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Ever Heard Of Halloumi?
Member Name: MollyWH
Advantages: Great taste, easy to cook
Disadvantages: Not great for the diet!
I am lucky in the fact that both my parents are into cooking which means that I often get to try lots of new foods. A couple of years ago, Mum asked me to try some new cheese that she had just discovered, Halloumi Cheese and I have been addicted to the stuff ever since.
About Halloumi Cheese
Halloumi cheese actually originates from Cyprus and is traditionally made from a mixture of sheep and goats milk. Halloumi bought in supermarkets tends to contain cows milk, whereas Halloumi sold in traditional Cyprian shops / restaurants still retains the traditional recipe of sheep and goats milk. One of the things that makes this cheese so unique is that it can stand a tremendous amount of heat, whereas most other cheeses melt at a certain temperature, Halloumi cheese stays relatively solid and develops a delicious golden crust.
Price and Availability
These cheese costs about £1.20 for 200 grams. I usually buy my Halloumi at Tesco where it is stocked in the cheese section but I have to admit that you do have to search for it, as its not always obvious as to where it is. One downside to this cheese is that it is not widely available but I have seen it on sale in Tesco and Sainsbury.
Halloumi cheese has an excellent shelf life, lasting for up to 2 months at 4ºC or a year it if is frozen.
Taste and Texture
One very bizarre thing about Haloumi Cheese (except for the name!) is the texture. It is firm and quite rubbery which means that when you cut it for cooking and also when you eat it, it actually squeaks against your teeth which is a strange experience.
The cheese is actually white with a very slight tint of yellow to it. It is mildly salty and has a slight tangy taste to it. It is extremely difficult to describe the taste, but its extremely different to any other cheese I have ever tried and while the taste is fairly mild, its still a very versatile and tasty cheese.
Cooking Halloumi Cheese
It has been claimed that Halloumi cheese is the only cheese in the world that can be eaten and enjoyed either raw or cooked in any possible way, fried, grilled, baked or boiled. As I already mentioned, one of the advantages of Halloumi is that it doesn't melt, that's why it is great for BBQs in the summer.
My favourite way of cooking Halloumi is the following method:
1. Cut the Halloumi into slices roughly 0.5cm - 1cm thick.
2. Roll plain flour over both sides of the Halloumi (the flour will stick as the cheese is moist)
3. Place Halloumi under a medium grill and cook until it turns brown and crispy.
Quite often when cooking this way, the cheese appears to have burnt as it does tend to go a deep brown colour but it still tastes just as yummy.
There are other ways in which to cook Halloumi cheese, such as cutting it into cubes and then places on skewers which are then placed on the BBQ. Another way is to place the Halloumi into a hot frying pan and cook each side of the Halloumi for around 30 seconds. Do a search on the internet and you will find so many different ways in which you can cook Halloumi but I thought I would share with you the main way I like to cook it.
Personally I think that Halloumi is best served with salad items such as lettuce, tomato and cucumber. When I grill my Halloumi, I tend to eat it by itself with a small amount of sweet balsamic vinegar salad dressing drizzled on top of it.
Having said that, there are literally thousands of recipes which include halloumi cheese. Halloumi cheese can be used as a snack item, a starter and can be coupled with other items to make a delicious main meal.
I would 100% recommend this cheese to people. I am amazed at the amount of people that have never heard of this cheese, let alone tried it. In fact, the first time I went to Tesco's to buy some, I had to ask an assistant where it was as I couldn't find it and she told me that they didn't stock any cheese of that name and told me that maybe I had the name wrong. I thanked her and after 10 minutes, found it tucked away on the shelf!
Although the texture of this cheese is rather odd, the mild, slightly tangy texture is very distinctive makes this cheese stand out from many others. As the flavour is not particularly strong, the cheese is not too offensive and I even know a few people that normally do not like cheese, that actually like Halloumi so everyone should definitely try it, even you people who are not cheese lovers!
Summary: Ever Heard Of Halloumi?