HALLOUMI, the Cypriot Cheese

Trip Start Mar 03, 2010
Trip End Feb 06, 2011

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Flag of Cyprus  , Larnaca,
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Farm House Selling Halloumi

Leaving behind the Neolithic village my host Mr. Gabriel is driving me to a farm-house in the outskirts of Choirokoitia.

The farm house is quite popular to Cypriots especially in the District of Larnaca, and soon I am to meet Mrs. Loulla who shows up in the garden and is waving at us while we park the car. She welcomes us in with a warm smile.

There is another lady buying halloumi.  I guess she must have ordered it a couple of days back, but she gives me the idea that she will buy everything.   Gabriel wants to buy one or two kilos but soon I realize that Loulla has kept halloumi for my friend but she does not want to make known to the lady.

For this reason we are shown to the sitting room until she finishes with the lady.

The sitting room is really huge reminding me of a restaurant. There are many tables and chairs and I am told that this lady has a big family and she needs all this space for family gatherings.  But of course this is not the only reason.  There are many people who come up here. Some tour operators send coaches with people who want to buy or want to see how halloumi is made.   This means that Loulla keeps busy by demonstrating her business every now and then. She refers to a series on TV on the Mediterranean cuisine from Greece and tells me that recently these people paid her a visit and some days back it was broadcasted. Some Cypriot magazines have several times published articles about her.

As soon as the lady leaves, Loulla hurries in the kitchen and shows up a few minutes later with a tray in her hands with some halloumi and home made baked bread, and of course our two Cypriot coffees.  (This kind of coffee is also known as Turkish) ….but of course I prefer to say either Greek or Cypriot coffee instead. I just mention it for people who follow my entries and have never heard of this kind of coffee before – served in very small thick usually white cups.

The cups with the words "Laikon Kafekoption" bring again memories to me of the past. Laikon Kafekoption is the name of the company that sells coffee.  It is the most popular coffee on the island and very aromatic.  I only tried it at the age of 30. I usually prefer other kinds of coffee to be honest but it is fine if I am here I will drink this as well. Similar to the coffee in Greece but it is of course another brand.  I believe this coffee is much darker than the one we buy in Greece anyway.  Something similar I was served in St. Petersburg 2 months ago, ….with the only difference that they serve this coffee in much bigger cups. Mugs actually and they in their turn call it Russian coffee.

Ok..ok, back to haloumi. You can of course tell the difference immediately that this halloumi is very different to that we find in supermarkets.  It is made of goat milk and it is of excellent quality, taste and aroma.

Some years back I would act like crazy buying at least 5 or 6 kilos to carry with me in Greece, but lately I not only travel light but also no matter how tasty and nice halloumi is I won't buy it because I don’t want to have it at home.

If I have it at home, I will eat it.  I want to keep fit and healthy.  I believe it is fattening for me. It is not that I don’t like it…..on the contrary I LOVE IT, but I can do without it as well.

There is a rumour lately that some of the halloumi we buy at supermarkets are made of powdered milk and if such, there is no taste and no aroma of course.

For anybody reading this who wishes to buy some halloumi or any other cheese product from this farm house the phone is +357 99639388, and ask for Mrs. Loulla Efthymiou.

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venoth on

Hi Popi, very well written. Only today I know that Turkish coffee is just another rebranding of the Greek coffee. I have tried it before in Dubai. And cheese....hmmmm...is one of my favorites. But I admire your stand in not buying them back just to watch your weight. Great writing Popi and thank you for the information presented here.

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