Kitchen Tips: What Is Halloumi Cheese And Its Culinary Uses
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Halloumi is a white, layered cheese similar to mozzarella that is traditionally made from goat's and/or sheep's milk on the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Halloumi cheese is semi-hard, unripened, and brined, with a spongy texture. It has no rind and a tart, salty flavour. Cow's milk is sometimes used to make halloumi. Pasteurized or unpasteurized milk is available. Halloumi can be eaten raw, but due to its high melting point, it is best grilled or fried.

Halloumi is basic and somewhat rubbery when eaten raw, with salty undertones. When crisped in a skillet or on the grill, it becomes delightfully crispy and flavourful on the outside and sensually melting on the inside, akin to the consistency of a toasted marshmallow. Halloumi is becoming increasingly popular. It is fairly priced and can be obtained in most well-stocked supermarkets or specialist stores. Halloumi is also available at many natural food stores. Halloumi cheese is also available to purchase online.

How Is Halloumi Cheese Created?

The milk is boiled before adding rennet or vegetarian rennet to coagulate it. When the curds develop, the whey is drained, and the curds are allowed to stiffen up before being pressed into moulds. The cheese is next poached in water or whey, and it is this extra heating stage that gives Halloumi its melting resistance. The cheese is then salted (and customarily dusted with mint) and can be eaten within three to five days if kept fresh. Otherwise, it can be preserved in brine and aged for several months, adding to the salty flavour. Unlike most cheeses, Halloumi is made without the use of acid or acid-producing microorganisms.

Halloumi has a hard texture and is marketed in compact bricks that are vacuum-packed in plastic, much like feta cheese. Dairy and goat farmers in Canada and the United States make a lot of Halloumi-style cheese. For legal reasons, these cheeses are sometimes referred to as Halloumi-style or grillable cheeses. They are also known as grilled cheese, frying cheese, or queso de frer in Spanish.

Culinary Applications

Consider grilling, frying, or slicing halloumi. Use as a layer in salads or in a Caprese salad in place of mozzarella. Use grilled Halloumi slices in place of bread in sandwiches to avoid gluten. Like in Cyprus, you can also serve it with watermelon. Halloumi can be consumed raw, but it tastes better when warmed, grilled, or in some other way prepared. Once cooked, the saltiness of the cheese fades to reveal a powerful, savoury flavour with a slightly creamy texture. Grilled or fried, Halloumi tastes great.


Halloumi's distinct texture might make it difficult to substitute in some recipes. Tofu or paneer can be substituted in some recipes, but they will not taste the same as Halloumi. A firm, dry feta cheese tastes similar when eaten fresh.

Halloumi Cheese Storage

Halloumi can be stored in the refrigerator, unopened, for up to a year. Once opened, store it in salted water in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or wrap it securely in waxed paper, parchment paper, or cheese wrap. Halloumi can also be wrapped in plastic or foil and frozen for up to three months before cooking without changing its texture.