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Halloumi: Cyprus Cheese "Crunchy Like a Bug"

Mikey Loves Halloumi Because it is so rare that a 3 1/2 year-old professes a love for cheese that's not pre-sliced and wrapped in plastic, or shaped like a stick and stringy, when Little Mikey wanted to share his halloumi adoration with "It's Not You, It's Brie," I said I'd happily create a space for his musings.

Mikey's favorite cheese, halloumi, is a firm and fresh mixed-milk cheese (bless these holy creations) made from sheep and goat's milk in the beautiful island of Cyprus. Vibrant, lightly salty, tangy, and nutty, its versatile and approachable flavor makes it a happy pairing for many dishes.

Baked Halloumi

Although this cheese is firm enough to be sliced and eaten by the hand, haloumi's texture makes it most popular served grilled, seared, or baked. Unlike nearly any other cheese on the market, it doesn't spread, melt or become stringy with heated. If Mikey's adoration is telling, this also makes halloumi one of the best party tricks around. Forget the clown. Get the cheese.

Without further ado, Mikey's thoughts on halloumi (an interview conducted by his parents):

On why he favors the cheese:

"Its good. I love it for breakfast. I like how it squishes in my mouth. It looks like a black bug. It's crunchy. it reminds me of pot-stickers. I like to eat it with hot stuff, like chicken, omelette, or [here he pauses] hot chocolate! mmmmmmm....."

On what it smells like:

(Condescendingly) "Cheese."

Last thoughts on his beloved:

"I don't think other children will like halloumi. I don't know why I like it."

Here are some other of my favorite halloumi ideas and recipes on the web:

Grilled Halloumi with Sauteed Green Beans Recipe, 101 Cookbooks

Baked Halloumi with Honey & Thyme Recipe, A Wee Bit of Cooking

A Company that Sells Handmade Halloumi (I've tried it, it's awesome)

Making Halloumi at Home with Alessandra Zecchini

What cheese does your child like to eat?