Halloumi—Cyprus' gift to the world

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With its unique taste experience and growing international presence, Cyprus Halloumi is an absolute sensation for cheese lovers

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Published: Thu 30 Dec 2021, 11:19 AM

Last updated: Thu 30 Dec 2021, 11:20 AM

As the leader of Cyprus’ export drive, Halloumi is justly revered as one of the island’s most loved and enjoyed culinary creations across the globe.

The presence of Halloumi in Cyprus, as well as its leading role in the nutrition and the life of inhabitants of the island, is well-known and has been recorded for centuries. The production of Halloumi cheese was a practice of social solidarity and informal partnership between rural families. Despite its humble and domestic beginnings, it has now become a runaway success with international cheese buyers.

Today, following the massive success of Halloumi, the cheese is now manufactured on an industrial scale by modern producers, using the latest technology, while the more traditional techniques are still maintained by small scale manufacturers.

The uniqueness of Cyprus Halloumi is due to the particular geographical environment it is grown in and its characteristic production process. White, semi-hard Halloumi (fresh and mature) is made from sheep or goat milk or a mixture of the two, with or without cow milk. It is a white, elastic and relatively soft cheese which hardens as it matures. The cheese is usually folded over onto itself and presented in semi-circular or rectangular shapes. Leaves of fresh or dried mint are also added to enhance its taste.

The distinctiveness of Halloumi lies in the fact that it can be eaten in a variety of ways. Whether raw, grilled, fried or baked, it constitutes a great option for vegetarian consumers. Furthermore, Halloumi is consumed in soups, grated onto pasta, or used as an ingredient in various baked goods. The uniqueness of the product has proved an important factor in its success both at home and abroad.

It’s no wonder that Halloumi is an internationally-respected Cypriot export. Thanks to its unique taste experience and expert production methods, it has secured a worldwide market, with large consignments being dispatched regularly to continental Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, the Middle East and the USA. The value and quantities of Halloumi shipped around the world has increased yearly, and currently is exported to more than 40 countries.

As of April 12, 2021, « χαλλούμι (Halloumi)/Hellim» has been officially registered by the European Commission as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product. Halloumi is also registered under two certification trademarks in Cyprus through the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Cyprus. Cyprus also retains the trademark in a number of other countries including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Egypt, Jordan, USA, UK and South Africa.

As a uniquely delicious and globally-renowned cheese, it’s time for Halloumi — the jewel in Cyprus’s culinary heritage — to be the centrepiece of even more tables around the world.

To find out more, contact the Cyprus Trade Centre in the UAE https://ctcdubai.org.

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