Soon, the title of “halloumi” may be restricted to the squeaky cheese’s country of origin– the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. This Wednesday, the Cyprus government submitted an application to register halloumi as a protected destination of origin (PDO) in the European Union.
Halloumi’s PDO has been long-awaited, but resisted by its cheesemakers, who have disagreed with the ministry’s proposed proportions of goat’s and sheep’s milk. Cheesemakers argued the 51% minimum of goat’s milk was unrealistic because of its limited availability in Cyprus.
The submitted application proposes a proportion of goat’s and sheep’s milk that is over 50%, with a transition period of 10 years to allow halloumi producers to adjust to the change. During the transition period, which started on Wednesday, halloumi makers will be able to use a maximum of 80% cow’s milk for their cheese. It also allows for producers to sell halloumi under its Turkish name, “hellim.”
According to Cyprus Mail, Agriculture Minister Nicos Kouyialis also announced a series of measures, designed to help producers and animal farmers modify their businesses to conform to the new standard; The government plans to subsidize the modernization of existing, and creation of new animal farms, as well as the improvement of halloumi production facilities.
Photo Credit: Cyprus Mail