What is Mediterranean Grilling Cheese?

A perfect grilled cheese is a beautiful thing. So is a cheese you can grill on its own. That's right, no sandwich needed—we're talking about grilling cheese!

Mediterranean grilling cheese like Halloumi, which originated on Cyprus, have a high enough melting point to hold their shape on a grill or in a hot skillet. In their plain state, grilling cheeses are quite sedate—a bit like a saltier and chewier mozzarella. But when grilled with just a touch of olive oil, they can light up a room! The surfaces touching the grill grates or pan become browned and toasted with just a hint of sweetness from the caramelized milk fat. Bite in and you'll find a soft, squeaky, and ever so slightly melty nugget of dairy. 

Grilling cheese can be made with cow, sheep, or goat's milk, or a combination. After curds are separated from whey and pressed into molds, they're simmered in whey or a salted brine, which is what lets the cheese proteins to hold their shape under high heat.

Traditionally, grilling cheeses are eaten simply, with a spritz of lemon alongside meat or vegetables. They take well to kebabs and can lighten up a Greek salad in place of feta. The cheese's heft is also perfect for sandwiches and wraps. Throw a couple pieces of pita on the grill when cooking your cheese, then wrap up the cheese with fresh tomato, green olives, chopped cucumber, and mint. In many Latin American countries, similar cheeses called Queso Blanco and Queso Frier are often fried to a deep browned crust and eaten as a snack. 

Our Mediterranean-style grilling cheese comes from Narragansett Creamery in Rhode Island, which also provides our Salty Sea Feta, burrata, and Renaissance Ricotta. The grilling cheese is a pasteurized cow's milk cheese made with vegetable rennet, so it's perfect for any meat-free feasting around the grill come summertime. Of course, if you wanted to wrap batons of the cheese in slices of prosciutto and roast them with figs, we're not going to stop you.

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