For Centuries, Halloumi cheese, fresh or mature, has been a key constituent of the Cypriot diet and has been closely associated with the culture and traditions of the local people. In preference, it exceeds by far all other cheeses, Cypriot and imported. Halloumi cheese is not simply a product of Cyprus, it constitutes part of the Islands cultural heritage and its traditional rural life and is linked to the social solidarity that characterises even today the villages of Cyprus.
Halloumi is packed in brine and is a white, slightly salty, firm, cheese with no distinct flavour. The name may have originated from the old Greek word ‘almi’ which means brine.The cheese is made from either sheep’s milk, or a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk. Halloumi does not melt at high temperatures which means it can be grilled until crispy.The secret of this cheese’ production in Cyprus dates back to before the island was conquered by the Turks in 1571.
The versatility of halloumi allows for its presence in a broad range of Cyprus dishes. It may be consumed fresh in salad or sandwich, grated over pasta, as a stuffing in ravioli and pastries and pies or in the more Cypriot style as a side to chilled wedges of ripe watermelon making this an excellent appetizer especially during summertime. Halloumi also perfectly accompanies trachanas soup and is commonly added to the soup at the end of its preparation. The options are endless!