Cyprus

Dish

The cheese is often used in cooking and can be fried until brown without melting, owing to its higher-than-normal melting point. This makes it an excellent cheese for frying or grilling (e.g. in saganaki) or fried and served with vegetables, as an ingredient in salads. Cypriots like eating halloumi with watermelon in the warm months, and as halloumi and lountza – a combination of halloumi cheese and either a slice of smoked pork, or a soft lamb sausage. Available from all good supermarkets and cheese shops.

Method

  1. The cheese is white, with a distinctive layered texture, similar to mozzarella and has a salty flavour.
  2. It is stored in its natural juices with salt-water and can keep for up to a year if frozen below −18 °C (0 °F) and defrosted to +4 °C (39 °F) for sale.
  3. It is often garnished with mint to add to the taste.
  4. Traditionally, the mint leaves were used as a preservative, this practice arising from the serendipitous discovery that Halloumi kept better and was fresher and more flavoursome when wrapped with mint leaves.
  5. In accordance with this tradition, many packages of halloumi contain fragments of mint leaves on the surface of the cheese.