Khaloumi or Halloumi
What goat cheese is to the Greeks, Halloumi is to the Cypriot. This seductive cheese is not entirely a Cypriot invention, however, but is actually Arabic in origin. It is made from a mixture of sheep’s, goat’s and cow’s milk sometimes from 100% sheep’s or goat’s milk, and the end product is the result of a complicated series of step.
First , the milk is heated slowly in a large cauldron over a very low heat.
Then , the obligatory rennet is added , a kind of ready-made yeast, which comes from the mucous membrane found in the stomach of young kids and contains the important enzyme chymosin.
It helps young animals to digest their mothers’ milk, but is used in cheese- making to coagulate the milk. The milk must then be left to rest until it begins to solidify. The solid mass is then squeezed by hands over a large saucepan until all the whey is removed and only the solids remain. Next cheese is divided into portions and placed in special pots. Then we separated the cheese in two and we boiled carefully with the left whey, next we scooped out again and lay on a wooden board.
The next step is to set out large plates contains salt and fresh mint leaves , then toss each Halloumi first in salt and than in the mint. This gives cheese an unexpected flavor.
Halloumi cheese can be stored months in 20-4 0 C fridge and over a year at -0,40C.
Halloumi does not melt, can be fry, grill or boil.
Anari is a fresh mild whey cheese product of Cyprus. It is a type of cheese made as a Halloumi without mint leaves.
When we have Anari very soft it is perfect for salads or we can use with honey or fruits. It is really near to the taste of Italian mozzarella.
Kefalotyri is a hard, salty white or yellow cheese made from sheep milk or goat’s milk in Cyprus. It is really near to the taste of Parmesan. It is an old cheese more than one year. Kefalotyri can be used for pasta dishes, appetizer or in main dishes like Saganaki.
We have in Cyprus unique cheeses which can be perfectly pairing with traditional grape varieties as Xynistery with grill Halloumi, Morokanella and Anari cheese with honey and figs or Maratheftiko with Kefalotyri, nuts and gliko tou koutalu (fruits boiled in a sugar).