The UK is the biggest consumer of halloumi cheese outside Cyprus, with Waitrose selling the equivalent weight of 33 London buses worth in the past year alone.
Online searches for ‘halloumi’ rose 83% in the past two years according to Google Adwords, and an average of 60,500 people searched online for ‘halloumi’ in June,
The supermarket chain’s cheese buyer Chris Dawson said: “It’s easy to see why halloumi popularity has soared in the UK – it’s a tasty, quick mid-week meal option and we’ve seen sales increase 26% in the past two years.”
Originally from Cyprus but widely used throughout the Middle East, Halloumi is a salty, brined cheese traditionally made from the curd of goat and sheep milk. High in protein and calcium, its high melting point makes it suitable for grilling, frying or baking.
Leyli Homayoonfar, chef at the Waitrose Cookery School on London’s Finchley Road, said: “Try halloumi for brunch or as an alternative to meat – it’s a great swap for bacon because of its saltiness. You can also freeze it for up to a year without it affecting the texture.”
Leyli’s other grilled cheese serving suggestions include Turkish eggs, Shakshuka, Aubergine and Halloumi bake and traditional Saganaki.
Waitrose have created a ‘5 Ways with Halloumi’ section online to offer halloumi recipe inspiration, including a new video with The Happy Pear, and more serving suggestions here: http://www.waitrose.com/home/recipes/5-ways-with/halloumi.html