After an examination process that lasted for over 15 years, proud Cypriots are now celebrating as the European Commission has finally recognized halloumi as a product of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).
What is a PDO?
The PDO is a classification designed to protect and recognise authentic foods, wine, spirits and agricultural products from regional areas. All production must take place in this geographical area and the products’ quality or traits must have a strong connection to that area to allow for a certain name to appear on the product (think: Champagne, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Roquefort). A PDO is also a way of ensuring consumers aren’t misled by products claiming to be something they’re not, thus protecting the reputation of the genuine producers.
What does this mean?
This means that the name ‘halloumi’ can now only be used on products made in Cyprus, that use precise ratios of goat or sheep milk and cow milk, and are produced in the specific way that halloumi has been prepared in Cyprus for centuries.
As such, we can expect to see the roll out of some name and labelling changes on halloumi produced outside of Cyprus in the near future. We’re not sure exactly what direction the new labelling will take, but we’re predicting things such as ‘halloumi-style’, ‘grilling cheese’, or even ‘haloumi’ (with a singular ‘L’).