Americans Don't Know What Halloumi Is And It's Hilarious

We all know how we will look back at the summer of 2018.

It won't be remembered as the summer that England won the World Cup again, it won't be remembered as the summer that Love Island finally jumped the shark, or the summer that Brexit finally did whatever it is that Brexit is currently doing. It will be remembered as the year that halloumi went massive.

So far this year, we've had the phenomenon of the halloumi fries, launched in Nando's to the groans of delight from bros and vegetarians alike, and we've had the halloumi burger hitting supermarkets and revolutionising barbecues.

Now, probably not unrelated to the massive spike in the popularity of halloumi, we have the national halloumi shortage.

The halloumi famine has been well-documented and there are, we're told, measures being taken to ship as much of Cyprus' finest to our shores as soon as humanly possible, so there isn't much call to panic just yet.

Well, unless you're American - because it seems like an increasing number of Yanks don't seem to even know what halloumi is, let alone get themselves into a tizz about a shortage of it.

Social media has been awash with comments from people amazed by this discovery.

"At the farmers markets this morning i had the privilege of witnessing an american couple discovering halloumi for the first time," (sic) wrote one tweeter recently.

Credit: Twitter
Credit: Twitter


"Absolutely baffled that no American I've spoken to so far knows what halloumi cheese is?!?!?!!!!! I'm not even angry, just disappointed :pensive:" wrote another.

Of course, it is easy (not to mention fun) to laugh at Americans and the inability to see the world outside of its borders. But why doesn't the USA eat halloumi?

Americans are usually miles ahead of Britain in terms of product diversity - as anyone who has seen the 40 different types of ketchup in supermarkets will know - and they hardly lack for producers: at the last count, there are around 3 million Greek Americans and a further million Turkish Americans, so they've got the key halloumi producing areas covered.

Credit: Twitter
Credit: Twitter


It turns out - at least according to Munchies journalist Luke Pyenson - that they do have it, but it is squirrelled away in health food shops and enormously overpriced.

"A brick equivalent in size to the £2 item at Tesco will run you close to $8 at Whole Foods, which is already more of an elite grocery option," writes Pyenson.

"At Trader Joe's, prices are a little better ($4.99), but it is an ounce smaller (7 oz.) than the apparent industry standard (8 oz.), only available in the summer, and comes inexplicably pre-sliced."

So, there, Americans do have it, but it's expensive, hard to get and most people have never heard of it. God help them.

Mike Wood

Mike Meehall Wood is a freelance journalist and translator. He writes for LADbible, VICE and countless sports publications, focusing on rugby league, football and boxing. He is a graduate of Leeds University and maintains a fizzy pop obsession. Contact Mike at [email protected]

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