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We prefer this as meze, and it’s been eaten in Cyprus for centuries – it’s very much a traditional Cypriot dish. Slow Food International gave tsamarella its Presidium title which is awarded at the Salone de Gusto for products that are unique as to provenance. If you like, you can think of it as “goat jerky,” because Jerky is a name given to what you get when you trim all the fat away from lean meat, cut it into strips, and then dry it so that it won’t spoil – and that’s how tsamarella is made, in this case from goat meat. The meat is stripped away from the bones, dried in the sun for a few days, placed into boiled water with salt and lots of herbs (oregano will be present in profusion), and then dried in the sun once more.

While the official classification places the goat under the heading of “red meat,” most aficionados would see it as more like chicken or turkey. It has less fat and less cholesterol than beef or lamb and is seen as a good choice for people who don’t want to give up eating meat, but fear the effect on the arteries of a diet rich in red meat.

And not just red beef – goat also has less fat and less cholesterol than either chicken or turkey so, if up to now you’ve been thinking of chicken as your healthiest meat choice, it’s time to reassess the goat. There are also sound ecological arguments for eating goat, because goats need less pasturage than beef cattle – ten goats can live on an area that would sustain only two steers. And, if we haven’t persuaded you yet, you may like to know that goats are largely grown free of growth hormones and antibiotics, and that goat meat is particularly clean by farming standards.

Traditionally, tsamarella was made from the meat of the Machairas goat, a species unique to Cyprus and especially suited to living off the spiny scrub it finds in the Troodos Mountains. Machairas goats are easily recognised by their unusually long legs and short coats.

Tsamarella is a sort of dark purply read in colour, cut into cubes, and usually served with a short alcoholic drink, though that is not strictly necessary. (Try it with zivania, our local grappa).

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