A firm, slightly springy white cheese from Cyprus, traditionally made with sheeps’ milk, although these days mass-produced varieties often use cows’ milk.
In texture, halloumi is similar to a firm mozzarella, making it a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking. Unlike mozzarella, however, it has a strong salty flavour, particularly when preserved in brine.
The best halloumi is made from sheeps’ milk, and will come from Cyprus, although these days you can even find varieties made in Britain.
Halloumi will keep in the fridge for many months if left in its original packaging, complete with brine or whey. Once opened, submerge in salt water and refrigerate.
In the Middle East, halloumi is usually fried or grilled to take advantage of its high melting point. Although halloumi can be eaten straight from the packet, some chefs recommend soaking it in buttermilk for a day or two before preparing, to give it a richer, less salty flavour.
Article by Felicity Cloake