Oh halloumi, you dazzled me with your salty brine goodness during my three months in Cyprus. Your high melting point sets you apart from your cheese brethren, being the only cheese you can grill. Likewise, no acid is needed in your preparation because, in the words of Bruno mars, you are amazing just the way you are. And like Bruno Mars, you sing to me with each bite, that squeaky goodness reverberating off my teeth, throughout my mouth, and down into my heart.
I empathize with your mild identity crisis. You are generally made from sheep and goat milk, but now cow milk is often used. My dad is from Pakistan, my mom is American with English/Scottish/German roots and I’m a nomadic world citizen. We have this in common – our deeds define us, not what created us.
Even your waste juice, the liquid runoff that is used to make you what you are is used in so many ways. Called “nor” in Turkish, adding salt or sugar makes you a fantastic filling for so many dishes. Call me crazy, but waste is usually inedible at best and grounds for avoidance in all other cases. Your waste is arguably as good as you are. It seems impossible, but just illustrates how amazing you are even further.
I consumed you directly, with tomato in pita bread, and as one of many ingredients in a döner kebab (aka shawarma or gyro), stuffed in pirogis, and in so many other ways. Each time you dazzled my mouth in a new way.
No other cheese would compel me to swallow my lactose intolerance pills by the fistful. For you I did it without thinking. Call me crazy, but that might just be love.