The cheese stands alone: Halloumi gets protected status

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The United Kingdom is the largest importer of halloumi, a Cyprian cheese, but British cheesemakers discovered they have to find another name for the same product on home turf. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

International journalist Soraya Kishtwari was in Westminster, England, innocently reporting on halloumi – a salty, rubbery, grillable cheese – when she found herself in the middle of a story filled with geopolitics and diplomacy. Kishtwari was speaking to a member of Parliament who was proud of securing funding for one of his constituents to make halloumi. But the cheesemaker was not allowed to use the term halloumi because it is claimed by the island of Cyprus, which has lobbied to give the cheese protected designation of origin (PDO) status similar to champagne and feta. 

She wrote about “The Halloumi Conundrum” for Whetstone Magazine.