Sourdough Palouzés (grape must pudding)


Pachna Cultural Association “Agios Stefanos”


Communities Concerned - Bearers of the element:

There is a large number of communities across Cyprus which are associated with the long tradition of making “palouzés”, the traditional grape must pudding or grape must jelly.  Palouzés is usually prepared in grape-producing areas, like the Wine-villages area.

The application to inscribe the sourdough variety of palouzés on the National List of ICH was submitted by the Pachna community, and more specifically by the Pachna Cultural Association “Agios Stefanos” which includes individual members and other organised groups such as the Youth Centre, the Diaspora Association and the Community Council. The tradition of preparing sourdough palouzés is still carried on by the village women in their homes.


Domain of Intangible Cultural Heritage:

Traditional nutrition and customary practices


Date of inscription:



Geographical distribution:

Pachna belongs to the geographical region of the Limassol Wine-villages and palouzés is an element which is found in all the cluster’s communities.  Sourdough palouzés however, which is made exclusively with the xynisteri local grape variety, constitutes a particular local speciality of Pachna. 


Research carried out by the Association and records of oral witness accounts by residents of Pachna and the surrounding villages, show that sourdough palouzés has been made exclusively in Pachna at least since the late 19th early 20th century AD.  It is a tradition with an unknown geographical starting point and it was possibly practised earlier in other communes of the region.


Brief description:

Sourdough palouzés is a traditional dessert, a sweet treat.  Its preparation is different compared to the common palouzés (the common grape must jelly) and this tradition is preserved in the village of Pachna to the present day: the first step in the preparation is the mixing of the flour with the grape must (moustarin) to allow the process of fermentation to begin.  The village women initially make a sweet sourdough using the must and then dilute this to the consistency of a thin porridge to get the resulting palouzés pudding. This process gives palouzés a special consistency and a more sour taste. 

The preparation of palouzés is taught at home and thus it is transmitted from one generation to the next. Nowadays, several housewives, although not all, follow this traditional procedure for the preparation of palouzés usually in the month of October.  The palouzés preparation period coincides with the last grape harvest.  Another specificity of the sourdough palouzés is that it is prepared by using exclusively the xynisteri grape variety.

This dessert is preserved for the duration of the whole winter in cool temperatures thanks to its natural ingredients.  In the old times this was a foodstuff which was prepared and stored for the winter months.  The preparation of palouzés was an excuse for the extended family together also with friends and in-laws to gather in one house once a year, mainly in the grandmother’s house.