Traditional Ofto Kleftiko of Cyprus


Athienou Municipality 

Kallinikeio Municipal Museum of Athienou

Lefkoniko Municipality


Date of inscription:



Brief description:

The traditional ofto (Roast Lamb) of Cyprus is the delicious meat, cooked in traditional outdoor wood-fire ovens, in clay pots or metal baking trays for larger quantities and served at family or friends’ gatherings, as the main dish. According to researchers (Lambrou, 2014), the name “kleftiko” came from livestock theft [klevo/kleftiko means to steal/stolen in Greek], an old custom observed throughout Cyprus among shepherds. The traditional Cyprus Ofto in Athienou is made with sheep meat from an animal that has completed one year of age. Apart from Athienou, which submitted the application, the traditional Cyprus ofto is offered throughout Cyprus with local variations. For the last 100 years, according to bibliographical sources and oral testimonies, the traditional Cyprus Ofto has also been the main dish at wedding feasts.