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Cyprus’ traditional bakery products on Unesco cultural heritage list

prosphora
File photo: Prosphora bread

Cyprus’ traditional bakery products have been included in the Unesco list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, following an application submitted by the municipalities of Athienou, Lefkonoikos, Akanthios, Kythrea and other communities and organisations.

Included on the list are traditional baked goods, such as ‘prosphora’, ‘pannichida’ and ‘koumulla’ – leavened breads used in Orthodox Christian and Greek Catholic Byzantine liturgies.

Historically, the products were originally meant as temple offerings, but in Orthodox Christianity and Byzantine Rite Catholicism, they have come to mean specifically the breads offered at the Divine Liturgy, also called Eucharist.

According to an announcement release by the municipality of Athienou, the application was submitted in cooperation with the Museum of Cypriot Food and Nutrition and the Hadjigiorkis Mills Museum in Frenaros, after extensive research.

“The products are prepared in accordance with the customs and traditions of Cyprus for the most important festivities of Christianity and the most important moments of life, including birth, marriage and death,” the announcement said.

Cyprus has so far inscribed three elements on the Unesco list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, namely the Lefkara laces or ‘Lefkaritika’, the ‘Tsiattista’ poetic duelling and the Mediterranean diet.

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