywhere in the world.

Try some – you’ll see why.

Company Info

Contact Person: Nikos Andrea
Mailing Address: Koniele Trading LTD,
Evagorou 6, Dromolaxia, Cyprus 7020
Call/Text: 00 357 97 884776
Company Reg. No: HE343968