HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
Selected and rare materials, excerpts and observations from ancient, medieval and contemporary authors, travelers and researchers about Cyprus.
 
 
 
 
uses Google technology and indexes only and selectively internet - libraries having books with free public access
 
  Previous Next  

CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 390

View PDF version of this page

flavour of asparagus aud artichoke. We noticed also the beet-root, melons, cucumbers, and a very insipid kind of mulberry, of a white colour. The com of the island, wherever the inhabitants have courage or industry enough to venture on the cultivation of the land, in despite of their Turkish oppressors and the dangers of the climate, is of the finest quality. The wheat although bearded, is very large, and the bread made from it extremely white and good. Perhaps there is no part of the world where the vine yields such redundant and luscious fruit. The juice of the Cyprian grape resembles a concentrated essence. Tlie wine of the island is so famous all over the Levant, that, in the hyperbolical language of the decks, it is said to possess the power of restoring youth to age, and animation to those who are at the point of death. Englishmen however do not consider it a favourite beverage, as it requires nearly a century of age to deprive it of that sickly sweetness which renders it repugnant to their palates. Its powerful aperient quality is also not likely to recommend it, where wine is drunk in any considerable quantity, as it sometimes causes a disorder of the bowels even after being kept for many years. When it has been in bottles for ten or twelve years, it acquires a slight degree of effervescence ; and this, added to its sweetness and high colour, causes it to resemble Tokay more than any other wine. This, however, is not the state wherein the inhabitants of Cyprus drink their wine. It is preserved by them in casks, to which the air has constantly access, and will keep in this manner for any number of years. After it has withstood the changes of a single year, it is supposed to have passed tlie requisite proof, and then it sells for three Turkish piastres the gooze. (Couza, about twenty-one pints. The value of the piastre varies continually : it was worth about twenty pence when we were in Turkey.) Afterwards, tlie price augments in proportion to its age. We tasted some of the Commanderia, which they said was forty years old, and was still in the cask. After this period it is considered quite as a balm, and reserved, on account of its supposed restorative and healing quality, for the sick and the dying. A greater proof of its strength cannot be given, than by relating the manner in which it is kept; in casks neither filled nor closed. A piece of sheet lead is merely laid over the bung-hole; and this is removed almost every day, whenever persons visit their celiare to taste the different sorts of wine proposed for sale. Upon these occasions, taking the covering from the bung-hole, they dip a hollow cane or reed into the liquor, and by suction drawing some of it, let it run from tho reed into a glass. Both the Commanderia and the Muscad aro white wines. When new, they have a slight tinge of a violet hue: but age soon removes this, and afterwards they retain the colour of Madeira. CypruS produces also red wines; but these are little esteemed, and used only as weak liquore for the table, answering to the ordinary " Yin du Fays " of France. If the people of Cyprus were industrious, and capable of turning their vintage to the best account, the red wine of the island might be rendered as famous as the white; and perhaps better calculated for exportation. It has the flavour of Tenedos; resembling that wine in colour and strength; and good Tenedos not only excels every other wine of Greece, bnt perhaps has nowhere its rival in Europe. This island, that had so highly excited, amply gratified onr curiosity by its most interesting antiquities; although there is nothing iu its present state pleasing to the eye, instead of a beautiful and fertile land, covered with groves of fruit and fine woods, once rendering it the paradise of the Levant, there is hardly upon earth a more wretched epot than it now exhibits. Few words may forcibly describe it; Agriculture neglected—inhabitants oppressed—population destroyed—pestiferous air—contagion—poverty—indolence—desola-tion. Its antiquities alone render it worthy of resort ; and these, if any person had leisure and opportunity to search for them, would amply repay the trouble. In tliis pursuit, Cyprns 380 EXCERPTA CYPRIA.

View PDF version of this page


  Previous First Next  
 
 
 
 
 
Our banners   Bibliography   Global Folio
All materials from this site are permitted for non commersial use unless otherwise indicated.
If you reduplicate documents from here you have to indicate Cyprus Explorer as a source and place link to us.
Created at June 2008
              Яндекс.Метрика