/ Food & Drink

Halloumi shortage: what will you barbecue instead?

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…

But BBC Good Food clearly didn’t get the memo about the shortage, which may leave some football fans in the lurch…

Cheese crisis

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…

BBQ alternatives

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?

Comments
Member

Flying off the shelves maybe but not -“flying into my mouth” that isn’t a meal in my eyes only a side dish , I am of the “Yorkshire mode ” of food –real food -big plate and plenty of it , I would end up anemic if I eat that all the time as well as burrowing holes in my lawn and growing big front teeth. I am sure it will be a hit here but like a “Chinese ” five minutes after eating it in a restaurant I would be “down the chippy ” and probably be visiting Bradford for a whole street of curry shops .

Member

https://www.waitrose.com/ecom/products/milkys-halum-british-halloumi-style-cheese/788555-268208-268209

268209Milky’s Halum British halloumi style cheese250g
3.6 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
£2.55(£10.20/kg)
The cheese you grill. Made from British milk. Fabulous fried and gorgeous grilled. Suitable for vegetarians.Full fat semi hard cheese

Never tried it. Quite happy with grilled Cheddar. Shortage? Eat something else 🙂 Buy British.

Member
TeaBone says:
30 June 2018

Have tried it. BBQ’d halloumi beats cheddar. Both are nice.

No halloumi in the supermarket? Eat something else.

Buy the best value. Support British where you can,

Member

Yes TeaBone -support British NOT America First but Britain FIRST.

Member

Why not make Halloumi in the British then?

Member
Patrick Taylor says:
1 July 2018

This from 2013 is interesting though like so much content talks in percentage increases which tends to mean starting from a low base figure to produce high percentage growth figures that look exciting.
bbc.com/news/magazine-24159029

Given we are not advised in tonnage terms of the amount imported, or the amount made in the UK it is difficult to know if this is somewhat hyped. For comparison annual UK production is around 440,000 tonnes and a breakdown is here: dairy.ahdb.org.uk/market-information/dairy-sales-consumption/cheese-market/

My research shows around 19,000 tonnes halloumi/hellim exported in 2014 taking the figures for both parts of Cypus. The UK is the main export market taking 36% in that year.

An old article with recipes and English supplier details and production:
telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/features/hands-off-our-british-halloumi-cheese-cyprus/

From an article 2007 some background on the cheese.
Halloumi is a semi-hard cheese made principally in Cyprus from sheep or goat milk or mixture of the two. The raw milk is coagulated as for Feta cheese. The blocks of the cheese (10 × 10 × 3 cm) are heated at 92–95°C in the whey extracted during draining. Subsequently, they are folded in half and sprinkled with a mixture of coarse salt and finely chopped mint (Papademas and Robinson, 2000, 2001, 2002; Robinson, 1991; Abd El-Salam and Alichanidis, 2004). The fresh product has a characteristic aroma that is unique to this cheese. If not sold immediately, the cheese is stored in salted whey (10–12% NaCl). Due to increasing demands for exports, pasteurized cow’s milk is now used for its production and the flavor of the various cheese types vary greatly (Papademas and Robinson, 2001).
sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/halloumi

Member

I’ve never seen halloumi on supermarket shelves in any other European countries (I’ve looked for it!) – except maybe Greece. Strange how it’s just the UK obsessed with it.

Member
Patrick Taylor says:
3 July 2018

Oscar – Not knowing which European countries you have visited makes it difficult to reply. I do know that Germany and Sweden are large halloumi importing European country. Sweden having a small population on a per head basis they may eat more than us.

The barbacue culture is probably better developed there. There is the possibility that most of it goes to the restaurant trade and that it is otherwise only available in speciality shops. Alternatively Swedish supermarkets have not been checked out yet!

This is an old article but very full on detail. Usefully it quotes 2006 as 5500 tonnes exported and AFAIR it is more like 19000 tonnes now.

http://www.cyprusfoodndrinks.com/cgibin/hweb?-A=67&-V=authentics