Halloumi Cheese

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A cheese that was traditionally made with sheep or goat's milk, but today is most often made with cow's milk. The cheese originated in Cyprus, but is also made in Lebanon and Romania. Somewhat similar to Mozzarella, it has a rubbery texture with a bland flavor and is primarily used as a cooking cheese, holding its shape well when heated. Often referred to as a "stretched curd" cheese, the Halloumi curds are heated in water or whey, kneaded and then rolled out into a slab that is cut into blocks to be stored in brine until ready for packaging or use. After the cheese is heated, fresh mint is chopped and mixed into the cheese, giving it a herbal and subdued salty flavor that comes from the brine, but generally the flavor is mellow and somewhat tangy. To reduce the saltiness, wash the brine off cheese after it is removed from the package or add a little lemon juice and olive oil to the cheese.

Halloumi cheese can be fried or grilled, which makes the outside crispy and the inside soft and creamy. It slices well and is a good cheese for snacking, for sandwiches, or as an appetizer. It also goes well with vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet peppers, cucumbers, or zucchini. Another spelling used for this cheese is Haloumi.

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