Trader Joe’s Sliced Halloumi cheese

Trader Joe's Sliced Halloumi Cheese

Hello there. The last few weeks for the Western PA team of the WGaTJ have been a bit nutso. My old laptop died literally while I was writing the last words of my review a few months ago. Then there was the finishing touches to get our house on the market. For a short vacation to Vermont and back, I drove a little over 2000 miles mostly on sand roads in 8 days. It was then that I had to endure a few atypically hectic weeks at work, and needed some funds for a new laptop. Sorry for the delay, but I’ve discovered some amazing TJ’s goodies over the past few weeks so I’ll make up for it. Nathan, thanks for being there. It feels good to be back.

One of the goodies I found was thanks to my sister (a recent TJs convert): Trader Joes Sliced Halloumi. Oh my goodness. “A grilling cheese.” I’ve never heard about such a thing. Of course, there’s grilled cheese. Even though I’m almost 31 years of age, grilled cheese is still a staple in my life. Another favorite thing is melted cheese that has been crispied, such as homemade mac ‘n cheese. A grilling cheese? It’s not something I’ve ever heard of.

But maaaaaaaaaan is it good. The halloumi is actually grilled and gets a little browned, charred and with very minimal (if any) melting. This is possible only by the power of Zeus. This is a true example of genius from the people of Cyprus. Although it is similar to mozzarella in taste, it is not as soft. It is tougher, more meaty, and has a slight crumbliness. We enjoyed a great dinner at my parents’ house, including burgers, cold beer, and grilled peppers. On our return trip to Pittsburgh, we stopped for an overnight pit stop. The halloumi was part of a wonderful dinner. My sister, who is a pastry chef by day, and an expert all-round cook, said that she often uses it to grill big chunks of it, or to fry it up for pasta or salad. It would make a wonderful addition to a dish made with fresh herbs and sundried tomatoes. Sis, if this is you, leave a comment and some suggestions.

The only thing I can say is that the halloumi, like many other great products that the majority of TJ’s-loving world enjoys (especially those related to alcohol), is not available at my East End Pittsburgh shop. Trust me, I searched the vast array of cheeses for it and couldn’t find it. Because I’m a man, I wasn’t able to ask. But, this must be readily available locally. I want it back. To get there, sweet, cheesey dreams of a cheese that melts and chars are all I can think about. Sandy will, too. “Mmmmm, cheese ….” was all she could manage to say before her expression changed to one of pure, transfixed serenity when she thought back to the delicious, sweet frolics she had with the halloumi. It was a surprise that she gave it a 4! I’m going for 4.5.

Bottom line: Trader Joe’s Sliced Halloumi Cheese: 8.8 out of 10 Golden Spoons