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Halloumi, Berloumi and other grilling cheeses

Grilling cheese or cheese for grilling has been eaten for centuries throughout the whole world. Especially in the Middle East and regions where cooling was a problem, this type of cheese is very popular. Wether eaten cold or grilled. The cooking process of the curd and the storing in brine ensured a long shelf life. The cheese not melting was a nice advantage Since the nineteens, grilling cheese, and more specifically Halloumi, became known in the Anglo-Saxon countries and Europe.

Grilling cheese in the world.

Halloumi, the original grilling cheese

The Cypriot Halloumi (or Hellim in Turkey) is by far the best known grilling cheese . The name Halloumi goes back to the Egyptian ‘ Hallum ‘ and refers to a ‘ cheese that was already eaten in medieval Egypt.

Since 17 July 2014 there is an application for recognition as a European appellation of origin. The European Union seems to support this recognition because the application comes from both the Turkish (Hellim) and the Greek (Halloumi) part of the island The joint application seems to unite the divided island. Under pressure from trade mark groups and especially English Halloumi producers, the designation of origin has not yet been accepted. There are also contradictions between the various producers in Cyprus. The application for the designation of origin will lead to the use of maximum 50% cow milk. Due to the large international demand for and the shortage of goats and sheep milk on the island, producers are increasingly using cow milk.

Nabulsi

Nabulsi is a boiled (therefore it does not melt) and salted cheese from Palestine. Coming from ‘ Nablus ‘ but the cheese is known in the wide region. The cheese is flavored with ‘mahleb’ or black cumin and mastic. Nabulsi is eaten both cold and hot and a somewhat matured, more mozzarella-like, version is used in the Palestinian dessert ‘ knafeh ‘.

Cheese Curd-Squeaky Cheese

Cheese, curds, squeaky

In Canada and the north of the United States freshly made curd is often eaten fried. The curd is shredded in irregular pieces and sometimes goes through a batter before frying. In Canada, the Cheese curds are used in the local dish Poutine. Poutine consists of French fries, fried cheese topped with a stew-like meat sauce. In Wisconsin, the cheese is goes in a batter and is fried on fairgrounds and festivals. Cheese curds are tastiest when they are eaten very fresh. They have a remarkable mouth-feel and squeak when you bite them. Hence the name ‘ squeaky Cheese ‘

Leipäjuusto (Finland)

Leipäjuusto originates from the northern part of Finland and literally means: bread cheese. The cheese is traditionally made from the very fatty colostrum milk of newly calved cows. Commercial cheeses are simply made from cow’s milk. Unlike Halloumi, Leipäjuusto is not ‘ recooked ‘ but baked and/or grilled in the oven. Afterwards the cheese is slightly dried. Heavily dried cheeses are bone hard and need to be warmed to eat.

Leipäjuusto is eaten with berries and often topped with coffee. Sometimes it is also topped with cream and warmed in the oven or used as salad cheese.

Paneer, the Indian grilling cheese

Paneer is made in a very different way than most grilling cheeses. It looks like a fresh, pressed ricotta made from whole milk. The milk for Paneer is strongly heated (to more than 90 °C), then slightly cooled and then curdled with lemon juice, vinegar or another acid. There is no use of bacteria or enzymes (rennet) in this kind of cheese The whey proteins that are lost in most cheeses are also included in the cheese. As a result, Paneer always remains reasonably moist and can not be stored for a very long time. Paneer is easy to make at home. If you have find some time, then take a look at this video.

Paneer is usually cut into cubes and fried or baked and ends up in a curry. The best known is probably ‘ saag paneer ‘, a preparation with spinach. In most recipes, Paneer can be exchanged by our Berloumi.

Queijo Coalho, grilling cheese in Brasil

Queijo Coalho is a fresh Brazilian grilling cheese that is often grilled on the beaches as kebab. Looking at the production it’s a cross of Halloumi and Mozzarella. The milk is not acidified (like Halloumi) but the curd is heated slightly (like Mozzarella). Coalho is usually eaten very freshly.

Provolone/Provoleta (Argentina)

Provoleta (brand name) is the Argentine version of the Italian Provolone. The Italian Provolone is a matured ‘ pasta filata ‘, a cheese style which also includes Mozzarella and pizza cheese. Provoleta is traditionally grilled on the asado, an Argentine low barbeque. Unlike Berloumi and Halloumi, provolone exhibits some melting One has to let the cheese come to room temperature with the outside slightly drying up. The cheese is then rubbed with oil and grilled over high heat. Also Scamorza and Caciocavallo belong to the same cheese type.

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