Halloumi or haloumi (//) (Greek: Χαλλούμι is a semi-hard, unripened cheese made from a mixture of goat's and sheep's milk, and sometimes also cow's milk. It has a high melting point and so can easily be fried or grilled. This property makes it a popular meat substitute. Rennet (mostly vegetarian or microbial) is used to curdle the milk in halloumi production, although no acid-producing bacteria are used in its preparation.
|Country of origin||Cyprus|
|Source of milk||Goat, sheep, sometimes cow|
|Pasteurised||Commercially, but not traditionally|
|Aging time||Commercially not aged|
|Certification||In some jurisdictions|
|Related media on Wikimedia Commons|
Halloumi is often associated with the island of Cyprus, where it has been produced by a multi-ethnic population for many centuries. It is also popular throughout the Eastern Mediterranean. It became widely available in Turkey after 2000. By 2013, demand in the United Kingdom had surpassed that in every other European country except Cyprus. A halloumi-style sheep's milk cheese is produced by Cypriots in England under the name "Anglum" (the protected name "halloumi" cannot be used).
Halloumi is a registered trademark in the United States (owned by the Cyprus government) and the UK (owned by the Foundation for the Protection of the Traditional Cheese of Cyprus named Halloumi). It is also protected as a geographical indication in the EU, as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), which means within the EU only products made in certain parts of Cyprus can be called "halloumi". PDO protection for Halloumi was delayed largely due to a conflict between dairy producers and sheep and goat farmers as to whether (and how much) cow's milk the cheese may contain.
The English name halloumi is derived from Modern Greek: χαλλούμι [xaˈlumi], khalloúmi, from Cypriot Maronite Arabic xallúm, ultimately from Egyptian Arabic: حلوم ḥallūm [ħalˈluːm].
The Egyptian Arabic word is itself a loanword from Coptic ϩⲁⲗⲱⲙ halōm (Sahidic) and ⲁⲗⲱⲙ alōm (Bohairic), and was used for cheese eaten in medieval Egypt. The name of the cheese likely goes back the Demotic word ḥlm "cheese" attested in manuscripts and ostraca from 2nd century Roman Egypt.
The methods of making halloumi likely originated sometime in the Medieval Byzantine period (AD 395–1191). A recipe for enhancing ḥalūm ('cheese') by brining is found in the 14th-century Egyptian cookbook كنز الفوائد في تنويع الموائد : Kanz al-Fawāʾid fī Tanwīʿ al-Mawāʾid.
The earliest known surviving descriptions of Cypriot halloumi were recorded in the mid-16th century by Italian visitors to Cyprus, where it is often said to have originated. However, the question of whether the recipe for the quintessential halloumi was born in Cyprus and then travelled to Lebanon and the rest of the Levant, or whether the basic techniques of making cheese that resists melting evolved over time in various parts of the eastern Mediterranean—or both—does not have a definitive answer.
Cypriot farmers relied on halloumi as a source of protein and in many villages the entire community would join forces and make huge batches together. Recipes varied from village to village, with each taking great pride in their special technique and secret ingredients. Halloumi became so important to village life that even the surnames of many Cypriot families reflect their role in halloumi production, with names such as Hallumas, Halluma and Hallumakis common by the 19th century.
Traditionally, halloumi was made from sheep and goat milk, since there were few cows on the island until they were brought over by the British in the 20th century. But as demand grew, industrial cheese-makers began using more of the cheaper and more plentiful cow's milk.
Overview and preparation
The cheese is white, with a distinctive layered texture and has a salty flavour. It is stored in its natural juices. It is commonly garnished with mint, which derives from halloumi keeping better when wrapped with mint leaves; halloumi is sometimes packaged with chopped mint on its surface.
The cheese is often used in cooking, and can be fried until brown without melting due to its higher-than-typical melting point. This makes it an excellent cheese for frying or grilling (as in saganaki) or fried and served with vegetables, or as an ingredient in salads. There are many recipes that use halloumi beyond simple grilling. Cypriots like eating halloumi with watermelon in the warm months, and as halloumi and lountza, a combination of halloumi cheese and either a slice of smoked pork, or a soft lamb sausage. In many regions it is often eaten with breakfast, or as a light meal or side dish.
The resistance to melting is due to the fresh curd being heated before being shaped and placed in brine. Traditional halloumi is a semicircular shape, about the size of a large wallet, weighing 220–270 grams (7.8–9.5 oz). The fat content is approximately 25% wet weight, 47% dry weight with about 17% protein. Its firm texture when cooked causes it to squeak on the teeth when being chewed.
Traditional halloumi is made from unpasteurised sheep and goat milk. Many people also like aged halloum; kept in its brine, it is much drier, much stronger and much saltier, making it very different from the milder halloumi generally used in the West.
- Fried cheese
- List of cheeses – List of cheeses by place of origin
- Queijo coalho – Brazilian cheese
- Saganaki – Greek fried cheese dish
- Paneer - similar to unsalted Halloumi
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Haloumi, or halumi, is a mild salty Cypriot cheese made from goat's, ewe's, or cow's milk.
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Cyprus has managed to secure EU recognition of halloumi as a traditional cheese of Cyprus ; therefore no other country may export cheese of the same nameCS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
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Halloumi is a semi-hard to hard, unripened cheese that, traditionally, is made from either sheep's milk or goat's milk or a mixture of the two. Although the cheese has its origins in Cyprus, it is widely popular throughout the Middle East, and hence many countries have now become involved with its manufacture. In Australia, it is coated with a greek yogurtCS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Allen, Gary J. (2007). The herbalist in the kitchen. University of Illinois Press. p. 212. ISBN 978-0-252-03162-5.
Haloumi (sometimes spelled Halloumi) is a brine-cured cheese from Cyprus containing chopped mint.
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- Media related to Halloumi at Wikimedia Commons