Cyprus is famous amongst other things for Ayia Napa, or 'Napa' as it is more commonly known. The weather is warm and welcoming and the girls are of course beautiful. Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty was born on the shores of Cyprus... It is also where Halloumi, a favourite of cheeses, comes from. I know. At my New Year's party, the cheese board also featured home-made halloumi. It was a hit- the other cheeses were completely ignored. For Cypriots it is a staple in their diet. I know exactly why.
Halloumi has a melting point higher than any other cheese, so it is the only cheese that can be cooked. It can be grilled or fried. Try adding halloumi to your usual morning fry-up, it gives a twist to the traditional english breakfast. You can have it in salads, or serve it alongside watermelon. A favourite lunch of the Cypriots in the scorching heat of the summer.
If you are having a barbeque try skewers with halloumi and cherry tomatoes.
Also pitta pockets: Cut the pitta in quarters and place a slice of halloumi and a slice of tomato in each and place on the barbeque until the pitta begins to brown. Bite into it and you get the crispness of the pitta and then the soft texture of the warm halloumi and the freshness of the tomato. Cheat's tip: you can make this in the toaster.
Grate it and use instead of parmesan with pasta.
One of my favourites: Cut up thin slices and serve on Ryvitas or toast, drizzle with honey.
You can find halloumi in any supermarket, but if you find yourself in Cyprus seek out some traditional home-made halloumi. It has more character. If not, you must have a friend from Cyprus, ask them to get some for you. The favour will be worth it.
If you are from Cyprus, bring some back for your friends. Your popularity will soar!