Top Pick Of The Week

November 9, 2010



Grilled halloumi cheese and cherry tomatoes, on a bed of baby arugula dressed with a lemon-olive oil vinaigrette. Photo by Ina Peters | IST.

WHAT IT IS: Cheese for grilling.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: It holds its shape when fried, grilled or otherwise cooked.
WHY WE LOVE IT: It’s cheese, fried, warm and delicious.
WHERE TO BUY IT:  Halloumi/grilling cheese is available at retailers nationwide. See store locator or phone 1.888.767.0778 for Yanni Grilling Cheese.

.Halloumi Cheese: Move Over, Fried Mozzarella Sticks

CAPSULE REPORT: Given how many fried mozzarella sticks are sold in the U.S., why do so few people know about halloumi cheese?

Originally from Cyprus and now sold in many U.S. supermarkets (and most cheese stores), halloumi is not only delicious, but is our nomination to be included in the next edition of Eat This Not That!:

  • Mozzarella sticks: cheese, breadcrumbs and eggs to coat, cooking oil to fry. Cheese gets gooey when cooked.
  • Grilled halloumi: cheese pan-fried (oil-free in a nonstick pan). Cheese stays solid when cooked.

What can you do with halloumi—grilled, fried, boiled or otherwise? See all of our suggestions on the next page. You don’t have to cook it at all, but can enjoy this dense, chewy cheese as a tangy cousin of mozzarella.

We recommend domestic brands over imports, unless you’ve tried and enjoy the import. Like feta, halloumi is a fresh cheese stored in salted brine. Some of the imports we’ve tried have been one step away from a salt lick and not enjoyable to eat—like oversalted feta.

Fortunately, more U.S. cheesemakers are making halloumi-style cheese. They can’t call the cheese halloumi, because it is trademarked in the U.S. and has PDO (Protected Designation
of Origin) from the European Union. Only halloumi made in Cyprus can be called halloumi.

Instead, it’s sold in the U.S. as “grilling cheese” or halloumi-style cheese. Look for Yanni Grilling Cheese in your market, a brand from California-based Karoun Dairies.

True turophiles can order the artisan-made halloumi-style Idaho Golden Greek Grillin' Cheese, from Ballard Family Dairy & Cheese.  Its halloumi-style cheese has been honored with an award from the American Cheese Society in a very competitive field.

Read the rest of the review to learn how you can enjoy halloumi/grilling cheese at every time of day. Start with the article index below.

THE NIBBLE does not sell the foods we review
or receive fees from manufacturers for recommending them.

Our recommendations are based purely on our opinion, after tasting thousands of products each year, that they represent the best in their respective categories.

Cooking With Cheese

The Cheese Lover's Cookbook And Guide The Tillamook Cheese Cookbook The Great Big Cheese Cookbook
The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook & Guide, by Paula Lambert. One of America’s greatest cheesemakers shows that she’s also a great cook. See our review of Mozzarella Company cheeses. Learn more.

The Tillamook Cheese Cookbook, by Kathy Holstad. More than 150 recipes using Cheddar and other popular cheeses. Try the Hazelnut Crusted Salmon With Cheddar Pesto Sauce. Learn more.

The Great Big Cheese Cookbook from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. A massive compendium of everyday and gourmet recipes from  top chefs. Learn more.


This is Page 1 of a three-page article. Click on the black links to visit other pages:


Continue To Page 2: Halloumi Recipe Suggestions

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