Halloumi, new mozzarella?

Coming from the Mediterranean basin, it almost makes us forget the iconic Italian treasure. This traditional cheese tickles the taste buds of curious gourmets. We can not do without. Manual.

Don’t look for it on a set! Like balls of burrata or mozzarella, Italian stars of summer tables (and even of other seasons), halloumi, originating from the Near East, is a cheese that is best served on a plate. And it is even recommended to cook it.

Pierre Coulon, founder of La Laiterie de Paris, concocts this little pavé, like many other soft or hard cheeses, in his laboratory in the 18e district of the capital and knows all its secrets. “It’s been a real success for us. We offer our plain version, of course, and we supply a restaurant that makes exquisite fries, topped with zaatar. But what works particularly well is when we turn it into skewers to snack on, seasoned with Japanese curry or smoked pepper from Rœllinger, or even oregano from our Camembert garden.”

In video, how to make an ideal cheese platter

Pierre Coulon learned the art of halloumi from a Cypriot living in London. Then, with his partner, refined his knowledge in Lebanon. “However, he specifies, we do not offer halloumi but hallum. This is the generic name of this recipe traditionally made with goat’s and sheep’s milk and found in Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel… The Cypriots have registered the name halloumi, as have do the Greeks with feta: only cheeses made in this country can therefore bear this name. But that does not prevent it from being found under other names, with some variations. Ours is made from cow’s milk. It doesn’t change much in terms of taste. The proof: we have many Lebanese and Turkish customers who tell us that they find exactly the same pleasure as when, as children, they ate hallum.” His characteristics ? It is softer and more mellow than products sold on the market, which are generally very pressed and salty and which it is better to desalinate before grilling them. Pierre Coulon likes his hallum, simply pan-fried with a drizzle of lemon: what, perhaps, dethrones the tomato-mozzarella…

La Laiterie de Paris, 74, rue des Poissonniers, 75018 Paris.


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