The most important etiquette rules on how to serve and eat Halloumi. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest at the dining table.

Grilled Halloumi cheese

What Halloumi etiquette is

Halloumi etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat Halloumi. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow Halloumi etiquette to serve it to your guests appropriately.

If you are a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat and enjoy it.

What you should know about Halloumi

Halloumi is a semi-soft cheese from Cyprus. It is made from a mix of sheep’s and goat’s milk.

Halloumi is white in color and salty in flavor. Its texture is soft but firm, and slightly rubbery. There are many varieties, mostly depending on their aging. Aged Halloumi has a stronger flavor and is saltier.

Rules To Serve And Eat Halloumi.

Etiquette tips to serve and eat Halloumi

1) How to store Halloumi

Store Halloumi in the fridge. Sealed, unopened Halloumi can last over 6 months. After opening it, store it in a sealed container. Keep it in its brine. Alternatively, place it in a mix of water and salt. 

In the freezer, Halloumi can last for up to 12 months. In the freezer, store Halloumi without brine.

Store dishes with cooked Halloumi in the fridge. They can last for up to 3 or 5 days. 

2) How to clean Halloumi

You do not need to wash Halloumi. Just drain it from the brine in its packaging.

If you notice a foul smell or mold on its surface, Halloumi has gone bad. You should discard it immediately.

3) How to cook Halloumi

Halloumi is perfect for baking, grilling, and even frying. It has a high melting temperature, which makes it perfect for cooking. 

To add Halloumi to another dish, it is best to cook it on its own first. Otherwise, you risk overcooking the other ingredients before Halloumi gets properly cooked. 

It is a popular ingredient in salads.

4) How to serve & present Halloumi

Serve Halloumi as a dish. It can be a main, an appetizer, or a side dish. Do not serve it as a cheese course after the meal. Also, it is not appropriate for a cheese platter.

You can serve and eat it raw. However, its flavor and texture are best after cooking.

Present it in large chunks. Accompany it with bread and vegetables. You can season it with olive oil, oregano, and cracked black pepper.

If you serve Halloumi raw, present it at room temperature. Take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving. Fried or grilled Halloumi should be served immediately after cooking. 

5) Food and wine to pair Halloumi with

Halloumi pairs well with many fresh or cooked vegetables. Tomatoes. Peppers. Onions. Cucumbers. Olives. Eggplants. Zucchini.

It is not common with meat, fish, and seafood. Do not add Halloumi to pasta, rice, and pizza.

Its flavor pairs well with watery or citric fruits. Watermelon. Cantaloupe. Lemon.

It goes well with honey and mint too.

Pair Halloumi with medium-bodied white wines. Chardonnay. Sauvignon Blanc. Chablis. Or with light red wines such as Zinfandel. Alternatively, pair it with sparkling white wine, such as Prosecco or Cava.

6) How to eat Halloumi

Eat Halloumi with a fork and a knife. Do not eat it with your hands.

Halloumi does not spread. You can season it with olive oil, cracked black pepper, and herbs. Avoid salt, as Halloumi is already salty in flavor.

halloumi etiquette mistakes

Halloumi etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the worst Halloumi etiquette mistakes. 

  • 9/10. Serving spoiled Halloumi.
  • 7/10. Adding Halloumi to pasta.
  • 7/10. Adding Halloumi to pizza.
  • 5/10. Eating Halloumi with your fingers.
  • 3/10. Serving Halloumi as a cheese course at the end of a meal.

Additional information for properly serving Halloumi

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.

The calories in Halloumi depend on its aging. Aged Halloumi usually contains more calories than the younger ones.

The most common varieties in commerce contain around 330 calories per 100 grams. An individual serving of 80 grams contains 264 calories.

How to buy the best Halloumi

A crucial factor in Halloumi etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.

Season and availability 

Halloumi is available all year round. 

Choose the best

High-quality Halloumi must come from Cyprus. It should be firm and white in color. Once you cut it, it should squeak. 

Alternatives to Halloumi

Feta is a common alternative. Mozzarella, Mozzarella di Bufala, or Scamorza can be a substitute for salads or as a main dish.