Love it or loathe it, there’s no denying that halloumi has become a staple of the British summertime. And with reports that there’s a shortage, how will you survive without it?
Halloumi is flying off supermarket shelves faster than it can be replaced by suppliers, according to media reports this week.
The Cypriot cheese – made from sheep and goat’s milk, and renowned for its salty taste and squeaky sound – has become a firm BBQ favourite among vegetarians and meat-eaters alike in recent years.
But halloumi suppliers in Cyprus are struggling to keep up with growing demand.
The UK’s main halloumi supplier in the Mediterranean country said they’re having to send ’emergency supplies’ to the UK by road rather than sea to fill the supermarket glut.
One plucky person took to Twitter to auction off their halloumi to the highest bidder…
— Thirsty Gardeners (@ThirstyGardener) June 25, 2018
But BBC Good Food clearly didn’t get the memo about the shortage, which may leave some football fans in the lurch…
— BBC Good Food (@bbcgoodfood) June 24, 2018
Demand for the cheese has been growing steadily in recent years. Last October, Waitrose revealed it had seen a 24% increase in demand on the previous year.
But supply has been limited since 2015, when Cypriot and Turkish halloumi were granted a Protected Designation of Origin status by the EU – meaning would-be suppliers elsewhere can’t call their cheese halloumi.
And sheep and goat’s milk – the principle ingredients of halloumi – are produced in much smaller yields than cow’s milk.
However, a Scottish university may have a solution to our halloumi woes. Scientists from Edinburgh University are reportedly helping Cypriot farmers increase their milk yields.
So all may not be lost for halloumi lovers…
Until then, what else can we barbecue instead? Few cheeses hold a similarly high melting point like halloumi, so you may have to look beyond dairy products altogether.
Halloumi is loved by meat lovers as well as vegetarians, so, if you’re a carnivore and missing the Mediterranean vibes of halloumi, why not try some sardines or squid on the BBQ? Or a lamb kofta?
For vegetarians, what about that old classic of vegetable skewers? And for those who really want to show off, what about chargrilling aubergines and making your own baba ganoush?
Are you a halloumi fan? Or do you think it is just a middle-class fad food? What will you be cooking this weekend on your barbecue?