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Asked by monicapb. Answered on 7th June 2012

Full question

Hi Nigella Team, I live in Italy where I can't find hallomi cheese. What kind of Italian cheese can I use instead of halloumi? Thanks Monica.

Our answer

Unfortunately it is difficult to find a good replacement for halloumi cheese as nothing quite matches its texture when cooked - which could be described as slightly "squeaky". Mozzarella is not a good substitute as it melts when heated, whereas halloumi keeps its shape.

If you have any Middle Eastern or Cypriot stores in your area then these are quite likely to stock halloumi (and usefully has halloumi has quite a long shelf life). Otherwise you could try using ricotta salata instead. It has a slight salty tang but its taste and texture overall will be somewhat different to halloumi, so it may not always work with the other ingredients in the dish.

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