Why Cyprus is at Risk of Losing its Precious Halloumi Cheese Commodity

What a blundering mess. Cyprus is the birthplace of halloumi, a semi-hard, unripened and brined cheese prepared using sheep’s milk from the tiny Mediterranean island country. Sometimes halloumi is made using a mixture of goat’s milk and sheep’s milk. Lately it’s also been made using cow’s milk. Its unique texture allows it to be enjoyed raw, grilled or fried. How it’s prepared and where it’s made has been the topic of heated discussions, resulting in a formal application to the European Union to register the cheese as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), and lawsuits.

Growing up eating halloumi since both my parents are from Cyprus, I first learned of the PDO application when I visited my parent’s home country in August 2016. During that trip, my cousin kindly set up an opportunity for my family and me to visit a village where local village women show school children how the halloumi cheese is made. There is nothing as delicious as tasting freshly-made halloumi.

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