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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 125

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again accept or order wheat from Cyprus, on the plea that it is of bad quality, and unwholesome on account of all kinds of seeds improperly mixed in it. Persons who have seen the bread made in the island from this very grain, and even from that grown in the rest of the island, have found it not only of excellent quality, but the best and finest you would get throughout Syria and other parts of the Levant. It owes this pre-eminence to the diligence and address of the women, who pick over the wheat very carefully, and take out the grains which would make the bread brownish, but these do not exist in the proportion which some suppose. Even after cleaning it thus they wash it, and reject the grains which have been eaten out by weevil, an easy task, because they float on the water in which they are washed. They never remit their care even in times of famine : thinking, very reasonably, that the loss is hardly felt, while no grinding can make the empty grain into flour, but mere bran; and lastly that they assure their health by cleaning the wheat, and getting rid of other seeds and of earth, which gives no nourishment, and is even very hurtful. Wheat is measured in Cyprus by the mosa of three Florentine sacks. Tariff charges are \\ piastre the mosa in-cluding brokerage. Note that in wheat transactions the Tuscan consulate takes only two p. c. on a value of 2 piastres the mosa : and the Customs take 28 piastres the 100 mosa, instead of three p.c. . Barley throughout the island is of excellent quality. It is chiefly sent through European merchants to the coast of Syria. A license from the Governor, obtained through the consul, is necessary for the export. This costs f piastre the mosa, and the tariff charges, including this, are -| piastre the mosa. Nothing further is payable to the Customs, the consulate or the broker : only the commission at four p. c. on the cost and expenses. The salt extracted from the natural salines of the island xxi] Island of Cyprus 121

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