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Halloumi Cheese

Halloumi: The pride of Cyprus

Halloumi comes from Cyprus, where it was made for the first time during the Byzantine period (between 395 - 1191).

Halloumi has been made in Cyprus since ancient times and has occupied a special place in the Cypriot diet.  Halloumi was already known in Cyprus before the conquest of the island by the Turks in 1571. The first written reference to Halloumi is made in a document by Doge Leonardo Donna (1556), during the Venetian occupation. In the file published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus, Doge Leonardo Dona, who lived in Cyprus, mentions Halloumi (calumi) in a handwritten document from 1556.  Also, in 1738 the traveler/writer Richard Pococke notes that the Halloumi is famous throughout the Levante. 

Halloumi is also made by the Turkish Cypriot community, under the name hellim (Wikipedia. The free encyclopedia, "Halloumi").

The Cypriots and the Greeks call it Haloumi or Halloumi, the Turks Hellim, the Arabs Hallum and the Italians Calumi. However, as they say, a few types of cheese in the world can be proud of intriguing our taste buds like this.

The importance of this cheese on the island is so great that it is considered the predominantly Cypriot cheese product, both within Cyprus and in the rest of Hellenism and Western and Northern Europe. In Cypriot gastronomy, Halloumi is rarely found in lists of non-traditional restaurants, in contrast to many restaurants in Britain, which have made it a gastronomic delicacy. The British love it, in fact it has gone out of gourmet restaurants, it has become street food, Halloumi fries, with many fans. It is considered today the flag of authentic Cypriot cuisine.

Consumption per person @Cyprus

9 kilos/year

Consumption @the world

40 countries in 5 continents. 

Halloumi is considered to be the second most important export product of Cyprus with its quantities reaching the value of €120 million euros every year. The exports of the product follow a continuous upward trend along with the main export destinations being the United Kingdom, Greece, Sweden, Germany, Australia as well as the United States of America. 

Source: http://foodmuseum.cs.ucy.ac.cy/web/guest/allcivitems/civitem/1735

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