Flaounes halved.jpg
A flaouna halved, showing both the sesame seed topping and the raisins inside
Place of originCyprus
Main ingredientsCheese
VariationsMay include raisins

Flaouna (Greek: φλαούνα), (Turkish: Pilavuna, Bitta),[1] is a cheese-filled pastry from the island of Cyprus, which may include raisins or be garnished with sesame seeds. Flaounes are traditionally prepared for Easter[2] by Orthodox Cypriots Regional names for flaouna include vlaouna, fesoudki (Greek:φεσούδκι) in Karavas, and aflaouna in Karpasia.[2] It is served at Ramadan by Turkish Cypriots.


Flaounes are traditionally served in Cyprus as a celebratory food for the breaking of the Lenten fast, being prepared on Good Friday for consumption on Easter Sunday by Orthodox Christians.[3][4] They are eaten in place of bread on Easter Sunday, and continue to be made and eaten for the weeks following.[3] Creating the flaounes can often be a family tradition shared with multiple generations.[5]

The Guinness World Records holds a record for the largest flaouna ever made. It was set on 11 April 2012 by the company Carrefour in Limassol. The pastry measured 2.45 metres (8.0 ft) long and 1.24 metres (4.1 ft) wide, weighing 259.5 kilograms (572 lb).[6] As part of the celebrations, 20 percent of sales of flaounes in Carrefour stores on the day in Cyprus, went to charity.[7]

Flaounes were featured as a technical challenge in The Great British Bake Off pastry week episode of season six.

The name Flaouna is derived from the ancient Greek παλάθη[8] (paláthē> flado> fladoonis> flauna), a cake of preserved or dried fruit.


Flaounes are a cheese filled pastry interspersed with cheese.[9] The pastry is described as similar to shortcrust in texture.[5] The cheese can be a mix of graviera, halloumi,[10] fresh anari and/or kefalotyri.[3] Serve hot or cold.[11] Outside of Europe, these cheeses can sometimes be referred to as "flaouna" cheese.[12] Depending on the area of island in which they are made, the recipes vary so that the pastries are either salty, semi-sweet or sweet.[13] They can also sometimes have sesame seeds sprinkled on top or sultanas interspersed with the cheese.[9][14]


  1. ^ "Zeytinli Hellimli Bitta (Kıbrıs Zeytinlisi) Tarifi".
  2. ^ a b Christou, Eleni; Demetriou, Demetra; Lazarou, Stalo. "Φλαούνα, η". foodmuseum.cs.ucy.ac.cy (in Greek). Cyprus Food Virtual Museum. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Thacker, Anita; Barton, Arlene (2012). Multicultural Handbook of Food, Nutrition and Dietetic. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell. p. 298. ISBN 9781405173582.
  4. ^ Bryant, Sue (2008). Cyprus With Your Family (eBook ed.). Hoboken, N.J.: Frommer's. p. 77. ISBN 9780470722053.
  5. ^ a b Lathourakis, Patricia (31 March 2009). "My family's Easter tradition". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Largest Flaouna". Guinness World Records. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Largest flaouna enters Guinness Book". Cyprus Mail. 12 April 2012. Archived from the original on 8 April 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  8. ^ Hadjioannou, Kyriakos (1979). Ta en Diaspora. pp. 56–65.
  9. ^ a b Mallos, Tess (1979). The Complete Middle East Cookbook. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 88. ISBN 9780070398108.
  10. ^ Πέσκιας, Χριστόφορος. Φλαούνες (in Greek). Kathimerini.gr. Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  11. ^ "Flaounes recipe". BBC Food. Retrieved 2021-01-31.
  12. ^ "My Cypriot Kitchen - Flaounas". Food Television. Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  13. ^ "Flaouna pastry". Cyprus Tourism Organisation. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  14. ^ Spilling, Michael (2000). Cyprus. New York: Marshall Cavendish. p. 116. ISBN 9780761409786.

See also