Halloumi Cheese – what the heck is it and how do I use it?

Halloumi cheese is known by a few different names:  haloumi, halloum, haloum, halloom.  It is a pressed cheese from the Cyprus and is popular in Mediterranean cooking.  As a pressed cheese, it is excellent for grilling and pan-frying as it browns without sticking.

While it does soften somewhat in cooking, Halloumi cheese keeps its form and shape.  Delicious sliced, grated or cubed, I’ve used it on pizza, in sandwiches,  salads, and pan-fried and drizzled with chili oil.

It is worth noting that this is a salty cheese, so when adding to recipes, avoid using added salt as the cheese itself will lend more than enough seasoning.  If you want to reduced the salt content a bit, remove it from its packing and/or brine, and soak it in cold water for a couple of hours to remove some of the salt.

In Edmonton, it’s available at The Italian Centre, El Safadi Market, Hella’s Foods, El Chami Foods, and even some Save-On locations.