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Happy With Halloumi

September 8, 2009

finished cheese

We arrived in Cyprus determined to learn (among many other things) how the unique,  magnetic, mouth-watering Cypriot halloumi cheese is made, and happily, we did.

haloumi milk on hoof

We visited a small family halloumi producer deep in the island’s southwest, passing dozens of large, unpenned herds of foraging goat and sheep en route which quite unconcernedly cross over the roads at their own pace, and arrived near the end of the morning’s cheese making.

salting the cheese

Halloumi is made by heating a mixture of goat and sheep’s milk until it separates into curds and whey, then straining this mixture to separate the curds from the whey.  The curds are shaped into flat rounds about six inches in diameter, and heated again in the whey so the curds meld together seamlessly.  When this is done, the flat rounds are lifted out and salted, mint is placed on top, the cheese is folded over into a half-moon shape, and EUREKA!  We have a luscious, fresh-as-it-gets, luscious half-moon of haloumi cheese!

cooked cheeese

PS: Cypriots don’t eat halloumi at every meal, of course, but we can tell you that as food-centric travelers on a first-time visit to Cyprus, we came to say, “it’s not a meal unless we have halloumi!”  So, we enjoyed halloumi at most of our meals — a small piece for breakfast, grilled and eaten with cucumber; inside a fresh pita with greens and tomatoes for lunch and dinner; and with glasses of good Cypriot wine at the day’s end.

– Sara & Dun

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 24, 2010 11:48 pm

    I discovered halloumi a few years ago as I moved to Cyprus, never heard of it before. But straight away I fell in love with that delicious cheese that is so versatile and gives its special note to so many dishes. Very often we try new halloumi recipes and there is not one week since then, that we won’t have at least one meal with halloumi, not to speak abou BBQs, where having halloumi is a must.

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