What is cyprus halloumi cheese?
Creamy and salty with a mild, tangy taste, this blend of sheep and goat's milk has a fibre-like texture like Mozzarella and unlike American cheese, it doesn't melt when heated. This gourmet cheese from Cyprus is part of Middle Eastern cuisine, especially when fried or grilled over charcoal fire. If you like your Halloumi richer but less salty, soak it in buttermilk for a day or two.
Chopped cyprus halloumi cheese
Halloumi's firm texture allows it to be chopped easily into fine or rough strands. Place the Halloumi on the chopping board and start cutting it from one end vertically into thin slices. Arrange the slices horizontally and again start cutting from the side into thin stips. These pieces can be grilled and eaten as it is or added to any vegetables, soups and stews. Finely chopped halloumi can be stir fried into golden crisps or eaten alongside soups with bread.
Cyprus halloumi cheese cubes
Cubes of Halloumi are easily prepared as the cheese has a firm texture. On a chopping board, cut the thick slices from one end to the other. Arrange the slices horizontally, start cutting them in to small cubes. These will resemble small dices. Big cubes can be grilled and eaten with any dish. Small cubes are deep fried or stir fried and served as appetizers. They can also be used in tomato soups as a crouton replacement.
Cyprus halloumi cheese strips
Thin strips of Halloumi can be deep fried into crisps and eaten as a snack. Lightly frying the strips in olive oil and adding fresh black pepper can make them easy appetizers. Thick strips are normally served fresh with either fruits or bread. These strips can be grilled as well as roasted with vegetables and herbs.
Grated cyprus halloumi cheese
Fibrous like Mozzarella, Halloumi can easily be grated as per the thickness of gratings required for the recipe at hand.
Shredded cyprus halloumi cheese
Since Cyprus Halloumi is a layered cheese, shredding it is as easy as using the fine blade of the grater or a food processor to do so. Best for sandwiches, canapés, eggs, toasts... etc. Spread on pastas and pizzas or eaten fresh with salads and fruits, this cheese has a variety of uses.
Sliced cyprus halloumi cheese
Place the Halloumi on the chopping board and with a clean knife start cutting it into thin or thick strips on one side. The thin slices can then be deep fried and served with soups and stews or eaten as it is. Thick slices can also be grilled and eaten as appetizers with other vegetables or be eaten fresh with any fruits or even in between grilled breads.
How to select cyprus halloumi cheese
• Taste your exotic cheese before you buy it! That's important to keep in mind if you're buying it fresh.
• The texture should be firm with a rich, creamy and tangy taste.
• If the texture has turned hard or looks slightly yellow, please don't buy it.
• If you're buying the packaged version the manufacturing and expiry dates are important to make note of.
Culinary Uses of cyprus halloumi cheese
• Halloumi can be roasted, grilled, fried or eaten fresh.
• This cheese can be grilled until it acquires a golden crust and served as it is or on pita bread with tomatoes. Chunks of Halloumi cheese when fried turn into golden crisps and can be served with various salads and other dishes.
• Fresh cheese can be grated on pasta and served on either a cheese or a fruit platter.
• Fresh wedges of Halloumi go well with crusty bread, tomatoes, olives, and salads.
• This cheese is delicious when traditionally served grated or cubed with chilled watermelon.
How to store cyprus halloumi cheese
• Halloumi is packaged in brine to keep it free from bacteria.
• It is sometimes vacuum-packed in its own whey to keep it moist.
• It can be refrigerated for up to a year.
• After using it, always re-wrap the cheese in cling-film to prevent it from drying.
Health benefits of cyprus halloumi cheese
• Halloumi is high in fat and is an excellent source of protein.
• Your teeth and bones get stronger as Halloumi is a rich source of calcium.