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Substitutes for Halloumi

Asked by potato. Answered on 19th April 2011

Full question

I find the description of halloumi cheese to be really amazing, and I love all cheeses, but I can't find it in the States. I'm planning on making Halloumi with Chilli from Nigella Bites, but unless I order it on-line I can't find it anywhere. Is there another substitute for it that can stand high temperatures? Help, please!

Our answer

Halloumi cheese (sometimes spelt as haloumi in the US) is a cheese which originated in Cyprus. It is a slightly unusual cheese as it can be heated to high temperatures without melting, making it perfect for frying and grilling. It is usually packaged in brine which gives it a slaty flavour but also excellent keeping qualities so it should travel fairly well if you mail order it and it is worth buying a couple of packages at once.

Halloumi is also popular in Greece and the Mediterranean area so if you have a Middle Eastern or Mediterranean deli locally it is worth trying there. It is also available in some Whole Foods stores. The link below to a halloumi cheese maker in the US also gives some suggestions for stores to try in certain states.

If you live near a Latin American store it may be worth trying Queso Para Frier (or "frying cheese") or Queso Blanco. They have similar cooking qualities to halloumi and do not melt when heated so can be fried or grilled.

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