About Halloumi Cheese
Do you find yourself fantasizing about nibbling salty, scrumptious pieces of cheese? Before you lose your sleep over finding such a heavenly delicacy, let us introduce you to our Middle Eastern cheese obsession, non other than Halloumi!
Halloumi is derived from the Egyptian Arabic word Hallum which was used to describe cheese in Medieval Egypt. In the USA, this cheese is a registered protected Cypriot product. Historians believe that it originated from Cyprus. A group of Italian visitors from the 16th century recorded the details of this cheese during their visit to Cyprus. However, other historians debate this claim as they believe that Halloumi was a part of the Medieval Byzantine cuisine.
You might be wondering what makes Halloumi unique when compared to other cheeses? Well, let’s start with the basics. Halloumi appears similar to mozzarella cheese as it is white and layered. It has a semi-hard, spongy, and un-ripened texture. This cheese is a by-product of sheep or goat milk, or a combination of the two. Occasionally, you'll find brands that make this cheese from cow’s milk as well. Either way, cheese lovers characterize its flavor as strong, sharp, and salty.
Not only is this cheese rich in taste, but it is packed with healthy nutrients including calcium, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin A and B. Depending on your preference, you can enjoy Halloumi cheese in its raw form or by grilling or pan-fry it. Toss it in pita bread or over a salad, and enjoy!
This Cypriotic cheese slowly made its way to Turkey and is very popular in the region of Levant (read more about Artisan Levant products here). Hence you find Halloumi cheese a favorite dairy product in Middle Eastern Countries like Syria, Lebanon, etc. Similarly, it is one of the best-selling items in the UK and is widely available in European countries.
What is Halloumi Cheese Made of?
As noted above, Halloumi cheese is prepared from goat’s milk or sheep’s milk. Some versions of this cheese are a result of both goat and sheep milk. Nowadays, this cheese is also made from cow’s milk. The milk used for preparing Halloumi cheese can be pasteurized or unpasteurized as well.
Halloumi cheese contains a high amount of saturated fat. A single, palm-sized portion of Halloumi cheese has around 2.4 grams of salt and 19 grams of protein, and is packed with calcium.
How to Cook Halloumi Cheese?
The best thing about Halloumi cheese is that it is not only a pizza cheese, it's versatile and can be paired it up with multiple cooking recipes.
Halloumi cheese has an unusually high melting point. This quality makes it a perfect ingredient to grill or fry. Whether you choose to grill or fry it, you will notice a thin brown crisp layer forming on its outside whereas its inner layers will become soft and savory without deforming and melting.
Planning to treat yourself with some pan fried halloumi cheese? You can do this by following this simple recipe:
Heat some butter or oil in a pan (be careful not to cook these on high heat as they quickly burn).
Once the butter or oil is ready, add Halloumi cheese slices to the pan
Cook each side of the cheese for about 3 minutes or until all sides develop a slightly golden and crispy outer layer.
Take out the cheese, and wipe off excess butter or oil.
Halloumi Brands You Can Find Online
You can find Halloumi cheese at most Middle Eastern markets, however, if that's not convenient, we recommend ordering these reputable halloumi cheese brands online.
Kynthos Halloumi Cheese
Kynthos is famous for its classic Halloumi cheese. This cheese is specially imported from Cyprus, so just imagine the authenticity of its taste. Nonetheless, Kynthos Halloumi cheese is packed with flavor and nutritional value as it is made from a combination of sheep, cow, and goat milk.
With its semi-hard texture and high melting point, this cheese turns out to be a culinary delight once your fry or grill it.
The packaging and delivery of this cheese has exceeded the expectations of many buyers as it's delivered in a cooler box and ice packs.
Christis Halloumi Cheese
Looking for a unique cheese treat for yourself? If so, then you should give in to your cheese cravings with Christis Halloumi Cheese. Unlike some halloumi brands you may find at your local market, Christis Halloumi cheese is a genuine product of Cyprus.
This cheese is made from a pasteurized blend of goat, sheep, and cow’s milk as well. The best way to enjoy this cheese is by frying or grilling it.
The packaging of this cheese is helps maintain its quality as it is shipped with ice packs and a cool mailer.
We would love to know your favorite brand of halloumi cheese. Let us know in the comments below!