|Country of Origin||Cyprus|
|Region||Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Famagusta, Pahpos, Keryneia|
|AOP / PDO||Since 2015|
|Classification||Fresh, semi-hard, rindless|
|Milk||Goat, sheep, cow|
|Weight||5.25 to 12 oz (150 to 350 g)|
|Length||3.5 to 6 inches (9 to 15 cm)|
|Thickness||2 to 2.75 inches (5 to 7 cm)|
|Taste||Salty, tangy, sweet onion taste, sometimes with a hint of spiciness|
|Pairing||Melon, figs, Cucumber & Tomato salad, Caprese salad, Greek salad|
|Cooked Texture||Supple, springy, squeaky (remains firm when heated)|
Born out of a need to preserve milk and provide protein during the winter months when the sheep and goats stopped producing milk, Halloumi was, and still is, a vital part of the Cypriot diet.
The History of Halloumi
What gives Halloumi its unique place in culinary history is not its ability to keep its shape and not melt when cooked, but also the source of milk: the amazing Mouflon breed of sheep, which were introduced in the Neolithic period and over thousands of years adapted to its environment and became an integral part of the community.
Unfortunately, Mouflon sheep are now considered an endangered species although in other parts of the world, they are bred for hunting and sport.
A minority of Halloumi is still made via traditional method in rural areas.
Nevertheless, because of huge international demands, the majority of Halloumi is now produced in factories.
Factories adhere to the traditional recipe using goat’s and sheep’s milk but most mix it with cow’s milk due to it being less expensive (cow’s milk is not seasonal).
The truth is, mixing with cow’s milk has an impact on the taste.
Halloumi Is Not Created Equally
The flavor of Halloumi depends on the seasons and type of milk used.
The best Halloumi are made with raw goat’s and sheep’s milk during the spring and summer months when the free-ranging animals graze on a myraid of wild flowers, herbs, grasses, and scrubby bushes that cover the rocky island.
Also read: Why Great Cheese Starts With Great Milk
Halloumi Tasting Notes
This cheese is distinguished by its strong aroma of milk and whey. On the palate, aromas of mint as well as a spicy and salty taste can manifest with a bouncy texture.
Cooked Halloumi Tasting Notes
When cooked, the milk sugars in the cheese caramelize on the outside giving it a sweet onion taste, while the texture is:
How to Enjoy Halloumi (PAIRING)
The main ingredient in a Cypriot breakfast, starter, or lunch, Halloumi is usually served alongside fresh fruits as such watermelons and figs, or with vegetables.
It is the only cheese that does not melt when heated, thanks to its unique texture, and is excellent cut into thick slices and barbecued or fried as a Canapé.
Important note: Do not use oil when frying Halloumi, as this seals the cheese and stops the milk sugars from escaping, resulting in the cheese losing its sweet caramel flavor.
Buy Halloumi Online:
- This is traditional cheese of Cyprus.
- The cheese is often used in cooking and can be fried until brown without melting, owing to its higher-than-normal melting point.
- Traditional Halloumi Cheese - 7 oz
- Murrayscheese: US$12.00 per 8.82 oz
- Tesco: £3.15 per 225 grams
- Greekflavours: €5.29 per 225 grams
- Cheeseshop (Singapore): S$9.60 per 200 grams
Last update on 2023-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API