Halloumi cheese comes from Cyprus, where its average consumption per capita is 8 kg per year. It is a white, semi-hard cheese made from unpasteurised sheep's milk, from a mixture of sheep and goats, possibly with the addition of cow's milk. Halloumi taste is sometimes enriched with the addition of mint. The recipe for its production has been unchanged for centuries. A characteristic feature is a fairly elastic consistency and a high melting temperature, which makes the cheese perfectly tolerate barbecuing or frying. It is quite salty, because 3% of its weight is salt, so if we intend to use a halloumi for a dish, we do not give it anymore. Halloumi is very popular in Greece, the Middle East, Europe and the United States, but the best quality Halloumi must come from Cyprus.
Although you can also buy this cheese in our stores, however, before that it's worth to look at its label and read where it was made. This is quite important because, due to its growing popularity, some countries are trying to produce it, but not always with a good effect. After repeated tests with a clear conscience, we can only recommend Greek products because they retain their properties. Others can simply melt when trying to grill.
The preparation of grilled halloumi is simple and fast. Cut the cheese into slices approximately 1 centimeter wide and lubricate on both sides with olive oil. Warm up a cast iron grill pan until a little bit of oil placed on it starts to smoke. Then we reduce the fire a little and put the slices of cheese. We grill about 1 minute on each side. Repeat the griiling process until you see clear brown stripes on the slices.
We can serve grilled cheese with garlic bread or as an addition to vegetable dishes. Cypriots mastered the combination of halloumi with other ingredients and have dozens of dishes with this cheese. They serve it most often with vegetables or fruit, but also as an addition to pork or lamb.
Dolmades is one of the most popular Greek meat dishes. It occurs both in the vegetarian version and with meat. Young grape leaves are needed to prepare them. And it is in the leaves that the key to success lies. They must be young and very delicate. The best and the most delicate ones are collected around May. However, if you do not have the opportunity to collect fresh leaves, you can use ready-made leaves from the lagoon. However, the effect will be better if you use fresh leaves.
Fava is a popular appetizer in Greece somewhat similar to hummus, but unlike it, it is made from yellow-skinned peas. Fava is easy to prepare and can be served both hot and cold, for example with pita bread.
Although many people avoid street food, we, for our part, encourage you to use such places in Greece. Your particular interest should be aroused by places where there are swarms of local Greeks. And do not worry about how this place looks like, the oilcloth on the tables and a collection of not-perfect-looking chairs can be a harbinger of tasty (albeit not always cheap) food. Of course, choose with your head and wisely, rather we advise against all kinds of hamburgers, ice cream shops and small gastronomy based on continental quick delicacies. However, places offering products based on fragments of local cuisine can turn out to be really interesting discoveries. This is how we discovered pancakes stuffed with spinach and feta cheese.