For the Love of Halloumi
A unique cheese with a fascinating background, known as “white gold,” in the Island of Cyprus where it originated, Halloumi cheese is the country’s top food export. Halloumi is so precious, that in March of this year, the EU designated it as a Protected Designations of Origins product, potentially unifying the Greek and Turkish Cypriot cheese-makers inhabiting the long-time divided island.
Halloumi cheese (Hellim in Turkish) is a chewy, squeaky, and very salty cheese, usually made from goat or sheep’s milk, or a mixture of the two; this cheese is highly prized for its grilling and frying properties because it doesn’t melt but heats nicely throughout!
Like most cheeses, halloumi is made by heating the milk and adding rennet to coagulate the milk. Once the curds start to form, the whey is drained, and the curds are cut and pressed into molds. However, halloumi is unique as there is an additional heating step, where the cheese is poached in whey, and this is what provides Halloumi it´s high melting point property. The final step involves salting and sprinkling the cheese with mint. Another distinguishing feature of this cheese is that no lactic acid bacteria are used.
The most delicious way to eat your Halloumi is to grill it, or pan-fry it, and add it to your favorite plate, say a nice bowl of salad, or also as a meat substitute since it has high protein content.
Halloumi can be eaten fresh as early as 3 to 5 days after being made but it can also be refrigerated in brine solution for 2 weeks and then moved out of brine and dried in wax paper for an additional several months. The flavor profile of Halloumi intensifies as it ages.
La Verde Oveja creates a halloumi style cheese using 100% sheep’s milk and ages it for a minimum of 2 weeks before releasing it and sold in a brine solution.
We hope this information was useful and that you continue to enjoy La Verde Oveja sheep milk cheeses.
For information on cheese storage information, check out our article “How Do I Store My Cheese?”