The Smithsonian Associates Hosts 'Cyprus: Culinary Crossroads of the Mediterranean'

Dec 10, 2010, 17:34 ET from Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Associates, organized a lecture entitled "Cyprus: Culinary Crossroads of the Mediterranean" on Wednesday, December 8 at The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

The lecture was the second of a series of events that the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus is organizing during the next six months, to highlight and promote Cyprus' history and culture. These events are taking place in conjunction with the exhibition "Cyprus: Crossroads of Civilizations" presented at The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History through May 1, 2011.

The lecture was given by Dr. William Woys Weaver, food historian and director of the Keystone Center for the Study of Regional Foods in Devon, Pa. and wine specialist Dr. George J. Soleas, vice president of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (Logistics and Quality Assurance Divisions) based in Toronto, Canada.

During his introductory remarks, the Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to Washington, Mr. Pavlos Anastasiades, referred to the role of Cyprus in the world cultural heritage through the centuries, which is evident by the antiquities, icons and other items presented at the exhibition "Cyprus: Crossroads of Civilizations" as well as by the cultural tradition, the unique cuisine and wine production of Cyprus.

Dr. William Woys Weaver described Cyprus as the Culinary Crossroad of the Mediterranean. He explained how the various people and cultures that have passed through Cyprus during antiquity influenced traditional Cypriot cuisine, which maintained its uniqueness that was "exported" both to Europe and countries of the Mediterranean region during the medieval period.

Dr. George J. Soleas presented the wines of Cyprus since antiquity. He referred extensively to the indigenous grape varieties of the island and informed the participants about the wine producing areas in the Limassol and Paphos districts of Cyprus. Dr. Soleas also spoke of the history of Commandaria and the method of its production.

The event was attended by many members of the Smithsonian Associates and the Smithsonian Institution as well as by a large number of distinguished guests, including the diplomatic corps, academics and journalists. After the lecture, participants took a tour of the exhibition and enjoyed a reception featuring the foods and wine of Cyprus.

The final Smithsonian Associates event, "Aphrodite: Goddess of Cyprus" will be held on April 20, 2011.

SOURCE Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus