HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 120

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3 piastres the couza. Of late a considerable quantity of the commoner wine has gone to Leghorn. It is exported in casks of 70 couzai : the tariff charges, including the value of the cask, amount to iof piastres. The oldest wines in the market are eight or ten years old : it is not true as some people in Europe think, that one can find it of a hundred. It is cus-tomary however on the birth of a child for the father to bury a jar full of wine well sealed, which is kept until the day of his or her marriage, when it is served at the wedding feast, and distributed among relations and friends. This is the oldest wine one can find, and would be 20 years old or a little more; but it is never sold, being kept for presents. The island produces other wines, used at meals, not unlike those of Provence. The best is made in the village of Omodos. It is originally dark, but after a few years begins to turn yellow, and in colour and taste to grow like that of the Commandery. It is not exported, but drunk in the island, and on the vessels which trade with the coast of Syria. The muscadine wines make up scarcely 5000 couzai. The price is the same as that of the Commandery, and the tariff charges the same. The development of the two kinds is quite different. The muscadine in the first year is a little lighter than ours : with age it acquires a rich red colour, and great body, with such sweetness that it is generally better liked when only one or two years old. Colocynth is a plant of the gourd kind. It creeps along the ground like a cucumber, which it resembles greatly in the leaf and flower : and in the fruit too, when the cucumber is no bigger than an apple, which is the size of the largest colocynth. Freshly gathered it is dark green with yellow stripes. It is set to dry under a strong sun, and becomes entirely yellow : the rind, which is useless, is stripped off, and there remains a pulp, full of seeds : these also are of no use. The plant generally grows wild, and is seen over great tracts of country : yet it is difficult to collect yearly 100 cantars of 100 rotoli each, 116 On the Commerce of the [CH.

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