Say cheese! Cyprus’ halloumi gets EU protected status


Cyprus is getting protected standing for its prized halloumi, giving its producers the only proper to promote the rubbery cheese within the European Union.

Later this month, the European Union is about to formally give halloumi, or “hellim” in Turkish, the protected designation of origin (PDO) standing, which is able to come into impact from October, in line with Cyprus’ agriculture ministry.

The transfer reaffirms what the trade and state have mentioned for years, mentioned cheesemaker George Petrou, common supervisor of Petrou Bros. Dairy Products which has about 25% of Cyprus’ export market: that halloumi is Cypriot, with historic accounts suggesting manufacturing as early as round 1500.

“Unfortunately in recent years, many countries tried to copy us so the registration will help very much, in that other countries will not produce halloumi or something similar which misleads consumers,” he mentioned.

As a toddler, Petrou learnt the secrets and techniques of creating halloumi from his late mom, Kakkoulou, who offered it at farmers’ markets. As she gently stirred the milk to separate the curds in an unlimited “hartzin”, or cauldron, he would mill across the kitchen, observing her.

In 1982, Petrou began promoting halloumi below the Alambra model to complement his revenue as a first-division footballer, and he hasn’t seemed again.

From utilizing 250 litres of milk a day to make halloumi, Petrou’s firm, initially arrange with an elder brother, now processes 250 tonnes of milk per day, using 220 folks and exporting to 40 nations.

Workers pack halloumi cheese on the Petrou Bros Dairy in Aradippou, Cyprus, April 2, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou)

Its growth mirrors that of Cyprus’ halloumi manufacturing.

Now the nation’s second-most helpful export after prescription drugs, the trade has grown between 20% and 22% yearly for the previous 5 years, in line with official information. The agriculture ministry says it has now set its sights on penetrating the China market.

There have been hurdles to beat in securing the prized PDO standing, together with disagreements on the ratios of goat, sheep and cows’ milk within the recipe.

Until 2024, the ratios shall be set by decree, and after that not less than 50% shall be made up of sheep and goats’ milk, with the remainder supplemented by cows’ milk.

Though recipes for halloumi abound on-line, for locals, enjoyment is within the versatile cheese’s easiest kind – tossed within the frying pan or on a barbecue, eaten uncooked with melon in the summertime, or cubed and thrown in to boil with trahana, a cracked wheat and yoghurt soup eaten in winter.

“A lot of tourists come here looking for it,” mentioned Evroulla Ioannou, who serves up grilled halloumi at her widespread restaurant in Nicosia, Cyprus’s capital.

“Some … only know it by name so they come to try it, and from what I see, they really like it,” she mentioned.



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