What is it?
A creamy, soft to semi-hard cheese made from a blend of goat's and sheep's (and sometimes cow's) milk and a bit of mint. Originally made by Bedouins in the Middle East, halloumi is sometimes called Greek grilling cheese or "squeaky cheese" for the sound it makes against your teeth. It's one of the few cheeses that soften but do not melt when heated (something to do with acid content). Today, halloumi is made in Cyprus, where it's so integral to the culture that inspectors reportedly visit shops and dairies to ensue time-honoured preparation methods are being followed.
The cheese is creamy white and dense and has the layered, fibrous texture associated with mozzarella.
Halloumi is salty but mild, with a tangy flavour. Some varities are saltier than others and may need soaking in warm water or milk for a brief period to remove excess salt.
It can be grilled, roasted, fried, or eaten fresh, and pairs well with a wide range of foods. In Cyprus, people cook think slices in a hot pan until the outside is crisp and golden and the inside is soft. Halloumi can also be grilled and drizzled with olive oil, and then served with pita bread and salad. It's also commonly cubed and threaded onto skewers for grilling.
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